Strickland carries Sharon to win over Slippery Rock
Written by: Shane Lux on Sunday, November 5th, 2017
As the saying goes, big-time players make big-time plays in big-time games. Well, Sharon High School’s stud Ziyon Strickland more than left his stamp on the Tigers 26-10 win over Slippery Rock Saturday night at Wilmington High School.
The Tigers senior accounted for 206 yards of total offense and nearly matched the Rockets total himself; Slippery Rock amassed 245 yards of total offense. Strickland also added an interception on defense.
“Despite what other people think he is the best receiver in District 10 and he does it all,” said Sharon head coach Jim Wildman of Strickland.
However, it was Rockets defense that got off to the hot start as they forced a three-and-out to begin the ball-game and then proceeded to drive 45 yards in 13 plays that led to Nate Willison’s 22-yard field that put the Slippery Rock in front 3-0.
Although the early lead the Rockets offense thanks to the Sharon defense was held in neutral the rest of the game.
That allowed the Tigers to take a 6-3 lead into halftime as Jordan Wilson who rushed for 70 yards on 18 carriers scored on a 1-yard run capping an 8-play 68-drive following Willison’s field goal.
The two teams combined for three punts and three turnovers in a scoreless second quarter.
After punting on their opening possession of the third quarter, the Tigers scored touchdowns on their next two possessions that all but sealed their appearance in the District 10 AAA Title Game next week versus Mercyhurst Prep.
Quarterback Lane Voytik tossed a shovel pass to Strickland who outraced the Rockets defense for a 58-yard touchdown connection that put the Tigers in front 13-3.
Voytik and Strickland hooked up on a 31-yard flea-flicker to the 1-yard line that set up Wilson’s second short touchdown of the night as Sharon went ahead 20-3 with 10:41 remaining.
Lane Voytik completed 15-of-20 passes for 220 yards, one touchdown, while also throwing an interception.
But the Rockets refused to go away as their quarterback Jacob Shaffer scored on a 1-yard run preceding a 12-play 63-yard drive.
Shaffer led the Rockets with 62 yards on 18 carriers but was only 2-for-12 passing for 13 yards with an interception. Seth Slater ran for 54 yards on 12 attempts.
“Whenever you play in a big game like this you have to convert your opportunities, they made their plays tonight, and we didn’t,” said Slippery Rock head coach Larry Wendereusz.
Recovering the onside kick, the Tigers wrapped the win as Strickland capped a terrific night scoring on a 14-yard run with 1:43 to play.
“I’m always pleased to win, but I’m never pleased with the way we win,” said Wildman. “We have six days to get it done and eliminate those mental errors that are putting us in second and third-and-long situations.”
Sharon now looks forward to playing Mercyhurst Prep for the District Title; the Lakers defeated Hickory 28-10.
“I’m sure our kids will be excited. I’m told they’re the #3 team in Triple-A, and they score a lot of points, it will be challenging for us,” said Wildman.
Slippery Rock concludes its season at 4-7.
“Our goal when we start the season is to be better at the end than we are at the beginning,” said Wendereusz. “I just told the team if you did surveys of people that watched us from Week 0 until now; they would say we’re a better football team. One of the things we’ll talk about come next season is taking that next step to the District 10 Title Game.”
Stats courtesy of Ryan Briggs: @professorbriggs
Sharon 26 Slippery Rock 10
Score by Quarters
Slippery Rock – 3 0 0 7 – 10
Sharon – 6 0 7 13 – 26
SR – Nathaniel Willison 22 yd field goal, 4:16
SHA – Jordan Wilson 1 yd run (kick failed), :23
SHA – Ziyon Strickland 58 yd pass from Lane Voytik (Aaron Nichols pat), 3:48
SHA – Jordan Wilson 1 yd run (Aaron Nichols pat), 10:41
SR – Jacob Shaffer 1 yd run ( Willison pat), 6:35
SHA – Ziyon Strickland 14 yd run (kick failed), 1:43
Rushing: Slippery Rock – Shaffer 18-62, Seth Slater 12-54, Hunter Prementine 6-36, Vito Pelosi 3-17, Nathan Hyatt 3-15, Kaleb Kamerer 7-14, Patrick Shea 2-8. Totals: 51-206. Sharon – Wilson 18-70, Strickland 3-24, Brady Ortiz 1-2, Voytik 3-(-9). Totals: 25-87.
Receiving: Slippery Rock – Hyatt 1-26, Rod Williams 1-9, Slater 1-4. Sharon – Strickland 10-182, James McKinney 3-10, Frank Shaffer 1-19, Wilson 1-9.
Passing: Slippery Rock – Shaffer 2-for-12 13 yards, 1 interception, Prementine 1-for-1 26 yards. Sharon – Voytik 15-for-20 220 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception.
Interceptions: Slippery Rock – 1 – (Kamerer). Sharon – 1 – (Strickland).
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