STRASBURG - Shadyside's offense played fairly well Friday at Strasburg, but far from perfect.
Thanks to its defense, far from perfect was plenty good.
Shadyside limited the homestanding Strasburg Tigers to 46 yards of total offense on 40 plays.
So dominant was the effort that Strasburg failed to register a first down until less than 8 minutes remained in the fourth quarter, long after the Shadyside first-string defense had left the field.
The key was the play of Shadyside's front four.
Facing multiple-receiver formations, Shadyside's defense was spread out, placing the onus on the front four to hold the fort.
"Our concern was the front line but they have worked and gotten better," Holenka said. "We still have some work to do though."
The front four continually hemmed up Strasburg tailback Danny March. Holes that initally appeared promising were quickly closed, engulfing Strasburg ballcarriers in a sea of white jerseys.
After Strasburg inexplicably went for a fake punt on 4th-and-15 from its 15, Shadyside took over at the 17 for its initial drive.
Six plays later, the Belmont County Tigers lined up in a full backfield, opting to hand off to 5-foot-9, 285-pound lineman Jacob Spencer for a 1-yard plunge.
Shadyside's next series saw quarterback Chase Kinemond hook up with Cody Hudson on a 5-yard out pattern for six.
The Tigers next two touchdowns came on simple trap plays with Chris Littell covering 35 and 47 yards, respectively, for his two scores.
Littell led Shadyside with 106 yards on seven carries. Leading returning rusher Brooks Ramsey was limited to six yards on five carries before leaving with a minor injury.
Kinemond finished with 89 yards on 6 of 12 passing. Hudson was the leading beneficiary, hauling in four passes for 62 yards.
"We wanted to establish an early lead and we were able to get up 21-0 early," said Holenka, noting he wanted to make sure his team didn't let up once it got out in front.
That didn't happen.
Shadyside punched in one more score when Eric Howell took an handoff off-tackle, bounced to the outside and scampered in from 9 yards out.
The visitors totaled 280 yards of total offense and 10 first downs.
Strasburg added to its difficulties in moving the ball by not being able to hold onto it.
Quarterback Kole Bitikofer was picked off twice and Strasburg also coughed up three fumbles.
The road gets tougher for Shadyside on Friday as the Tigers play host to rival Monroe Central at Fleming Field.
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