Shadyside seeks 6-0 when it visits Beallsville Friday

The Shadyside Tigers and Beallsville Blue Devils will begin the second half of their respective seasons riding a wave of momentum.

For the Tigers, it’s been a season-long wave, while the Blue Devils finally broke through last week against Frontier.

So, it’ll certainly be interesting to see what gives on Friday night when they clash in Monroe County.

“Shadyside will definitely be the the best team we’ve played,” said Blue Devils’ head coach Paul Kanzigg. “This is going to be a real challenge for our kids and we feel that if we play to our ability, we’ll be able to compete.”

The 5-0 Tigers present all sorts of challenges for opposing teams, including a balanced offense, an opportunistic defense and a special teams, which has busted its fair share of big plays.

“We’ve jumped over every hurdle so far,” said Tigers’ fourth-year head coach Mark Holenka. “We’ve been nicked a few times, but we’ve been able to clear them all, which tells you a lot about our team. We’ve faced some adversity and things didn’t always go according to the blueprint, but we’ve been able to make the adjustments and we’ll have to get ready to go again this week.”

The Blue Devils broke into the win column last week against Frontier and did so riding a strong offense led by senior quarterback Teryn Jarrett and wide receiver Ricky Tubaugh, who is rounding back into form after missing a game due to injury.

“Beallsville can really put points on the board,” Holenka said. “They throw it all over the field and we’ll certainly need to be up to the task because we would rather not have this game be a shootout.”

Jarrett is the area’s leading passer with 1,307 yards and 11 touchdowns this season. Tubaugh has made 26 receptions for 337 yards and three touchdowns. He’s also the Devils’ leading rusher with 181 yards and two scores. Mikey Palmer has made 26 catches for 252 yards and three scores. Gage Steele is also a go-to-player for the Devils with 16 receptions for 340 yards and three scores.

“Our passing game has been good, but our running game hasn’t been as good as I’d hoped,” Kanzigg admitted. “We’ll have to protect well and give Teryn time and if we can do that, I feel we’ll be able to move the ball.”

The Blue Devils’ offense is averaging 29 points a week, but have been victimized by a defense that’s allowing more than 37 points a week.

“We have to have our defense step up,” Kanzigg said. “Getting stops has been a problem for us, but we did get some late in the game (against Frontier) last week and it was big.”

The Tigers’ offense, meanwhile, is led by senior quarterback Chase Kinemond, who is a threat with both his legs and arm. He’s the Tigers’ leading rusher with 254 yards and two scores. He’s passed for 408 yards and nine scores.

Senior Brooks Ramsey is coming off his biggest game of the season and now has 246 yards and two scores on the ground. Chris Littell has also become a solid option.

The Tigers’ leading receivers are Cody Hudson (13-181-7td) and sophomore Austin Dorris (12-186-3td).

“You can’t just key on one thing,” Kanzigg said. “They’ve got so much balance, but the key is keeping Kinemond contained. We’ve stressed to our kids that we can’t let him get loose outside.”

Holenka isn’t expecting the Blue Devils to vary much defensively from what they’ve shown.

“They get after teams,” Holenka said. “They want to blitz with their middle linebackers and if they’re able to get penetration, they can cause destruction.”