Shadyside prevails in 2OT

NEW MARTINSVILLE — In the build-up to Friday night’s Shadyside-Magnolia game the clash was often referred to a small-school showdown. What fans ultimately witnessed at Alumni Field inside Bill Stewart Memorial Stadium was big-boy, old-school football.

Pads were cracking violently from the first play to the last, and the winning point came off the right foot of a straight-ahead kicker, for some harkening back to the days of yesteryear.

Sam Merryman’s PAT tumbled through the uprights in the second overtime to give the Tigers (3-0) a 14-13 victory against the Blue Eagles (2-1) in a game that lived up to every bit of its hype.

It was a little bit of redemption for Merryman, who had a potentially winning, 59-yard touchdown catch called back by an infraction with 2:32 remaining in a 7-7 deadlock.

”Sometimes the ball comes off his foot the wrong way, but that time it came off the right way and that’s all I have to say for that young man,” Shadyside coach Mark Holenka said. ”The man upstairs works in strange ways and helped that ball come straight at the end.

”Mistakes hurt both teams but our defense held tough.”

After each squad was thwarted in the first overtime — a Dakota Litton interception for Magnolia and a Dylan Hanson fumble recovery for Shadyside — they both found the end zone in the second extra session.

The Blue Eagles got the ball first and it took two Hunter Partridge runs that gained 24 yards to place the ball at the 1. Quarterback Patrick Mirandy sneaked in from there, but the extra point was wide right leaving Magnolia with a 13-7 advantage.

Starting at the 25, the Tigers moved backward with a run for no gain on first down and a 5-yard penalty. Eventually, a pass on third-and-10 from Anthony Coggins to Connor Banco came up 3 yards short. However, Magnolia was flagged for roughing the quarterback, giving Shadyside a first down on the 7.

”We played pretty darn good to the very end there,” Blue Eagles coach Dave Chapman said. ”I didn’t have much to say after the game (because) we played our butts off.

”You hate to see it come down the way it came down if you’re on the wrong side of it.”

Alex Krupa picked up 2 on first down before Banco bulled his way into the end zone from the 5 to tie the game at 13-13. Following a timeout, Merryman split the uprights and Shadyside’s players and coaches rushed the field in celebration.

”Nobody lost the game and that is what I told ‘Doc’,” Holenka said. ”After our scrimmage at Buckeye Trail when I didn’t think we competed, we’ve been hitting hard.

”(The kids) were motivated in that second overtime, but to be honest, the penalty bailed us out.

”We’ll take it, but I know how they feel.”

The Tigers looked as though they were going to put a nail in the coffin late as Krupa took a pitch, stopped and fired to an open Austin Price who gained 40 yards to the Eagles 10 with 31.7 seconds remaining. Following a spike Shadyside went to the air, but Mirandy was there for his second interception — the fourth overall by Magnolia.

Neither team was able to get much going offensively. Magnolia was limited 193 total yards, compared to 258 by Shadyside.

The only first-half scores came on a 23-yard pass from Mirandy to Brooks Parsons at 9:18 of the first, and a 10-yard Coggins-to-Krupa hookup that ended on a diving catch in the back of the end zone with 5:56 left in the half.

On Magnolia’s first drive of the second half, it moved 57 yards in 15 plays, eating up more than 9 minutes. Partridge carried it 13 times on the march, which ended on downs at the Shadyside 11.

The Blue Eagles had a chance to go ahead with 4:17 left but a 25-yard field-goal attempt just went wide left.

”This one is going to sting for a while,” Chapman said. ”It was old-fashioned, smashmouth football.

”It’s a tough road to haul, but we’ll be OK. They are high-school kids and they’re resilient.”

The Tigers’ rough-and-tumble running tandem of Krupa (21 carries, 70 yards) and Banco (9-44-td) were limited to 114 yards rushing by a hard-hitting Magnolia defense. Hunter Partridge, the Blue Eagles’ senior first-year starting running back who rushed for 360 yards last week, gained another 143. But it took him 37 carries to do so as he was constantly punished by a gang of Shadyside tacklers.