Shadyside, Bellaire both bidding to bounce back
BELLAIRE — Shadyside and Bellaire are a mere two miles apart on Ohio 7. They are both coming off losses and are fighting for their playoff lives as the high school football season enters week 8, which should make for an exciting contest Saturday.
The Tigers (5-2) enter the 12:30 p.m. clash at Nelson Field ranked ninth in the latest Division VI, Region 23 computer poll, while the Big Reds (3-4) cannot afford another setback if they are to go dancing for the second consecutive season under head coach Mark Spigarelli.
“Our kids need to take out all of their anger and frustrations for two-and-a-half hours Saturday,” Spigarelli said. “They need to gear it towards beating Shadyside.
“Our fan base doesn’t like them and their fan base doesn’t like us,” he continued. “That should make for a great ballgame.”
Bellaire is coming off back-to-back losses to Beaver Local and St. Clairsville, both of whom ran the ball at will.
“Basically, we know what we are going to get,” Spigarelli said of the Tigers offense. “We must stop the run. That’s our No. 1 priority this week because Shadyside has a two-headed monster in the backfield.”
Last week, the Big Reds surrendered 215 yards on 39 carries to the Red Devils’ Brady Kolb.
“There were times that we tackled pretty well, but there were times when we didn’t,” Spigarelli noted. “That was due to them wearing us down. We only play 15-16 kids and they (St. C.) were two-platooned.
“Offensively, we had the ball three times inside St. Clairsville’s 20-yard line and didn’t score,” Spigarelli continued. “We must be able to run the ball this week, whether it’s against a 3-man or a 4-man line.”
St. Clairsville utilized a 3-man line which bottled up the Bellaire running attack.
Veteran Shadyside head coach Mark Holenka said it shouldn’t be difficult to get his Tigers ready for the game.
“I think our kids, especially our seniors, know there are only three games left in the regular season,” he said. “I think they also know we can’t afford another loss if we are to make the postseason.”
In addition to the playoff hunt, the Tigers are also involved in a battle with Linsly, which they host in week 10, for the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Class 2A banner.
Bellaire is led by quarterback Mason Ramsay. The senior has thrown for 1,127 yards and 15 touchdowns on 78-of-132. He also leads the team with eight rushing TDs.
Senior Gabe Rejonis is the top receiving threat with 31 receptions for 558 yards and five scores. Freshman Peyton Marling has 17 grabs for 216 stripes and three TDs. Senior Thor Duffy is the top rusher with 410 yards and two scores.
Shadyside’s backfield is led by senior Alex Krupa with 742 yards and 10 touchdowns, while junior Connor Banco had 692 stripes and a team-best 14 six-pointers. Banco ran for two scores and caught a third TD in 27-26 loss to Wheeling Central a week ago.
Junior quarterback Anthony Coggins has completed 68 of his 127 attempts for 940 yards and 10 TDs. However, he has been picked off nine times. Banco leads the team with 16 catches for 208 yards and three TDs. Austin Price, Kelly Hendershot and Krupa all have a dozen receptions.
Bellaire leads the all-time series, which dates back to 1909, 24-6-3. However, the teams did not play from 1951-2013. Since the rivalry has resumed, the Tigers have a 4-0 edge and have outscored the Big Reds 108-43, including 28-7 last year on Fleming Field.