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Shadyside falls to Wheeling CC

SHADYSIDE — After dropping its first two games, Wheeling Central needed some kind of spark. And the Maroon Knights seemed to find one. Jordan Waterhouse and Payton Marling combined for all of Wheeling Central’s touchdowns as it secured its first victory of the season with a 35-17 triumph over Shadyside at Fleming Field Friday night.

“After two losses and the way we lost to two good football teams, to come over here and play a good, physical football team in Shadyside, they just came off a big win, says a lot for the kids and our program,” Wheeling Central coach Mike Young said. “I congratulate my coaches and the job they did in preparation. You can prep and prep and prep, but performance is the key to that preparation. We were able to perform (Friday). We had some breakdowns, but everything is correctable. I’m hoping this is a long season. I’m hoping this put us in the right direction for us to do what we got to do and our coaching staff does a nice job. (Shadyside) Coach (Mark) Holenka is a quality man and a class act all the time. His kids played hard.”

While the Maroon Knights couldn’t get anything going in the first quarter, the offense came to life in the second. Marling, ran it three straight times and found the end zone to put the first points on the board on a 44 yard scamper.

And while Wheeling Central did have some blunders, it caught a break near the end of the first half. With 1:07 to go, Shadyside intercepted a Michael Toepfer pass, but fumbled on the return. Waterhouse, recovered and made his way to the Tigers’ 21. Two plays later, the senior running back found the end zone from 15 yards out to make it 14-3 with 33.3 left in the first half.

“I can’t say enough about the leadership we had out there from Jordan Waterhouse and Payton Marling,” Young said. “Up front, our line did a great job and defensively, we put the pressure on when we had to and that was huge. (Wyatt) Reiman is a heckuva back. He runs hard. To take away long run and pass most of the night, that’s the difference in the first two games and this game.”

Neither senior was finished. Waterhouse secured his second touchdown run of the night on an 18-yarder with 2:30 to go in the third. On the ensuing Tigers’ possession, he stepped up on defense as he picked off a Rhys Francis pass and took it 32 yards the other way to put the score at 28-3 with 8.3 left in the third quarter.

He paced the ground attack for the Maroon Knights with 106 yards. He also had two interceptions.

Marling, though, may have made the biggest heads up play of the night. After Shadyside cut the lead to 28-10 after a Jacob Visnic 1-yard run, the Tigers attempted an onside kick.

Marling grabbed the ball and took it 47 yards to the house.

The Tigers made one final comeback attempt and scored with 6:38 remaining on a Reiman 5-yard run, but it was too little too late.

The Tigers fumbled the ball four times and lost three of then.

“When you lose in the battle of the trenches, not only offensively, but defensively, and then you combine that with all the takeaways, you can’t expect too many good things to happen,” Holenka said. “I don’t care if we are the (Kansas City Chiefs). The other thing I’m most disappointed in and it maybe falls on my shoulders is our lack of poise and discipline.”

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