WOODSFIELD - Memorial Park has been a house of horrors for Shadyside in the past. On Friday night against Monroe Central, some of those old ghosts came back to haunt the Tigers.
The Seminoles scored on Shadyside's first two possessions, returning interceptions for touchdowns, and senior quarterback Tyler Kinchen picked the Tigers defense apart through the air in a lopsided, 42-14, victory on Monroe Central's turf.
While the score points to a blowout, statistically Shadyside was nearly dead even with the Seminoles, finishing with 240 yards of offense and 13 first downs, while allowing 242 yards and nine first downs.
Monroe Central’s Curtis Nixon finds room to run Friday night against Shadyside.
"We didn't play real well early, and they caused a lot of that," Shadyside coach Mark Holenka said.
"When that happens it makes it so much easy to call a game.
"I felt they won the game in the trenches in the first half, but it was nip-and-tuck in the second half, and they started to wear down a little, but it is what it is."
After the Seminoles stalled on downs on their opening possession, a 17-yard punt had the Tigers beginning on their own 27. However, two carries did not net a yard before senior Cole Hogue put the hosts on the board.
Hogue stepped in front of a Chase Kinemond pass at the 37 and rolled down the sidelines untouched for the score at 7:25 of the first. Jim Baker's PAT made it 7-0.
Three plays after the kickoff, Shadyside went right back to the play that cost them earlier and unfortunately for the Tigers it ended in the same result. Freshman Levi Brown picked off the pass at the 35 and didn't quit running until he ended up with the same result Hogue had earlier. Baker's point-after made it 14-0 just 6:02 into the contest.
"Cole (Hogue) and Levi (Brown) both made nice reads to the ball and our defense started our real good and gave us a little momentum," Monroe Central coach Jay Circosta said. "We are a team that has a lot of skill players, we just have to keep them all healthy and on the field."
A 9-yard Shadyside punt and a 44-yard bomb from Tyler Kinchen to Korey Lafferre put the ball on the Shadyside 6 on Monroe Central's next try. Kinchen finished things off with a 2-yard dive, and Baker put the hosts up 21-0 with 35 ticks still showing in the opening quarter.
The Tigers dented the scoreboard on the second play of the second quarter when Kinemond got one back on a 40-yard bomb to Cody Hudson on a pretty pass down the middle. Hudson's pass, however, was blocked for a 21-6 reading.
Shadyside got right back into the game just 1:37 later after it recovered a Hunter McPherson recovered a fumble at the Noles 20. Chris Littell's 3-yard burst two plays later cut the margin to 21-12 with the pass for two falling incomplete.
Monroe answered on its own midway through the second, moving 57 yards on six plays with Kinchen finding Lafferre streaking across the end zone on a 21-yard strike with 6:08 to go in the half. Baker's boot pushed the score to 28-12.
Circosta's crew all but put things away late in the first half when Kinchen capped a seven-play, 40-yard drive with a 25-yard touchdown pass to Jacob Black with the 2-point conversion coming from the same duo for a 36-12 count.
The Tigers threatened late, driving to the 7-yard line with 1 second to go in the half. A Kinemond completion to Hudson was ruled out of the end zone.
Shadyside scored the only points of the third quarter when it tackled Hogue in the end zone for a safety that made it 36-14.
A 56-yard, tackle-breaking, run by Brown early in the fourth set up Kinchen's 1-yard burst and a 42-14 margin with 7:23 to play.
"Our defense is real good and it will only continue to get better," Circosta added. "They did a great job, and my hat is off to those kids. One of the big things was we took the run away from them early and made them throw the ball, something they weren't very successful in doing in Week 1.
"This was a win that we needed. We had very little intensity last week against a nice Columbiana team, and we just weren't ready to play them. Don't be fooled, this is a good Shadyside team that is going to win some games also."
Kinchen finished the contest 8 of 10 through the air for 148 yards and two scores, while adding two rushing touchdowns. Kinemond completed only four passes for the Tigers, however, he finished with 122 yards, more than 30 yards a completion.