SHADYSIDE - The Shadyside players, coaches and fans all had a good idea about the Southington Chalker outfit the Tigers took on Saturday.
The rare afternoon game at Fleming Field lacked atmosphere, emotion and for the most part competitiveness as the Tigers (3-2) won for the second straight week, posting a decisive 49-28 victory against the Wildcats (1-4).
''I thought we did an artistic job ... if you like abstract (art),'' Shadyside coach Mark Holenka said. ''It was a very unemotional game because we kind of knew the setting.''
Shadyside’s Cody Hudson eyes a pass Saturday.
Photo by Paul Krajnyak
The Tigers will enter a small-school showdown Friday against Beallsville, which will come to Belmont County with a 4-1 mark.
''The past is the past with Beallsville,'' Holenka said. ''This is the team they've been bringing up through the ranks, and they're probably ready to duke back, so we'd better be ready to accept the challenge.''
Before all attention could be shifted to the Blue Devils and the short work week that awaits, the Tigers had to take care of their business.
They wasted little time in flexing their muscle as they scored two touchdowns in the game's opening two minutes.
''Things were coming really easy for us early, but then we allowed a few stupid things to happen,'' Holenka said. ''We gave them a little confidence and in any level of football, when you lose a little bit of momentum it takes some time to re-establish it.''
Shadyside built its two-score lead on a 78-yard kickoff return for a score by speedy junior Alex Francis and then diminutive junior tailback Brooks Ramsey plunged in from 5 yards out after Alex Quinn picked off a Wildcats pass on the 22-yard line.
The Wildcats made it 14-7 two possessions later when they capitalized on one of three Tigers turnovers. They caught the Shadyside secondary napping on a couple of occasions and landed a 28-yard touchdown pass.
''We can all take some of the blame for our lack of intensity at times,'' Holenka said. ''The kids and people aren't blind. They look at things and compare scores and honestly, I don't want to give the kids a rah-rah speech every game because when you need it, it's not productive in that sense. We just have to play business-like football, but not to the point where we think it's the Rose Bowl.''
Francis set up the next Tigers score when he took a punt back to the visitors' 4-yard line. Ramsey plunged in from there.
The Tigers scored three more times before halftime.
Ramsey scored again and junior quarterback Chase Kinemond found Cody Hudson, who was 5-of-6 on extra points, on a 20-yard touchdown pass, which gave the hosts a 35-7 lead at the break.
Kinemond also hit Francis on a 20-yard scoring toss early in the third before he gave way to promising freshman Austin Dorris.
Dorris, who made several plays on the defensive side of the ball with the first unit, ran for a score in the fourth quarter and then found Dillon Tomlinson for the 2-point conversion.