ZANESVILLE - The cliche that all good things must come to an end reared its ugly head once again for the Shadyside Tigers on Saturday night.
The Tigers went to Sulsberger Memorial Stadium with a perfect 12-0 record and their sights firmly set on the Division VII state semifinals.
However, so did Glouster Trimble.
Shadyside’s Eric Howell scores a TD in the second quarter Saturday night against Glouster Trimble.
Photo by Mike Palmer
The Tomcats gave the Tigers a dose of their own medicine in the second half, turning a 14-7 deficit into a 21-14 victory, claiming the school's first regional title while denying the Tigers their fifth trip to the 'Final Four.'
"They won the line of scrimmage," Shadyside coach Mark Holenka said. "Sports are about winning and losing and we need to learn from the loss. Sports are such an important part of high school because they teach so many lessons. Things don't always go the way you planned."
Those are words Holenka used all season. They were accurate, however.
Trimble and its vaunted defense limited the Tigers' high-powered running game to 179 yards and none of their three backfield mates of Austin Dorris, Eric Howell and Chris Littell, got anywhere near their season average.
"We got whipped up front and we couldn't get first downs," Holenka said.
The Tigers dominated the action in the second quarter, scoring all 14 of their points. Littell got the Tigers on the board from 2 yards out. The run for two after a Trimble offsides penalty failed.
After the Tigers defense held Trimble and forced a punt, Shadyside went back to work and marched 10 plays, eating nearly 6 minutes off the clock, before Howell found some room from 16 yards out. Dorris plunged in for the 2-point conversion and a 14-7 lead.
The game, which took just 1 hour and 54 minutes to complete, took on a totally different look in the third quarter.
The momentum went the way of the Tomcats in the latter stages of the quarter. After Shadyside found itself in a third-and-long, which it had avoided well in the first half, Dorris was picked off.
After a personal foul facemask penalty was called, the Tomcats were in business at the Shadyside 22. The Tomcats, behind quarterback Konner Standley, went to work and knotted the game after he found Justice Jenkins on a 9-yard pass.
"They made us pay on turnovers," Holenka said.
The first Trimble touchdown, which was a 95-yard pitch and catch from Standley to junior Austin Downs in the first quarter, was also set up after an interception.
Shadyside, which didn't cross the 50 the entire second half, was forced into another three-and-out early in the fourth quarter.
Again, the Tomcats made the Tigers pay. Working exclusively on the ground, Trimble went 57 yards in 4:59 before rugged senior Jacob Koons, who had a big night on defense, plunged in from 2 yards out.
"We gave them some momentum with the turnovers and they just took it down our throats," Holenka said.
Shadyside managed to pick up one first down on the ensuing possession, but again the drive stalled.
From there, the Tomcats were able to run the clock out and claim their first trip to the state semifinals.
Trimble was much more balanced than the Tigers, gaining 301 yards, including 166 on the ground. Standley, who was as good as advertised, passed for 135 and ran for 84 more on 15 carries.
Dorris, meanwhile, was 3 of 6 passing for 58 yards. Scott Hammond caught two passes for 21 yards. Dorris added a team-high 75 yards on 20 rushes. Littell finished with 59 yards on 15 carries and Howell added 45 on 10 carries.