Football: Shadyside Wallops FCA

SHADYSIDE – The beat goes on and on and on … .

For the first time in its storied football history, Shadyside is 11-0.

Saturday night at Fleming Field, the state-ranked Tigers exploded out of the gates and never looked back in pasting visiting Fairfield Christian Academy 40-14 in a Division VII, Region 25 quarterfinal contest.

Shadyside advances to the regional semifinals where it will meet Caldwell at a site to be announced today.

The Knights (7-4) deferred until the second half after winning the opening coin toss, a move that cost them dearly.

Junior quarterback Austin Dorris took the first snap in the shotgun and headed off his right side. Once he made his way through the line, he cut left at midfield and was off to the races. A Fairfield Christian Academy player tried to take down the 6-foot-5, 215-pounder, but Dorris brushed him off with a solid stiff arm and waltzed into the end zone. Mason Campbell tacked on the first of his four PATs and it was quickly 7-0.

After a three-and-out by the Knights, Shadyside fullback Eric Howell took a handoff from Dorris and went 52 yards untouched to the house to make it 14-0 with 2:18 elapsed.

“That was huge,” Shadyside coach Mark Holenka said of the two early scores. “Usually we defer and play defense first, but they (Fairfield) chose to do that. It turned out to be exactly the opposite of last year when Berlin Center ran the opening kickoff back for a touchdown and we had to fight an up-hill battle.”

When talking about the Tigers, who finished third in the final Associated Press poll and No. 2 in the region, you have to start with the three-headed backfield of Dorris, Howell and senior Chris Littell. That trio combined for 358 yards rushing and five touchdowns on 34 carries against the outmanned Knights, who were the seventh seed. Howell led the way with 13 carries for 138 yards, while Littell added 113 yards and two TDs on 16 carries. Dorris only lugged the football five times, but picked up 107 yards and two six-pointers.

Dorris capped the scoring with a 21-yard pass to Scott Hammond in the third quarter to make it 40-0 before the Knights added two window-dressing touchdowns.