Indians burst back into win column
For the first time in three weeks, Shady Side Academy had a healthy backfield as the Indians traveled to North Versailles to take on East Allegheny last week.
Running backs Jarred Brevard and Dennis Briggs, returning from injuries, led the way for the Indians.
Brevard rushed for 127 yards and scored on runs of 56 and 66 yards.
Briggs scored on a 9-yard run and also hauled in a 50-yard touchdown pass from Matt Granato as the Indians won, 33-20, to improve to 4-2.
“It was nice to get back on the winning track,” SSA coach Dave Havern said. “We're still real banged up, We're getting guys back each week but losing some at the same time ... just like 90 percent of the WPIAL teams.
“East Allegheny brought along some very, very good athletes and they made some plays, but we were able to contain them for the most part.”
Havern said Josh Loper, Chuck Calabrese, Chris Bush and Ty Hill are having outstanding seasons for the Indians.
“We are starting as many as five sophomores and a freshman so the upper class leadership is very important,” he said.
The coach also said it was good to get both of his standout running backs in the game.
“We feel a lot more secure with them in the backfield,” he said.
Havern also said that Granato is starting to settle into the quarterback position.
“Things are starting to become clearer for him,” Havern said. “It's real good to see and it'll take some pressure off our running game.”
Still, Havern knows the Indians will have to battle if they are going to beat Jeannette on Saturday.
It is also Shady Side's homecoming.
“They're one of the premier programs in the state and always have outstanding athletes,” Havern said of Jeannette.
“We'll need to put together a great game to hang with them. It should be a good nonconference test for us.”
The Jayhawks won a 28-27 double-overtime thriller against previously undefeated Mt. Pleasant last week.
The Jayhawks are led by talented running backs Shavanta Craft and Jordan Edmunds.
“Jeannette just keeps reloading,” Havern said. “They lose some D-I players every year and they always have someone to step in. They have a lot of weapons, a lot of athletes and a lot of speed.”
Marty Stewart is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-782-2123 or firstname.lastname@example.org.