Shady Side Academy runs over Deer Lakes
If you asked Shady Side Academy coach Dave Havern pregame whether he expected a majority of his team's yards to come via rushing, he would have given a resounding yes.
“That's a regular week for us,” he said.
Led by junior Jared Brevard, who rushed for 146 yards on 17 carries, Shady Side Academy (2-0, 2-0) defeated host Deer Lakes, 20-7, in Class AA Allegheny Conference play at Lancers Stadium.
Shady Side Academy ended the night with 280 yards of offense, 204 yards of it rushing.
“Jared Brevard and Dennis Briggs are two quality backs,” Havern said. “They play well. They block for each other. They both played hurt. They're good football players.”
Brevard got the running game going on Shady Side Academy's first drive, rushing for all 46 yards, including a 38-yard touchdown run to put Shady Side in front, 7-0.
“I think we needed to get out in front early and establish some momentum,” Havern said. “I thought setting the tone early gave us some breathing room.”
Brevard added a second rushing touchdown with 8:27 left in the first half, capping a nine-play, 65-yard drive that featured all runs.
Lancers coach Todd Hazlett knew Shady Side Academy was going to feature the running game.
“It's what we expected,” Hazlett said. “But they didn't show us anything we weren't expecting. They came in with a great set of running backs.”
Offensively, Deer Lakes (0-2, 0-2) struggled to get anything going. Deer Lakes ended the first half with 58 total yards of offense and three first downs. It finished the game with 134 total yards and threw two interceptions.
With less than a minute left, Lancers junior quarterback Josh Plocki found senior receiver Zach Bryner for a 4-yard touchdown pass to make the score 20-7 and avoided being shut out.
“We played with them for four quarters,” Hazlett said. “We drove the ball at the end of the game. I'm proud of what we did tonight.”
D.J. Vasil is a freelance writer.