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Shady Side Academy stumbles, looks to rebound

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Bill Shirley | For The Valley News Dispatch
Shady Side Academy receiver, #33 Tyrel Hill pulls in a touchdown pass over Freeport defender #22 Mike Teorsky during action Friday September 28, at James Swartz Memorial Field in Freeport.
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Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012, 9:29 p.m.

If the Shady Side Academy football team is going to qualify for the WPIAL Class AA playoffs for the sixth year in a row, the Indians may have to run the table.

Last Friday's 28-14 loss at Freeport dropped the Indians to 3-2 in the Allegheny Conference and they are now tied with Valley for third place.

Freeport returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown, but the Indians responded as Dennis Briggs scored on a two-yard run and the Indians trailed by 14-7 at the half.

The Indians fumbled on their first play from scrimmage in the third quarter and Freeport took advantage as they scored to make it 21-7.

SSA quarterback Matt Granato threw a 27-yard scoring strike to Tyrel Hill to rekindle the Indians' hopes, but a pair of interceptions by Freeport on ensuing drives killed the rallies.

“We've turned the ball over seven times in the last two weeks,” SSA coach Dave Havern said. “We're not going to win if we keep that up.

”We've had our chances in the last two games, but haven't put many points on the board. It's not from lack of effort, but we've got to make the plays when the opportunity arises.”

Havern said his team faces another explosive opponent on Friday in East Allegheny.

“They are big and fast and have three or four guys that can burn you on any play,” Havern said. “The one good thing is that we're starting to get our people healthy, so maybe that'll help us get back on track.

“We've still got a shot at making the playoffs, but every game is for the marbles right now.”

East Allegheny lost to Valley, 27-12, last week to fall to 1-4.

Marty Stewart is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-782-2123 or

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