Shady Side and Kittanning to square off in battle of unbeatens
By halftime of Friday night's match-up between Shady Side Academy and the visiting Summit Academy Knights, it was apparent that coach Dave Havern's Indians were doing their part to set up a battle of undefeated Allegheny Conference teams this week.
The Indians (8-0, 7-0) held a 30-0 lead at the break and rolled to a 38-8 win over the Knights (4-4, 4-3).
Kittanning (8-0, 7-0) held up its end as it beat Valley, 36-21, behind a big night from quarterback Braydon Toy. He threw three touchdown passes, ran 82 yards for a score and returned a punt 75 yards for another touchdown.
SSA's win was less of a solo performance as five different players scored.
Jarred Brevard got things started in the first quarter with a 35-yard interception return for a touchdown. He also scored on a pair of 2-point conversion runs.
Tyrel Hill hauled in 21- and 35-yard touchdown passes from Tucker Gillman, Dennis Briggs scored on a 24-yard pass from Gillman and caught a 2-point conversion pass, and Chuck Calabrese ran four yards for a score.
Matt O'Connor scored on a 2-point conversion pass.
Gillman had a big game as he completed five of his six passes for 133 yards and the three touchdowns to go along with a pair of 2-point conversion passes.
“We had a sluggish start,” Havern said. “We played pretty well, though. We held an explosive Summit team pretty much in check and forced four turnovers. Gillman did a good job of running our offense when he came in for Chuckie. It's turning out to be a real nice situation at QB for us.”
Calabrese had 15 tackles, including three for losses, and a fumble recovery.
“He had a great game on defense.” Havern said. “Matt O'Connor, Pat Loughran and Mike Ware also stood out on defense for us. Tyrel had another fine night. He's the most overlooked guy in the WPIAL. He's a real solid corner — nothing flashy. He's just very, very consistent. Plus, he caught two long balls for scores.”
Havern is expecting a good game on Friday.
“Kittanning will give us all that we can handle,” he said. “They are very big and powerful. I hope we can hang with them.
“We feel good and really are looking forward to the game.”
Marty Stewart is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-782-2123 or firstname.lastname@example.org.