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Playoff loss concludes football season for Shady Side Academy

| Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

The Shady Side Academy football team opened the season with eight straight wins but ended with two consecutive losses.

Friday's 42-21 loss to Beaver (7-3) in the first round of the WPIAL Class AA playoffs put an end to the Indians' season as they finished 8-2.

The Indians entered the playoffs as the fifth seed, and Beaver was the 12th.

That, coupled with playing at home, was not enough for SSA to counter the performance of Beaver's Alex Rowse. He threw three touchdown passes and ran for a 3-yard score.

The Indians got on the board first as Matt O'Connor hauled in a 7-yard pass from Tucker Gillman. Beaver scored the next three touchdowns to take a 21-7 halftime lead and tacked on another pair of touchdowns in the third quarter. Coach Dave Havern's team scored twice in the fourth quarter as Austin Boyd recovered a fumble in the end zone, and Jonathan George scored on a 19-yard run. Kyle Senich added three extra points.

“Beaver is a very good football team,” Havern said. “They were stronger up front, and Rowse is a fine quarterback. You can't give a kid like that time to throw. We were very inconsistent on offense, and we just couldn't generate any offensive momentum to give our defense a break.

“Eight-and-two doesn't sound like a bad season but we are disappointed in not being able to advance further in the playoffs.”

Havern said his players played their hearts out all year and should be proud of their efforts.

“It's been fun to coach them, especially our seniors who have grown into fine young men. That's been the best thing about coaching. You get to watch them grow in all kinds of ways, and that is priceless.”

Seniors who played their final game for SSA were Jarred Brevard, Dennis Briggs, Chuck Calabrese, Gillman, Tyrel Hill, O'Connor, Cameron Dively, Dan Marous, Nick Rogalski and Chris Succup.

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

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