West Shamokin football building for future
South Side Beaver coach Glenn McDougal praised his team's effort after the Rams' 40-18 nonconference victory over West Shamokin on Saturday.
“I think we played hard the entire game, and we needed to,” McDougal said. “They're a better team than their record.”
West Shamokin coach Josh Gilliland agreed, which is why the loss disappointed him so much.
“We looked at game film, and we thought up front we were better than they were,” Gilliland said. “We knew they had that big fullback (Cameron McCoy) ... a bruiser, a big guy, but I really thought our skill set was a little bit better than theirs, and I felt we had more weapons.”
South Side Beaver's weapons, however, delivered Saturday, as the Rams (2-5) piled up more than 400 yards.
South Side Beaver kept West Shamokin (1-6) off balance with its Wing-T offense, as three players rushed for at least 75 yards, led by McCoy's 113. Quarterback Jonathan Magusiak added 153 yards passing and two touchdowns.
“Our base offense is the Wing-T also, so you surely would think you could defend your own offense,” Gilliland said. “Really, they weren't running too many different plays at us, and that's what was very frustrating to us.”
West Shamokin put up good offensive numbers of its own, as running back Andrew Wingard surpassed the 100-yard mark, Zac Horner scored on a 42-yard run, and Alex Lasslo passed for 99 yards and two touchdowns.
The Wolves got off to an early lead. Magusiak fumbled a snap on South Side Beaver's second play from scrimmage, and the Wolves recovered at the Rams' 34-yard line. Three plays later, Lasslo found Brady Cornman open off play-action for a 24-yard touchdown.
South Side Beaver stormed right back, however, as the Rams marched 59 yards in five plays and scored on Magusiak's 1-yard plunge. The Rams extended their lead to 19-7 at halftime, as Magusiak tossed a touchdown pass and booted two short field goals.
But West Shamokin would fight back. After Hunter Beaumont scored to put South Side Beaver up 26-7 in the third quarter, the Wolves executed a hook-and-lateral play to pick up 39 yards on third-and-10. Lasslo would throw his second touchdown pass on the drive, finding Matthew Johns from 30 yards out.
When South Side Beaver fumbled the ensuing kickoff near midfield, it looked as though the Wolves could cut into the deficit further. But South Side Beaver forced a punt, then scored on its next possession to effectively put the game away.
“We just don't quite know yet how to capitalize or just dig a little bit deeper for that one last drive or to get that touchdown in,” Gilliland said. “They fumbled the ball on the kickoff, and we really thought we had a shot.”
With games remaining at Leechburg and against Apollo-Ridge and Allegheny-Clarion Valley, Gilliland believes his young team has a chance to get some wins and build some momentum for next season.
“Our kids have to come out and bring it like they did against Riverview and the first half of Wilkinsburg,” Gilliland said. “We definitely see a difference in us being able to hang in football games, and hopefully the next few weeks we can get another one and get over the bubble and the hump.”
Doug Gulasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 412-380-8527.