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Shady Side Academy stomps Ford City

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By Stephen Catanese
Friday, Aug. 31, 2012, 11:56 p.m.

Even if it doesn't possess the most well-known names in the WPIAL, Shady Side Academy's talented backfield of Jared Brevard and Dennis Briggs bear the weight of high expectations. Replacing current Wisconsin player Reggie Mitchell can do that.

If Friday night's performance was any indication, the junior running backs will be more than capable of compensating.

They combined for 262 rushing yards and scored four touchdowns as host Shady Side Academy defeated Ford City, 27-6, in Class AA Allegheny Conference play.

“Any time you beat Ford City by three touchdowns, it's a good night,” Shady Side Academy coach Dave Havern said.

The Indians (1-0, 1-0) asserted themselves early in the first quarter behind Brassard, who broke a 46-yard-run on his second carry. He scored shortly after to open up a 7-0 lead on the Sabers (0-1, 0-1).

“They were more physical than us upfront, and they dominated the line of scrimmage from the get-go,” Ford City coach John Bartolovic said.

Despite missing a large portion of the first half due to a lingering stomach ailment, Brassard finished with 17 carries for 132 yards and two touchdowns.

Briggs stepped in for Brevard without missing a beat. He increased the Indians' lead to 13-0 in the second quarter on a 5-yard run.

Briggs finished with 15 carries for 130 yards and a touchdown.

“They're both juniors; they're great students,” Havern said. “They're both really special.”

Ford City's defense managed to keep it in the game, but its offense struggled. The Sabers finished with fewer than 30 yards of rushing. Senior running back Devan Willyard, who led the team in rushing and receiving last year, accumulated less than half of that yardage.

“We have a couple of very good backs,” Bartolovic said. “They just couldn't get a seam.”

Ford City quarterback David Lattanzio completed 9 of 16 passes for 75 yards and a touchdown.

Stephen Catanese is a freelance writer.

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