Indians ground out win over Deer Lakes
For the past few year, the Shady Side football team has relied on the running game to lead the way.
And this year is no different as the tried-and-true formula has resulted in a 2-0 start for coach Dave Havern's Indians after Friday's 20-7 win over Deer Lakes.
The Indians gained 280 yards on offense with 204 coming on the ground.
“That's what we like to do,” Havern said. “And it's been successful. Of course, when you have a pair of quality backs like Jared Brevard and Dennis Briggs, it's a lot easier.”
Brevard finished with 127 yards on 16 carries and a pair of touchdowns.
Mike Pohl added two field goals and a pair of extra points as the Indians built a 17-0 halftime lead.
The SSA defense held Deer Lakes to 134 total yards and they also picked off a pair of passes.
The Indians scored on their opening drive and never looked back.
“We wanted to get out in front early and we did that,” Havern said. “The defense was outstanding for the second week in a row.”
Havern said the Indians were able to overcome some injuries in the winning effort.
“We were sitting out six starting positions and some other guys who were a little banged up rose to the challenge, but it was really an ugly game,” he said. “That being said, we were really proud of the effort given by our younger guys and some of our veteran players who were playing a bunch of different positions.”
Havern said quarterback Matt Granato stepped up and did a “fine job of running the play-it-by-ear offense.”
“We were basically drawing stuff in the dirt on both sides of the ball,” Havern said. “We played a whole bunch of freshmen and sophomores in critical situations and, while it wasn't an artistic triumph, we came out with a win and most of our injured guys will be OK for the Valley game.”
Meanwhile, Havern credited Josh Loper, Chris Bush, Dennis Briggs, Pat Loughran and Chuckie Calabrese for providing solid defensive play and providing leadership for the younger players.
Next up, the Indians will be taking on Valley, which is making its return to the Allegheny Conference.
The game will also serve as the dedication of the Michael J. Farrell Stadium.
“Hopefully we'll dedicate it with a well played game,” Havern said.
Kick off is scheduled for 7:30 on Friday. After snapping a 22-game losing streak in the first week of the season, the Vikings were manhandled by Burrell, 41-6, last week.
Marty Stewart is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-782-2123 or firstname.lastname@example.org.