Brett Nye throws four touchdown passes, leads Shamokin to 46-14 win over Greater Nanticoke
SHAMOKIN – Playing your best football at the end of the regular season is always ideal, and after Friday night’s performance, Shamokin may be headed for just that.
Brett Nye threw four touchdown passes in the first half, shaking off an interception on his first attempt of the game to throw for 179 yards on 11-of-13 passing, while Knowledge Artis-Jones ran for 118 yards and a pair of touchdowns as Shamokin romped over Greater Nanticoke in a non-conference game, 46-14.
The win gives the Indians some adrenaline as they head into next Friday’s regular-season finale and its annual rivalry game with Mount Carmel for the coal bucket, followed by the District 4 Class 4A playoffs the following week, where they’ll likely take on unbeaten Jersey Shore, which has appeared in the state semifinals in each of the last three seasons.
“It’s a big confidence boost heading into next week and the postseason,” said Shamokin coach Henry Hynoski. “I liked everything about tonight except our first offensive drive. Other than that, it was very well done, and perfectly executed. I’m very happy for the seniors that they were able to go out on a high note in their last home game.”
On the third play of scrimmage of the game, Greater Nanticoke defensive back Sam Petrini picked off Nye’s first pass attempt and returned it 37 yards to the Shamokin 1-yard line.
One play later, Jaylin Collins ran it in the end zone and the Trojans had a 7-0 lead a little over two minutes into the game.
That was about the only negative part of the night for Shamokin, as the Indians’ proceeded to score on their next five drives and on seven of the next eight, while their defense limited the Trojans to only two more first downs in that time span.
“It wasn’t a good night for the Trojans, I think the bus ride might have gotten to us a bit,” said Greater Nanticoke coach Ron Bruza. “It was their senior night, they played solid, motivated football and unfortunately we just couldn’t match their enthusiasm and excitement early on. It just wasn’t our night and things didn’t go our way.”
The Trojans didn’t complete a pass in the game, and although Greater Nanticoke did manage 123 rushing yards – just 31 fewer than Shamokin – 92 of those came after the game went into the mercy rule early in the third quarter.
It was the Indians’ passing game that was largely the difference in the game, as following the interception on his first throw of the game, Nye was nearly flawless through the air for the remainder of the night, throwing just one more incompletion, which came in the second half.
Following Collins’ touchdown, Shamokin answered with a five-play, 62-yard drive – all runs – capped by Knowlege Artis-Jones’ six-yard touchdown.
After a three-and-out and punt gave Shamokin the ball at midfield, Nye hit Ryder Zulkowski on the third play of the drive for a 33-yard touchdown pass, which gave the Indians the lead for good, 12-7.
The Trojans then got backed up after a miscue on the ensuing kickoff, followed by a pair of negative plays and a penalty, and a short punt gave Shamokin the ball at the Trojan 28-yard line.
Three plays later, Nye again hit Zulkowski, this time from 24-yards out on a seam route, to make it 19-7.
Another miscue and penalty on the ensuing kickoff forced Greater Nanticoke to start its next drive from its own 7, and after a three-and-out and another short punt, Shamokin started its next drive from the Trojan 38. Once again, the drive was capped by another Nye-Zulkowski connection, this one from 23 yards, to make it 26-7.
“Their connection goes back to their sophomore year. Unfortunately, we didn’t have Ryder last year but you could see that was a special combo when they were sophomores and it’s really started to show now,” said Hynoski. “I’m so happy for those guys and all of our seniors to go out on a high note in their last game on this field. It really meant a lot to a lot of these guys.”
Collins was picked off on Greater Nanticoke’s next drive by Zulkowski, who returned the ball all the way to the Trojan 18. Shamokin needed just two plays to find the end zone again, this time with Nye hitting Colton Lynch for his fourth touchdown toss of the half to make it 33-7.
Shamokin’s average starting field position for its first-half drives was it’s own 49, as the Indians started in Greater Nanticoke territory on three of its seven possessions in the first half.
The Indians also started from their own 49 on their first second-half drive, which ended on the second play when Knowledge Artis-Jones ripped off a 51-yard touchdown run for his second score of the night.
“Knowledge has all the tools. I wish I was as naturally gifted as that kid,” said Hynoski, which is some high praise considering Hynoski’s own accomplishments as a former NFL player and Super Bowl champion.
“He’s a special player and his brother, too, for that matter. The way they can shake and move is unbelievable.”
Zulkowski made his second interception of Collins on the evening on the Trojans’ next drive and returned it to the Greater Nanticoke 43. From there, Nye hit Cam Smith on a short screen pass, who proceeded to run down the left sideline and over two Greater Nanticoke defenders for a 32-yard gain, and then Wisdom Artis-Jones took it 11 yards into the end zone to put the game into the mercy rule with 7:59 left in the third quarter.
Petrini notched the Trojans’ other touchdown with an 18-yard run late in the fourth quarter.
Shamokin 46, Greater Nanticoke 14
Greater Nanticoke (4-5) 7 0 0 7 – 14
Shamokin (5-4) 19 14 13 0 – 46
9:57 – (GN) Jaylin Collins 1-yard run (Lukowski kick), 1-1, :04
7:19 – (S) Knowledge Artis-Jones 6-yard run (kick failed), 5-62, 2:38
4:07 – (S) Ryder Zulkowski 33-yard pass from Brett Nye (run failed), 3-50, 1:17
:00 – (S) Ryder Zulkowski 24-yard pass from Brett Nye (Pensyl kick), 3-33, 1:32
5:38 – (S) Ryder Zulkowski 23-yard pass from Brett Nye (Pensyl kick), 6-38, 3:55
3:48 – (S) Colton Lynch 18-yard pass from Brett Nye (Pensyl kick), 2-18, :51
9:32 – (S) Knowledge Artis-Jones 51-yard run (run failed), 2-51, :17
7:59 – (S) Wisdom Artis-Jones 11-yard run (Pensyl kick), 2-43, :38
2:22 – (GN) Sam Petrini 18-yard run (Lukowski kick), 7-61, 4:02
First downs 8 13
Rushes-net yards 36-123 27-154
Passing yardage 0 179
Passing 0-4-0-2 11-13-4-1
Fumbles-lost 2-0 1-0
Penalties-yards 5-21 5-42
RUSHING — Greater Nanticoke: Zack Fox (14-31), Jaylin Collins (9-(-3)-1), Sam Petrini (4-43-1), Treston Allen (3-7), Alex Fine (2-34), Eugene Gyle (2-1), Lucas Stachowiak (1-6), Mykal Julian (1-4); Shamokin: Knowledge Artis-Jones (11-118-2), Corey Adams (6-13), Wisdom Artis-Jones (4-17-1), Jayce Ginck (2-10), Brett Nye (2-(-9)), Chase Pensyl (1-8), Mason Smith (1-(-3))
PASSING — Greater Nanticoke: Jaylin Collins (0-3-0-0-2), Lucas Stachowiak (0-1-0-0-0); Shamokin: Brett Nye (11-13-179-4-1)
RECEIVING — Greater Nanticoke: None; Shamokin: Ryder Zulkowski (3-80-3), Wisdom Artis-Jones (3-23), Chase Pensyl (2-25), Cam Smith (1-32), Colton Lynch (1-18-1), Isaiah Mumford (1-1)
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