Shikellamy wins second straight
MIDDLEBURG – The Shikellamy Braves used time of possession to their advantage Friday night to pick up their second consecutive victory to improve to 3-5 on the season.
The Braves topped the Midd-West Mustangs on the road in a 27-6 game.
The Shikellamy Braves possessed the ball for nearly 34 minutes in the 48-minute contest to get the win.
“Credit to our kids, especially our offensive linemen,” said Braves coach Jim Keiser “The line is starting to play really well together. They’re starting to get our system and they’re starting to have a little fun.”
Despite the big time of possession advantage, the Braves found themselves starting from behind just less than a minute and a half into the game. After going three-and-out on its first drive of the game Shikellamy punted to Midd-West’s top weapon, Hunter Wolfley. Wolfley caught the punt at his own 44-yard line and took it all the way back for the game’s opening score.
The 56-yard return with 10:41 remaining in the opening quarter wound up being the lone Midd-West score on the night as Shikellamy rattled off slow, methodical drive after drive to score 27-unanswered points.
Shikellamy got on the scoreboard with just three seconds remaining in the opening quarter. A nine-play drive that took 4:48 off the clock ended with a five-yard run by quarterback Cade Balestrini.
Balestrini scored again later in the night, tacking a pair of touchdowns onto his season total.
In the second quarter the Braves put together another long drive. This drive consumed over half of the entire quarter, and surprisingly wasn’t even the team’s longest drive of the night. Shik drove the ball 71 yards on a 12-play drive that ate six minutes and seven seconds off the clock.
On the final play of the drive, sophomore running back Isaac Shaffer-Neitz scored his first touchdown of the season on a four-yard carry that gave the Braves an eight-point lead headed into the halftime break.
Shikellamy’s first drive of the second half wound up being their longest drive of the night, and it included everything including multiple penalties on both teams and multiple called back scores.
In a penalty-laden sequence in the middle of the drive on a third-down and 12 for the Braves, a Shikellamy holding penalty called back what would have been a 60-yard touchdown pass to John Peiffer. On the following third-and-28, another play that would have been a 48-yard gain for the Braves was called back due to offsetting penalties. On the next third-and-28, Midd-West was hit with a personal foul that gave the Braves new life in the drive which they ended up converting into seven points.
In the end, the drive only covered 61 yards, but took seven minutes and nine seconds off the clock. The drive ended on the 14thplay when Balestrini ran in from a yard away for his second score of the night.
Shik’s final score of the night came on a drive that lasted 5:39 and spanned the end of the third quarter into the beginning of the fourth quarter. Shaffer-Neitz scored to end the drive from 18 yards away for his second score of the night, and the season.
“Overall, we played ok,” said Mustangs’ coach Brad Hatter. “We just didn’t make enough plays to get off the field. Shik had a good game plan but we gave up too many third and longs and fourth and longs.”
Shikellamy was 6-for-11 on third down conversions and were 4-for-5 when going for it on fourth down.
The game ended in a bit of a chippy fashion as both teams ended up needing to be escorted from the field after the teams got into it near mid-field following the final whistle.
Frustration from the Mustangs seemed to boil over on a night where the team was penalized eight times for a total of 106 yards including six personal fouls. Shikellamy also saw their fair share of yellow penalty markers on the night, as the visitors racked up seven penalties for 83 yards that included four personal fouls.
Shikellamy was able to limit Midd-West’s Hunter Wolfley to just 10 rushing attempts on the night, though he did run for a game-high 96 yards. Wolfley did a bit of everything as he accounted for over 190 all purpose yards including the 96 rushing, 28 receiving yards, 10 passing yards and the 56-yard punt return for a touchdown.
Midd-West fell to 1-7 in their third season with a football program. The team currently has a matchup schedules against Newport (2-1) next week.
The Shikellamy offense was led by Drew Balestrini who threw for 204 yards and ran for a pair of touchdowns. The leading rusher for the Braves was Coltyn Sempko who ran for 54 yards on 12 carries.
“This was a big win for our program,” said Coach Keiser. “We’re trying to get things to where Shikellamy should be, back when teams used to fear having to play Shikellamy. The kids are doing a great job. They’ve been working hard, and our defense is playing great.”
Shikellamy (3-5) currently has a matchup with Mifflinburg (4-3) on the schedule for next week.
Shikellamy 27, Midd-West 6
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Shikellamy 7 7 7 6 — 27
Midd-West 6 0 0 0 — 6
MW—Hunter Wolfley 56-yard punt return (PAT No Good), 10:41.
S—Drew Balestrini 5-yard run (Nicholas Koontz PAT Good), 00:03
S—Isaac Shaffer-Neitz 4-yard run (Koontz PAT Good), 3:34.
S—Balestrini 1-yard run (Koontz PAT Good), 2:11.
S—Shaffer-Neitz 18-yard run (PAT No Good), 6:42.
TEAM STATISTICS S MW
First downs 17 5
Total yards 334 141
Rushes-yards 49-130 16-63
Yards passing 204 78
Passing (comp.-att.-int.) 7-13-0 9-13-0
Fumbles-lost 1-0 3-0
Penalties-yards 7-83 8-106
RUSHING—Shikellamy: Coltyn Sempko 12-54, Shaffer-Neitz 7-36 2TD, Gage Wolfe 12-23, Duncan Weir 3-11, Balestrini 14-6 2TD, TEAM 1-0. Midd-West: Wolfley 10-96, Trey Lauver 3-(-6), TEAM 1-(-12), Christian Regester 2-(-15).
PASSING—Shikellamy: Balestrini 7-13 204 yards. Midd-West: Regester 8-12 68 yards, Wolfley 1-1 10 yards.
RECEIVING—Shikellamy: John Peiffer 2-64, Weir 1-50, Connor Fitzgerald 1-41, Davis Marshall 2-34, Sempko 2-15. Midd-West: Eli Swan 3-38, Wolfley 3-28, Everest Wilson 3-13, Lauver 1-(-1).
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