Shadyside scouting report: Turnover-plagued offense has committed 15 miscues
SHADYSIDE, Ohio — On paper, the Shadyside Tigers may look like an easy mark. After all, the Tigers are 1-4 and have scored only 26 points in five games.
But don’t let that record fool you. Just last week the then-0-4 Tigers upset 4-0 Toronto.
And when it comes to tradition, it’s hard to top this tiny school in Belmont County. The Orange and Black have been state runners-up twice, been to a third state semifinal and six other regional finals in the last 15 years. Current head coach Mark Holenka is 62-19 since taking over in 2009.
Three of the Tigers’ four losses have come against teams who currently sit 5-0.
And winning at Fleming Field — the Tigers’ home turf — is no easy task.
Fleming Field is named for Don Fleming, a 1956 Shadyside graduate who died in a construction accident in 1963. Fleming was drafted by the NFL’s Chicago Cardinals and played three seasons with the Cleveland Browns as a defensive back from 1960-1962 following a Hall of Fame baseball career at the University of Florida.
Coach Holenka is regarded as one of the top defensive minds around, but offense is where SHS needs to improve before facing the Chieftains on Friday.
Shadyside is averaging only 118 yards of offense and a paltry 1.63 yards per carry in the running game. Turnovers have also plagued the river men. The Tigers have thrown nine interceptions and lost six fumbles.
Shadyside has played about every type of offense so far this season, lining up with two and three backs in wishbone, I, and wing-T formations but also with an empty backfield and five wide receivers. Using most of the same personnel gives them the flexibility to move from two backs to empty before the snap.
Quarterback Billy Johnson (6-0, 166, junior) is another dual threat. He has completed 28 of 66 passes for 335 yards while being intercepted seven times. Quarterback sacks have negated his rushing stats.
Also in the Tiger backfield are Jesse Cain (5-8, 183, junior) and Alex Krupa (6-2, 180, sophomore). Cain, a tailback, has rushed for team highs in carries (73), yards (219) and touchdowns (three), with Krupa adding 84 yards and one score on 28 carries.
Senior Stevie Doughty (6-1, 185) plays both tight end and running back. Logan Cline (5-11, 150, senior) leads the Tigers with nine catches for 105 yards while Gregory Quinn (5-7, 140, junior) adds six catches for 82 yards.
Mason Campbell (6-5, 237, senior), Cody Hawthorne (5-5, 160, junior), and Connor Banco (6-1, 183, freshman) all play as linemen and as tight ends or running backs.
Campbell, Banco, Eli Karkowski (6-3, 281, senior) and Chaz Davis (5-10, 196, junior) all play tackle with Hawthorne, Dylan Hanson (5-9, 182, sophomore) and Donnie Meadows (6-2, 251, junior) at guard. Dante DeFelice (5-9, 254, senior) is the center.
Considering the inconsistency of the SHS offense, the defense has been downright suffocating. The Orange and Black are holding opponents to under 300 yards of total offense and just 165 yards on the ground.
Starting up front, Krupa and Chase Wade (6-4, 200, senior) are the bookends with Meadows, Campbell, Hawthorne, and Karkowski all playing inside. Campbell can line up all across the defensive front.
Banco is the middle linebacker with Doughty and Hanson playing outside. Hawthorne can also drop back into the middle linebacker post.
Shadow Gibson (5-9, 155, junior) and Cline are the corners with Quinn and Cain occupying the safety positions.
* * *
Logan football historian Spencer Waugh of loganfootball.com previews the Chiefs’ opponent every Thursday in The Logan Daily News. And if you’re not planning to make Friday night’s long road trip, you can once again listen to Logan Chieftain football live on the Internet by logging onto loganfootball.com, where Waugh and Kevin Dunigan will bring the play-by-play.