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Magnolia Opens In Dominant Fashion

By Staff | Sep 2, 2015

Photo by Bruce Crawford Above, Magnolia’s Nick Priem gets a block from Hunter Brill (50) and another teammate on his way to the Blue Eagles’ first score. Below, Magnolia gang tackles Shadyside quarterback Billy Johnson.

His team ahead by a truckload of points and taking over with 8:46 remaining, Magnolia coach Josh Sims decided it was time to send a message. The thing is, it had absolutely nothing to do with Shadyside.

The Blue Eagles had a tough time down the stretch in several games last season and the coaching staff wanted to find out of the gate exactly what it had in that area.

No problem.

Chase Streets (12 carries, 75 yards) culminated an 85-yard, eight-play drive with a 1-yard TD run for the game’s final points in a 40-0 Magnolia victory Friday night at Alumni Field.

“That was more for my team to let them know we have to finish and dominate,” Sims said.

Message received.

The Blue Eagles (1-0) were superior in every facet, limiting the Tigers (0-1) to 4 yards rushing on 36 carries and 106 overall.

Offensively, Magnolia ran for 231 yards and five touchdowns, with three different players finding the end zone en route to snapping Shadyside’s 32-game, regular-season winning streak.

“We’re hearing so much about we’re going to be good, we’re going to be great,” Sims said. “We don’t believe that yet.

“We still have work to do. That was one (victory) and we want 13 more.”

The Tigers are green in many areas, not the least of which is on the interior, and it showed. They were moved off the ball both offensively and defensively. There wasn’t much room for Shadyside backs and conversely, at times the Blue Eagles picked up yardage in chunks.

“We knew we were youthful and we’ve got some things to overcome,” Tigers coach Mark Holenka said. “We couldn’t even keep it close after a certain point.

“We’re kind of a soft team right now.”

Magnolia opened the floodgates at 6:17 of the first quarter when quarterback Nick Priem bowled in from the 1 to end a nine-play drive.

Kyell Wilson blocked the ensuing Shadyside punt which set the Blue Eagles up at the 30-yard line. Five plays later Tyler Anderson (13 carries, 68 yards) scored the first of his two touchdowns, this one from 4 yards away.

The special teams issues reared their head again for the Tigers on the next possession, as the snap went over the head of punter Shadow Gibson resulting in a 19-yard loss and Magnolia getting the ball at the Shadyside 25. Anderson capped that short drive with a 1-yard score to make it 20-0 at halftime.

In the meantime, first-year Shadyside quarterback Billy Johnson was taking a beating. He was sacked four times in the first half and hit hard several others. It went from bad to worse when he was hit after throwing a pass in the early stages of the third quarter and stayed on the ground clutching his knee.

That brought sophomore Josh Zandon into the contest, and the relentless Blue Eagles didn’t give up. His first pass was intercepted by Streets and senior Kyle Ritz, after missing all of last year, forced a fumble on the next possession with his second sack.

That set up a Priem to Brandon Mason 18-yard scoring strike.

The Tigers’ lone scoring threat was the result of recovering a fumble at the Magnolia 21. It took eight plays and a pass interference call to get them to the 1, but the drive ended with a fumble.

Two plays later Blue Eagles sophomore Brooks Parsons took a hand-off to the outside and beat everyone 94 yards down the sideline for a touchdown.

“We don’t want superstars or that one guy dominating the ball,” Sims said. “We want everyone involved and we think that really helps with chemistry, too.

Defensively, Carter Seckman recorded eight solo tackles, three assists. Recorded two tackles that went for loss of yardage and had a quarterback sack.

Hunter Brill dropped nine Tigers, while Brooks Parsons pulled down eight Tigers by the tail. Paden McConaughey made five solo tackles, two of which went for loss of yardage and made a pair of quarterback sacks. Tyler Anderson also made five solo tackles, but added two assists. Chase Streets made an interception, while Zach Haught made three solo stops and blocked a punt. Kyle Ritz on his fist game back after missing the entire 2014 season saw double and triple teams, but still recorded four solo’s, one for loss of yardage and had a sack, and forced two fumbles.

After halting the Shadyside winning streak, the Eagles will now try to be the first team to beat the defending Class-A Champions Williamstown Yellowjackets in Williamstown Friday night at 7 p.m.

Staff Writer Bruce Crawford contributed to this story.