Shadyside Thumps Magnolia, 50-20
SHADYSIDE — Coming off two tough losses to Martins Ferry and Bellaire to begin the season, Shadyside was due for a break-out performance.
And the Tigers delivered in a big way.
Using an extremely balanced offense, Shadyside rang up 432 yards and its first unit scored on every possession it had in a 50-20 rout of Magnolia on turf dedication night at Fleming Field.
“Once you play with a little bit more confidence, you begin to develop a little bit more efficiency,” Shadyside head coach Mark Holenka said. “That’s what we did to win the game. I thought we did a good job of taking care of business.”
It didn’t seem to matter what Shadyside dialed up offensively. It was going to work against a Blue Eagles team that is now 0-2 on the season.
The Tigers did an impressive job of spreading the wealth, too. Junior quarterback Rhys Francis was impressive throwing the ball to a tune of 13-of-15 for 220 yards and a touchdown. Classmate Wyatt Reiman — a returning All-Ohioan — had his biggest game of the season, carrying 11 times for 92 yards and two touchdowns.
All told, the Tigers had five players score a touchdown.
“I think we grew (offensively),” Holenka said. “We cut down on our penalties. We ran and threw the ball well.”
Though disappointed with the loss, Magnolia head coach Doc Chapman saw improvement from his club, which was led by diminutive senior running back Jason Beisel, who rushed for 110 yards and scored two touchdowns, covering 24 and 60 yards.
“Shadyside is a good football team, but I credit our kids because we’re a better team than we were last Friday (against Ritchie County),” Chapman said. “When you play teams like Shadyside, you can’t afford mistakes. You have to play flawless, especially when they’re opening a new stadium and their kids were really amped up.”
The Tigers caused some Blue Eagle mistakes. Sean Grinch’s defense pounced on a fumble, which led to a touchdown and freshman Karl Tsoras picked off a pass that led to a touchdown late in the first half.
On top of that, Shadyside’s final score of the first half, which was a 6-yard burst by Reiman was set up by a botched snap on a Magnolia punt.
Along with the aforementioned junior weapons, Shadyside also gave Magnolia a strong dose of rugged senior Jacob Visnic, who scored twice on runs of 3 and 8 yards.
Francis’ lone touchdown pass went to senior Jordan Joseph from 6 yards out. That ended the night for the Tigers’ first unit and triggered the OHSAA mercy rule. But, the majority of the fourth was played under regular timing rules because of Beisel’s scoring jaunts.
While Joseph caught the touchdown, junior Mason Vannest was Francis’ favorite target. He caught 4 passes for 89 yards.
Shadyside freshman Ethan Stanley capped the scoring when he plunged in from 5 yards out. He had a strong game, finishing with 63 yards on 11 carries.
Tiger place kicker Angel Velasquez enjoyed a strong night, connecting on five PATs and a 27-yard field goal.