T-D HS Football

Tussey Mountain moves past Shade


SAXTON — Speed and big plays go hand in hand, and Tussey Mountain used both against visiting Shade Saturday night in a District 5-A semifinal contest. Darrin Sipes ran for 113 yards and three touchdowns in a 41-8 win over the Panthers.
The Titans (10-2) celebrated the first 10-win season in school history. They are also in the District 5-A championship game for the first time since 2005, and looking for their first title since 1988. Top-seeded Berlin Brothersvalley, coming off a 14-7 win over Meyersdale Friday, is in Tussey Mountain’s way for that hardware next Friday at a site to be determined.
The Panthers (6-6) scored first, but the Titans quickly tied the game at 8-8. Shade couldn’t cash in on a fourth-and-goal from the 1. Tussey Mountain then went the length of the field for a touchdown and the game belonged to the Titans the rest of the way.
“It’s a great feeling,” Tussey Mountain head coach Josh Smith said of the team’s 10th win. “We’re not satisfied though. Berlin will be a tough foe. We have to come ready to play.”
Shade head coach Don Fyfe praised his opponent for being such a tough team to defend.
“They have great team speed. We would make great plays and then we would get gouged by one. We couldn’t consistently stop that running attack. They’re a really good football team.”
Shade went 77 yards in eight plays to reach the end zone with 5:05 left in the first quarter. Nash Walker hit fullback Tyler Kline with a short swing pass, but he broke a tackle and went 80 yards down the left sideline for the touchdown. Walker then ran for the 2-point conversion.
The Titans only needed four plays to tie the game. Sipes took the ball off the left tackle, cut back to the middle and ran 40 yards to the end zone. Daniel Taylor took the pitch out in to tie the score at 8-8 with 3:27 to go in the opening quarter.
Shade drove the ball 67 yards down to the Tussey Mountain 1-yard line. Kline had 35 yards on the drive that the Panthers did not throw a pass. Matt Kline made the stop against Tyler Kline.
“That definitely had a big impact on the game. If they score it could be a shootout the whole game,” Smith remarked.
Shade held the Titans on the one-yard line for a third down and 12 yards to go. Quinn Barnett dropped back and found Sipes down field for a 46-yard gain. Sipes had a 23-yard run before scoring from five yard out to give the Titans a 15-8 lead with 5:43 remaining in the first half.
“Then they had the goal line stand and stopped us, you could see it our guys’ eyes when they came off the field,” Fyfe commented. “Then we gave up a touchdown. We weren’t quite playing with the passion we had in the first half.”
The Titans forced a punt from the Panthers and scored before halftime. Barnett ran for 21 yards on third and 10. Kyle Kline picked up 12 yards up the middle and Barnett threw 27 yards to Taylor, who made a great leaping catch over Walker for the touchdown. BJ Spangler blocked Curtis Wentz’ extra-point, but the Titans led 21-8 at the break.
Shade had 94 yards rushing in the first half. Tussey Mountain took charge in the second half and allowed only three more yards on the ground in the second half.
The Titans started the third quarter with a nine-play, 62-yard scoring drive. Sipes scored on an 8-yard run, but the point after was no good so the score was 27-8.
Walker threw for 28 yards on fourth and two to Mitch Napora, but the Titans stopped the Panthers when the snap went high over Walker’s head and Wyatt Brumbaugh recovered the football.
Sipes ran for a 13-yard touchdown with 1:03 left in the third quarter to make the score 34-8.
Andrew Black picked up the final score of the game on a 13-yard run with 2:27 left in the fourth quarter.
“We fought to the end and that’s all I ask of these guys,” Fyfe remarked. “We have a lot to build on. This isn’t going to be our last go around.”