T-D HS Football

Shade earns halftime win over Ferndale

By: By Sean Wechtenhiser

CAIRNBROOK — Looking at the sidelines just before kickoff of Friday night’s Ferndale at Shade game told the story of the evening.
The Panthers had a number of reserve players on the sidelines, but the Yellow Jackets only had a couple of substitutes.
The numbers dwindled even further due to injuries, and the game was halted at halftime, with Shade being awarded a 26-0 victory.
Ferndale was able to force a Shade punt on its first offensive possession, but it was downhill from there for the Yellow Jackets.  A strong running game by Shade and mounting injuries to Ferndale players took their toll. The Panthers spread the football around, getting rushing touchdowns from four different players to score 26 first-half points while keeping the Jackets off the scoreboard.
Before the second half began an announcement was made that Ferndale only had 11 healthy players. The game was halted at that point.
“Our guys played physical, and their guys played physical too,” said Shade coach Don Fyfe.  “That probably had an effect.  Ferndale didn’t back down from anybody.  They are tough kids.”
Shade knows about dealing with injuries.  Last week against Portage, the Panthers lost starting senior quarterback Nash Walker to a knee injury.  With Walker out the Panthers focused on their running game to get the victory.
“That was our goal all week,” Fyfe said.  “With Nash going down we went back to basics.  We really focused on execution.  We basically had seven running plays to each side and our goal was to execute them, and I thought we did that tonight. “
 All the credit to Ferndale.  For only having 14 guys, they really play hard.”
After both teams exchanged punts on their first possession, Shade got going on their second possession.  A 31-yard pass from Chase Kiser to Joe Hudak gave the Panthers a first down on the Ferndale 27 yard line.  Baily Blackburn scored on the next play to give Shade a 7-0 lead.
Shade looked to Tyler Kline to add to their lead later in the quarter.  Kline rumbled for a 37 yard gain to set up the Panthers deep in Yellow Jacket territory.  He capped the drive with a 16 yard scoring run to push the lead to 13-0.
While the Panthers were chewing up yards on the ground, the Ferndale offense struggled against the Shade defense.  The Yellow Jackets ran the ball 17 times for -29 yards in the first half, and completed only two passes for 18 yards.
“We kind of got more aggressive this week defensively,” said Fyfe.  “We started to put a little bit of a blitz package in and we used that tonight.  Hopefully, going forward, that is something to build off of.”
A short punt by Ferndale set up Shade’s third touchdown.  Logan Glessner rumbled 54 yards after the short punt to put Shade up 20-0.  The Panthers capped the scoring on a three yard scoring scamper by Ted Dunagan that set the eventual final score at 26-0.
Ferndale (0-4) is scheduled to play at home against Meyersdale next week, while Shade (2-2) will travel to Conemaugh Valley.  The Panthers’ game against the Blue Jays was originally scheduled for Saturday afternoon, but was moved to Friday night.
“It’s going to be fun,” said Fyfe.  “We’re excited.  We’re going there.  They are bringing lights in, so it is going to be a Friday night game so it should be a great atmosphere.  We’re looking forward to going there and playing under those circumstances. It’s going to be fun.”