SHIPPENSBURG >> Despite a two-score lead, Shippensburg played a sloppy first half in its home opener against West York in a non-conference game on Friday.
But five plays of offense in the third and fourth quarters changed the narrative quickly, and the Greyhounds pulled away in the second half for a 38-0 win over the Bulldogs.
“Honestly, we needed a game like this,” Ship coach Eric Foust said. “We didn’t practice well all week, and it showed early in this game. I think it kind of woke us up a little bit.”
Trailing 12-0 to start the third quarter, the Bulldogs (0-2) were forced to punt from their own 27. But the snap sailed over the punter’s head, and Shippensburg (2-0) took over on the West York 5. Jacob Loy scored from five yards out on the next play.
After a quick three-and-out by West York, Ship took over on its own 32. Alex Sharrow started the drive with a 38-yard run, followed by a 30-yard run by Loy for a touchdown and a 25-0 lead.
After another Bulldog punt, Shippensburg took over at its own 25, but Sharrow needed just one play to run 75 yards for the score. After a big punt return set up another short field for Ship, Zack Manning hit Nick Gustafson for 14 yards on the first play of the drive to put the Hounds up 38-0.
Shippensburg ultimately scored four touchdowns in a total of five offensive plays. Sharrow finished the game with six carries for 165 yards.
After a strong start to last season, Sharrow suffered a season-ending shoulder injury, but he, along with his big-play ability, has returned for his senior season with lofty goals.
“I’m just trying to show what I’m made of,” Sharrow said. “Last year didn’t end how I wanted it to, so I’m just out here trying to give it my all on every play.”
Said Ship coach Eric Foust, “He’s such a problem in the open field. We just need to monitor him and keep him healthy. But he is special. His speed is a game-changer.”
Max Kalb kicked off the scoring for Ship with a 50-yard run, and a 53-yard run by Sharrow set up a 27-yard pass from Manning to Isaiah Houser to put the Hounds up 12-0. But outside of a couple of big plays, the Bulldog defense held Ship at bay for much of the first half.
Foust said, “I thought they came out and punched us in the mouth. They came out playing very hard, but I think they just got tired out. Like I said, I’m glad we had a game like this where we struggled early and were still able to come out with the win.”
Loy finished with 11 carries for 78 yards for Ship, and Kalb had 75 yards on seven rushes. Manning finished 5 of 9 with two touchdowns and an interception, and Houser finished with two catches for 46 yards.
For West York, Terraj DeShields led all runners with 35 yards on 13 carries, and Corey Wise finished 6-for-20 with 93 yards.
Shippensburg defense held the Bulldogs to 133 yards of offense and 40 rushing yards on 29 carries.
SHIPPENSBURG 38, WEST YORK 0
West York 0 0 0 0 — 0
Shippensburg 12 0 19 7 — 38
S — Max Kalb 50 run (kick failed), 9:32
S — Isaiah Houser 27 pass from Zack Manning (run failed), 3:42
S — Jacob Loy 5 run (run failed), 7:44
S — Loy 30 run (Rob West kick)
S — Alex Sharrow 75 run (kick failed)
S — Nick Gustafson 14 pass from Manning (West kick), 11:36
First Downs: WY 11; S 16.Rushes-yards:WY 29-40; S 30-330. Passing:WY 6-20-0; S 5-8-1.Passing Yards:WY 93; S 64. Penalties-yards: WY 11-100; S 8-86.Punts-yards: WY 5-33; S 2-33.Fumbles-lost: WY 0-0; S 0-0.
Rushing: West York, Terraj DeShields 13-35, Joseph DeJesus 6-34, Samir Freeland 2-14, Thomas Counts 1-(-3), Victor Gonzalez 1-(-9), Corey Wise 6-(-31); Shippensburg, Sharrow 6-165, Kalb 7-75, Loy 11-78, Devin Wilson 5-47, Nathan Beam 1-11, Manning 1-(-5).
Passing: West York, Wise 6-20-0, 93 yards; Shippensburg, Manning, 5-8-1, 64 yards.
Receiving: West York, Elijah Lawless 3-45, Avery Handy 1-27, Gonzalez 1-21; Shippensburg, Houser 2-46, Gustafson 2-14, Christian Melendez 1-9.