Greyhounds eliminated as comeback falls short

By JD Davidson
The Solanco Golden Mules built a big lead in the second round of the PIAA District III playoffs in 5A, but fended off a furious Shippensburg second half rally to advance with a 42-35 win.

Shippensburg took the opening kick and got to the Mules 22 before turning it over on downs.  Amari Kerr started the drive with an 11 yard run around left end with 15 being added on for late hit out of bounds.  Kerr for five and Trae Kater for five picked up another first down.  Tucker Chamberlin hit Troy Chamberlin for 11 and a third first down to the Mules 28.  After two runs netted six yards, Tu.Chamberlin mis-fired on third down and his for down pass was just off the finger tips of Erby Weller at the first down mark.

Solanco unleased their stable of running backs with a 16 play 68 yard drive eating up 7:23 of clock.  Cole Harris for four, Elijah Cunningham for nine and four picked up first downs on third down plays to keep the drive alive.  Brody Mellinger with no carries yet on the drive, faked the dive to the fullback and kept it and took it in from six yards out.

Shippensburg was forced to punt on their next two possessions and the Mules took advantage.  A five play 55 yard drive capped by another Mellinger td run of 10.  A 7 play 93 yarder was capped with Mellinger 5 yarder.  The first drive was jumped started by a rare pass from the Golen Mules as Mellinger hit Josiah Forren for 30.  On the second drive Forren had runs of 27 and 30 (was on third and 7).

A fumbled on the Hounds next possession was recovered by David Achuff.  Solanco nine plays and 39 yards later hit paydirt again for 28-0 lead.  After a ten yard holding penalty on Solanco a controversial pass interference on the Hounds made it third and two.  Mellinger kept it for eight and the first and Forren capped the drive with a six yard run and it looked like the rout was on.

But hold on the Hounds got up off the mat and put their first points on the board.  A six play 55 yard drive.  Kerr again jumped started the drive with an 11 yard run.  On third and 14 Tu.Chamberlin hit Jay Gonzalez out of the backfield for 19 and the first.  Tu.Chamberlin found Weller for 27 down to the Solanco two.  Tu.Chamberlin on a one yard sneak got the Hounds on the board.

At the half the Golden Mules had rushed for 217 yards and held the Hounds to 99 yards of total offense.

Solanco tried to put the game away quickly with a 4 play 47 yard drive that took less than two minutes.  Kater’s kickoff went of a Mules player at the ten and rolled to the one, Forren then picked it up was off.  Kater the last line of defense made the stop 52 yards later at the Shippensburg 47 (Kater beat two Solanco blockers to make the td saving stop).  Forren did punctuate the drive with an 18 yard td run.

Shippensburg answered with back to back scoring drives to cut the lead to 35-21.  The first drive a 13 play 67 yarder was capped by a Kater three yard run.  Tu.Chamberlin hit Weller for four yards and a first on fourth and one.  Tu.Chamberlin found Tr.Chamberlin for 16 on third and nine and Tucker ran for five yards on third and two.

Diesel Koser’s onside kick was recovered by Everson Weller at the Mules 45.  Three runs and paydirt for the Hounds.  Kerr for 22 to start it and Kater with 10 and 13 for the score.

Solanco was relentless as they methodically put together a nine play 65 yard scoring drive.  Forren for 18, 12 and 11 picked up first downs.  Harris finally got into the scoring act after doing most of the dirty work with a 3 yard run.

Up 42-21 the Mules couldn’t stop the Hounds in the second half as Shippensburg posted the next two scores.

A quick three play 61 yard drive was capped by a Tu. Chamerlin  bomb to Tr. Chamberlin that covered 48 yards.  The PAT, however, was blocked.

Shippensburg’s defense got their second stop of the Mules offense on the next possession.  After a 41 yard run by Mellinger set the Mules up at the Ship 15. Julian Njau stopped Harris after a five yard gain.  Patrick Reed and Koser on back to back plays stuffed Mellinger for no gain.  On fourth down Njau tacked Forren after a four yard gain, but they were a yard short.

Shippensburg’s offense responded rewarding the defense with a five play 94 yard scoring drive.  Shippensburg only saw second down once in the drive.  Tu. Chamber to Kater for 33 to start, followed up hitting Weller for 22 and 7.  A pass interference penalty on second gave the Hounds another first.  Tu.Chamberlin hit Weller for 12 more to the five and finished it off with a 5 yard bullet to Kater on a slant.  Tu. Chamberlin scrambled on the two point try and a little flip to Weller cut the lead to seven with 3:25 left.

A 15 yard penalty on Solanco after the score was assessed on the kickoff.  Kater kicked it deep and the ball just trickled into the endzone as the Hounds were bearing down on it.  The Golden Mules ran six plays and picked up two first downs to seal the win.

In the second half the Hounds outgained the Mules 250-197.

For the game the Mules had 59 runs for 414 yards.  Forren 171, Mellinger 125 and Harris 94 for the Mules.  Tu. Chamberlin threw for 224, Weller caught seven for 87, Tr. Chamberlin 3 for 75 and Kater two for 38.  Solanco had 23 first downs and the Hounds 19.  On the defensive side Steve Jones had 12 tackles 8 solo, Kaden Shop nine with 4 solo, Koser and Njau 8 tackles each.  Solanco only had one play go for loss (the kneel down at the end was also a loss) and that was for one yard.

For the seniors careers Kerr ends with 2035 yards rushing on 270 attempts and 14 Tds.  Kerr 1385 on 211 attempts and 23 tds, 16 for 215 receiving 3 Tds.  Tu. Chamberlin 100 for 180 yards rushing and 7 tds, 149-283-12  2381  32tds passing.  Weller 79-1599 19 tds receiving 35-434 returns and punting 41-1445 (35.2 avg).  Scoring Kerr with 150, Weller 122, Kater 122, Henry 60, Tu.Chamberlin 57 and Koser 24.

On Defense Jaxson Funson 77 solo 81 assists 158 total, Njau 56 28  84 (10 for a loss), Koser 37 47 84 (6.5 for loss) 3 fumble recoveries, Benjamin 34 total, Kater 32 total 4 ints and 6 pass breakups, Kerr 29 total 4.5 for a loss and 5 sacks, Gonzalez 39 total 4 ints 4 pass break ups.

Underclassmen Shope 101 tackles lead the team this season, Cody Wenner 80, Ev

Categories: Football, Shippensburg