By Gary Fauber
Assistant Sports Editor
NEW RICHMOND —
Shady Spring coach Vince Culicerto hears the snide comments, about how his team can walk all over its Class AA opponents, but can’t touch those in the Class AAA pool.
Not exactly the reputation a triple-A school wants.
That dominance of the lower level continued Friday with a 36-7 win over Class AA No. 9 Wyoming East. Senior running backs Houstin Syvertson and Jordan Palchesko went over 100 yards for the second straight week as the Tigers (4-3) went over .500 for the first time this season.
It was a dominating performance. Shady put up 462 yards of total offense and held Jacob Summe, a 1,000-yard rusher, to 27 yards on nine carries.
But Culicerto wants his team to shed that unwanted reputation — all four of the Tigers’ wins have come against Class AA teams, and all three losses to Class AAA.
“This team has been labeled as a double-A killer (and) we haven’t won a triple-A game,” he said. “They are taking it personal.”
The Warriors (5-3) were never in this one. They could not stop the tandem of Syvertson and Palchesko, who combined for 249 of Shady’s 308 rushing yards.
Syvertson finished with 127 yards on 21 carries, while Palchesko had 122 on 11 rushes. Each scored two touchdowns.
The Tigers controlled the game up front on both sides. They ran 37 plays in the first half compared to just 15 for the Warriors, who had only one first down before halftime.
“We knew what they like to do, which is control the ball and run at you,” Culicerto said. “So we made sure to work on that (in practice) this week and tell our boys that we’ve got to stop them running to win this ballgame.”
“They are strong up front, and (Tigers quarterback Adam) Weeks is as good as they get,” Wyoming East coach Gary Poindexter said. “Our game plan was to put pressure on him, and we did, and he still is so big and strong back there and completed a couple passes back there with a couple people hanging on him.”
Weeks did not have a touchdown pass, but he completed 15 of 24 passes for 154 yards. He scored on a 2-yard run in the fourth quarter.
The Warriors had a difficult time bringing anyone down, but seemed to have particular trouble dealing with Palchesko. He scored on runs of 7 and 11 yards, and also caught five passes for 69 yards.
“That’s the way that boy runs,” Culicerto said. “It’s like he crawls up your back. He’s hard to bring down, and if you do bring him down, he’s going to lay a lick on you.”
Wyoming East avoided the shutout when quarterback Aaron Griffith connected with Christian Hedinger on a 15-yard touchdown with 2:02 to play.
Griffith wound up leading the Warriors in rushing with 43 yards on 11 carries. He was 7 of 19 passing for 84 yards.
The Warriors, who lost a chance to vault into the top 8 with a win over a Class AAA team, will take next week off before hosting Independence Friday, Oct. 26.
“It’s disappointing in a way, but we’ve just got to rebound and come back and win the next two,” Poindexter said.
The Tigers, meanwhile, will travel to Point Pleasant next Friday to meet the Class AAA No. 13 Big Blacks. Point and Shady were Nos. 1 and 2 most of last season but never met.
“We’re ready for it,” Culicerto said. “We’ve got to get this win to get a little bit of clout to us.”
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Shady Spring 36, Wyoming East 7
SS (4-3) 7 10 7 12 — 36
WE (5-3) 0 0 0 7 — 7
SS: Jordan Palchesko 7 run (Marshall Meadows kick), 4:37.
SS: Houstin Syvertson 8 run (Meadows kick), 3:58.
SS: Meadows 37 FG, :03.3.
SS: Palchesko 11 run (Meadows kick), 2:57.
SS: Adam Weeks 2 run (kick failed), 10:50.
SS: Syvertson 2 run (pass failed), 5:56.
WE: Christian Hedinger 15 pass from Aaron Griffith (Chris Cecil kick), 2:02.
RUSHING — SS: Syvertson 21-127, Palchesko 11-122, Jonathan Hardy 2-52, Weeks 6-4, Elliott Halstead 1-3. WE: Griffith 11-43, Jacob Summe 9-27, Nik Walker 1-11, Chase Lowman 1-3, Cecil 1-2, Josh Tunstalle 1-(-4).
PASSING — SS: Weeks 15-24-1-154, Syvertson 0-2-1-0. WE: Griffith 7-19-0-84.
RECEIVING — SS: Palchesko 5-69, Syvertson 4-49, Nathan Gillian 4-20, Juwan Rowe 2-16. WE: Hedinger 2-59, Summe 2-14, Jacob Dulcie 2-3, Ty Treadway 1-8.
TURNOVERS — SS: Syvertson (FR), Palchesko (FR). WE: Hunter Simmons (FR), Cody Justus (INT), Hedinger (INT).