By Dan Stillwell
Register-Herald Sports Writer
There’s no truth to the rumor Shady Spring and James Monroe switched uniforms.
Yet fans watching Shady’s 40-6 win over visiting James Monroe might have been justified in scratching their heads.
Shady Spring with more running yards than passing yards?
James Monroe opening up its air attack?
Tigers senior running back Jordan Palchesko ran for 148 yards on 13 carries and scored four touchdowns. Senior backfield mate Houstin Syvertson gained 139 yards on eight carries.
“Jordan and Houstin followed their blockers, and the line opened up some big holes,” Shady coach Vince Culicerto said. “The boys blocked well, and we executed well.”
It wasn’t that Tigers all-state quarterback Adam Weeks had an off-night.
No, his line gave him time to throw, and the senior completed 10 of 18 passes for 121 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. The majority of his incompletions were dropped.
“You give Adam time like that, when we send out five guys a lot of times, and he’s going to find one of them,” Culicerto said. “He stepped up in the pocket and found people.”
But he really didn’t have to pass that much. Palchesko and Syvertson were on top of their games.
“They have some really big backs with good speed, and they got them loose on us,” Mavericks coach Don Jackson said. “It made it tough.”
Disaster hit James Monroe (2-5) early. On its second possession, a fumble gave the Tigers the ball on the Mavs’ 7. Palchesko took it in on the next play for a 6-0 lead.
Eight plays later, James Monroe’s hard-charging senior running back, Micah Deskins, injured his shoulder. He tried later to return, but was ineffective.
That meant the Mavs had to turn to sophomore quarterback Reed McNeer to move the ball. He had his moments, completing 12 of 22 passes for 132 yards, but threw two interceptions, both to Palchesko.
Substitute running back Brian Young, a 5-foot-5, 130-pound junior, ran hard and gained 54 yards on 10 carries.
But Shady’s defense was dominant. The Mavs’ only score came in the final period on a two-yard scamper by McNeer.
“We don’t have a lot of depth, and they’re a lot bigger,” Jackson said. “They got on us, but we didn’t quit.”
Culicerto was delighted with Palchesko’s all-around effort. Besides the runs and interceptions, he also caught three passes for 52 yards.
“Jordan has been doing that all year. He even threw for extra points in one game,” Culicerto said. “The two interceptions are what I’m most proud of. He’s missed a few, but he got him two tonight.”
Jackson said James Monroe is young but shows promise for the future.
“We play a lot of sophomores, and just five seniors. It looks good down the road,” he said. “Our two middle schools are real strong.”
The Mavericks get this week off before traveling to Liberty Oct. 19.
Shady moves to 3-3 with the win, and is looking for a strong finish.
“It’s got to be go time,” he said. “We got down a little bit, losing to Oak Hill, but we got back up. We still have four games.”
The Tigers play Friday at Wyoming East.
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Shady Spring 40, James Monroe 6
JM (2-5) 0 0 0 6 — 6
SS (3-3) 19 14 7 0 — 40
SS: Jordan Palchesko 7 run (Pass failed), 8:10
SS: Zack Wayne 12 pass from Adam Weeks (Pass failed), 3:07
SS: Palchesko 61 run (Marshall Meadows kick), 0:00
SS: Houstin Syvertson 20 pass from Weeks (Meadows kick), 8:59
SS: Palchesko 3 run (Meadows kick), 4:24
SS: Palchesko 25 run (Meadows kick), 2:31
JM: Reed McNeer 2 run (Rush failed), 4:36
RUSHING — JM: Micah Deskins 8-11, Brandon Carter 5-5, McNeer 11-10-1, Brian Young 10-54, Tyler Moore 6-5, Landon Shires 2-0, Shane Mohler 1-5, Jeffrey Lewis 3-1. SS: Syvertson 8-139-1, Palchesko 13-148-4, Trace Farmer 3-11, Elliot Halstead 2-9, Zack Elmore 1-4.
PASSING — JM: McNeer 12-22-2, 132-0; Moore 0-1-0, 0. SS: Weeks 10-18-0, 121-2.
RECEIVING — JM: Nathan Wilson 2-22, John Mustain 2-28, E.T. Weiss 6-74, Deskins 1-10, Moore 1-(-2). SS: Wayne 1-12-1, Syvertson 4-46-1, Palchesko 3-52, Juwan Rowe 1-1, Nathan Gillian 1-10.
TURNOVERS — JM: unidentified (FR). SS: Cody Lowe (FR, Palchesko (2 INT).