Metaphorically, there was thunder, lightning and a little bit of rain at Shady Spring on Friday.
The combination of the quick and speedy Tyler Bragg and powerful Haven Chapman rained on Wyoming East's chances of winning consecutive games.
The end result was a 35-0 win that extended Shady's winning streak to four games ahead of next week's showdown at Oak Hill.
The combination of Bragg and Chapman accumulated 256 yards and three touchdowns on the ground, as the Tigers only needed to throw three times throughout the evening.
"It was a hard-fought game, but I thought we were aggressive on offense and defense," Shady Spring head coach Vince Culicerto said. "We moved them out and opened up holes and it was just a gritty win. We played tough and defensively we're just hitting well. We might make a little slip, but if we do there's five or six gold jerseys there ready to lay a lick on you. If our offense isn't balanced — we ran the ball a lot tonight — then that's OK. We'll do whatever it takes to win ball games."
The Tigers weren't balanced in their run-pass ratio, but they didn't need to be. The Tigers (5-1) rushed for 170 yards in the first quarter, taking a 21-0 lead and never looking back.
Chapman runs of 15 and 11 yards preceded a five-yard rumble at the 5:04 mark that gave the Tigers the game's first score. A 45-yard run from Chapman following a Warriors punt put the Tigers 15 yards from the end zone on their second drive of the game. At that point Bragg matched Chapman with a 15-yard scamper. The final Shady drive of the quarter ended like the first, with Chapman plowing 22 yards to paydirt.
Wyoming East (2-5) went to the air on its early drives of the game in an attempt to open up the rest of the offense, but the attempts were unsuccessful.
"We thought if we could get rid of the ball quick we could help ourselves," Wyoming East head coach Donald Jewell said. "We thought we could hit those five- and six-yard passes and that could open the box a little more and we could run a little better. That didn't happen, so we went back to our regular offense and we executed up the middle a little bit better."
Part of the Warriors' inability to move the ball was the disruption created by Shady senior Terymykal Alexander. Down 13-0, the Warriors returned a kickoff to the Shady 47-yard line, but back-to-back sacks from Alexander on second and third down crushed any momentum East had.
Alexander's final contribution of the night came at the 11:09 mark of the second quarter when he recovered a fumble on a reverse. The turnover led to another rushing touchdown, this one from Drew Clark.
"He's a beast," Culicerto said of Alexander. "He and Aaron Harmon coming off the edge really created havoc for their offense. We were covering as well. That's a good quarterback (Seth Ross) they have there and we were able to get in his face all night. We applied the pressure and kept it on all night."
The Tigers went on to score one more time when Joe Cantley returned the second half's opening kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown.
Shady now turns its attention to Oak Hill, with whom it shares the No. 11 rating in Class AA. The contest looms large as a factor in the ratings, but also the difference between hosting a playoff game and going on the road.
"They're tough," Culicerto said. "It's a big game with them every year. We've played them every year since I've been the head coach here and they've always been tough. They're a highpowered offense with a good quarterback. We're going to have to settle the nerves and play our football."
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SS (5-1): 21 7 7 0 — 35
WE (2-3): 0 0 0 0 — 0
SS: Chapman 5 run (Kick Bevil), 5:04
SS: Bragg 15 run (Conversion fails), 2:56
SS: Chapman 22 run (Hershberger pass from Cantley), :33
SS: Clark 12 run (Kick Bevil), 8:45
Cantley 80 yard kickoff return (Bevil kick), 11:46
Rushing — SS: Bragg 13-105, Chapman 9-151, Clark 5-39, Harvey 2-16, Jaysen Bolen 2-10. WE: Bower 15-91, Ross 6-(-19), Bailey 1-(-6), Elkins 7-39.
Passing — SS: Clark 3-1-17. WE: Ross 20-8-56.
Receiving — SS: Chapman 1-17. WE: Bishop 4-39, Bower 2-0, Lookabill 2-17