WAYNESBORO – There’s something to be said for watching a town’s high school varsity football team play in front of a home crowd.
And, while it doesn’t exactly remove the sting of a loss, the unconditional support received on a fall Friday night lends perspective to the fact that, like other sports, football is something students do because they want to and not because it’s compulsory – like attending school.
The above statement isn’t a rationale for a defeat, only an observation that this too shall pass, and that this year’s team has left it all on the field – win or lose.
Another loss befell the Indians, their seventh of the season. The Shippensburg Greyhounds built a 26-0 lead and went on to etch a 30-13 Mid-Penn Colonial Division win at Buchanan Automotive Stadium that improved Shippensburg to 7-2 with a game against Greencastle-Antrim awaiting in the season finale.
Waynesboro will host East Pennsboro on Friday for Senior Night.
“We have so many young guys out there,” said Waynesboro head coach Josh Sprenkle. “The thing that people don’t understand is that we got so used to winning, and this has been a tough year as far as wins and losses go. But if you’re at every game and see how these kids play; they just don’t give up.
“The whole defense graduated and most of the offense. Even Jaylon was a back up quarterback behind Louis Lindsay.”
Senior Mikel Holden scooped up a fumble and evaded tackles on his way to a 16-yard touchdown with 3:47 remaining in the third quarter.
Holden scored on the offensive side of the ball midway through the fourth quarter on a 2-yard run. The score was set up by a 46-yard pass from Frazer-Hewitt to Bean, who made the switch to wide receiver.
Sometimes, effort isn’t enough. It can’t make up for lack of skill or execution. Nor can it impact the amount of talent and skill of opposing teams – many of whom have improved since the last couple seasons and turned the tables on the Indians (Greencastle-Antrim defeated Waynesboro for the first time since 2013 this season).
The Greyhounds jumped out early to a 13-0 first-quarter lead, and two big plays made both scores possible.
Quarterback Tucker Chamberlin made a beautiful arching throw to Troy Chamberlin that covered 63 yards and gave Shippensburg a first down at the Waynesboro 2-yard line. One play later, Trae Kater punched it in for the game’s first score and a 7-0 lead following the extra-point kick.
“They have a tremendous amount of speed out there, and we don’t,” Sprenkle said. “(Tucker Chamberlin) is a really good quarterback and makes plays. We don’t have the big play potential. We don’t have a deep-threat number one receiver.”
The Indians punted after failing to pick up a first down. Jaylon Bean launched a punt that pinned the Hounds at their 13-yard line. Behind a hard-driving offensive line and shifty running, Shippensburg drove the length of the field for its second touchdown. The Greyhounds ran the ball six times that covered 45 yards, including an 18-yard burst and a 13-yard gain by Kater.
Then, on third down at the Tribe 42-yard line, Chamberlin lofted another perfect pass, this time to Kater, who ran the rest of the way for a 13-0 lead.
Bean was intercepted on the second play of Waynesboro’s ensuing possession. But, after a series of major penalties pushed Shippensburg back from the Indians 35 to the Greyhounds 25, the Greyhounds punted.
Waynesboro started at its 6-yard line and managed to get a first down before punting from its 22-yard line.
Shippensburg was on the offensive this time. The Hounds marched 58 yards in five plays, culminating in a 38-yard touchdown run by Amari Kerr with 6:35 to play in the second quarter.
Kater picked off his team’s second pass of the game and returned it 95 yards, typifying the kind of game it was for Sprenkle’s team. The Indians had finally gotten a drive together, with freshman Rayshawn Frazer-Hewitt replacing Bean at quarterback and helping guide the Indians from their 34-yard line to the Greyhounds 14.
“He’s the future of the team,” Sprenkle said of Frazer-Hewitt. “We practiced Ray during the week because Jaylon was limited during the week because he still had a banged up quad muscle. Ray took all the first-team snaps. He was ready as far as understanding the offense. He’s smart and super coachable. It’ll be exciting for him going forward.”
Frazer-Hewitt completed a 12-yard pass to sophomore wide receiver Calvin Myers for a third-down conversion to near midfield. Another sophomore, Ethan Alldredge, ran for 11 yards for another first down. Sophomore Bryan Benedict matched Alldredge’s 11 yards, and Alldredge caught a pass for a seven-yard gain. On fourth down, Frazer-Hewitt tossed a 12-yard completion to Hayden Nolan.