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Written by: Billy Splain on Saturday, September 8th, 2018
Shoemaker and teammate Josh Snyder celebrate after his 64 yard td
When you’ve got a guy like Treyson Potts on the field, you can’t help but hold your breath as he gets the ball. For the Berwick Bulldogs, they didn’t hold their breath, they held the Minnesota bound tailback to 29 yards on 15 carries. Meanwhile, as Berwick assistant Eddie Walker said, “we got a pretty good back of our own”…or you COULD say Owen as in Owen Shoemaker. The 5-9, 200 pound senior out shined everyone on the field rushing for 243 yards on 26 carries, scoring three times earning him the PAFootballNews.com Player of the Game.
PAFootballNews.com Player of the Game
Just before the halftime break, the score stood at 20-17 and Berwick was threatening to put the game away early, reaching the 5 yard line with just over a minute to play but Marcus Simmons stepped in front of an Alex Force pass to stop the threat, but it was short lived as Berwick came out and dominated the second half. Berwick head coach Frank Sheptock saw that as a key moment: “We thought that was a key situation. We thought we could go up big at half time. What a great testament to their resiliency to come out and play so well in the second half”.
Berwick used a punishing ground game, a key throw by Force and a few long runs to eventually pull away from the Millionaires in the second half to move to 3-0 with a 41-17 win in Williamsport. The first half was a slugfest with each team trading blows. Both teams were forced to punt, but it was Potts who threw the first punch returning a Berwick punt to the Dawgs 4, but the Berwick defense, led by Mason Laubach, set the tone for the night holding the Millionaires to a field goal making it 3-0 with 7:15 left in the first. “Mason is a stud, he’s very close being dominant” said Sheptock.
Berwick struck back with a Force to Schecterly 12 yard td, the kick failed and it was Berwick 6-3 at the 2:05 mark in the first quarter. On the kick, Berwick’s Justin Robbins recovered a fumble at the 31 and Shoemaker made it count going 11 yards several plays later making it 13-3.
A faced paced set of possessions moved the scoreboard quickly. Williamsport QB Joe Fagnano and the Millionaires made it 13-10 on a 4 yard pass to Colin Esposito to pull within three. The td was set up by a return from Potts to the 45, however Berwick’s Teagan Wilk returned the favor and the ensuing kick by getting to the Millionaire 33. Force took that ball in from 2 yards out increasing the lead to 20-10. Fagnano then went 61 yards on the next play from scrimmage, setting up a 5 yard td to Potts making it 20-17. Sheptock knew coming into the game they had to try and contain him. “Anytime you play a team with a great player like Trey Potts it brings out the best in your team and that showed tonight. When he gets the ball in space, it’s a nightmare.”
Getting the kickoff to start the second half, Berwick moved quickly when Force found Blake Maurer over the middle for a 51 yard td, essentially putting the game out of reach for the Dawgs 27-12 with 10:55 to go in the third. “Great read by Alex. We were looking for the slant on the outside and it was covered. Alex comes back to his next read.
Force lines the Dawgs up just before giving the ball to Shoemaker for the last score of the game.
The Berwick defense stood up forcing another Millionaire punt and once again Wilk put his team in great position, returning the kick to the Williamsport 25. The Millionaires held and from here the defenses of both teams stood tall until the beginning of the fourth quarter when Shoemaker got loose on a 64 yard td run. He closed out the scoring with a 3 yard td run. “First of all I have to give all the credit to my line. They opened up huge holes for me and it made it seem easy”.
For Williamsport head coach Chuck Crews, he’s still optimistic after his teams second straight loss. “Hey, we played good football. It’s still a long season. I’m not pleased with the outcome, but I’m pleased with how we played. We can still win the conference, we can still be in the playoffs. The only thing we can’t do is go undefeated.”
Berwick moves to 3-0 and will travel to 3-0 Wyoming Valley West while the Millionaires will look to get back on track at 1-2 Hazleton.
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