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PREP FOOTBALL: Shepherd gets shut out by Hemlock

The Shepherd Bluejays took on the Hemlock Huskies at home Friday night looking for their first win of the season.

Despite some flashes of success, none of the efforts of Shepherd’s offense resulted in points on the board as it fell to 0-5 via a 35-0 setback.

“Where we’re at in this program, we have to learn how to win. Right now we are struggling with that, whether it’s punching it in at the end of the half or sustaining drives. We got in the red zone a few times and just sort of petered out,” said Shepherd head coach Nathan Ferency following the game.

The Huskies (2-3, 1-3) came out and dominated the clock early on, devoting to the run for the entirety of their first drive. Starting from their own 16 yardline, they marched the length of the field, scoring on the legs of fullback Austin York from the 1-yardline.

The first score of the night came with 5:36 left in the first quarter, milking more than seven minutes from the clock before the host Bluejays got their first crack at offense.

In their second drive of the night Hemlock was able to continue its success on the ground, utilizing a triple option attack that seemed to confuse everyone but the ball carrier.

The Huskies scored again, a between-the-tackles run from the 6 yardline, by running back Austin Keyser.

The Bluejays responded though, countering with an option attack of their own and the first pass of the night by either team being a slant route to sophomore Skyler Neyome that kept the drive progressing on a 3rd-and-long.

Shepherd continued to effectively move the ball down the length of the fiel, and momentum finally seemed to be turning in its favor.

Yet as the Bluejays neared the red-zone a botched snap would make coach Ferency decide to go for it on 4th-and-long, resulting in quarterback Nick Sponseller being hit as he threw, and an interception for the hHskies being returned back down to the 10-yardline.

“There was a lot of good things we saw, but we just have to get back to work. Our seniors still have a lot of goals and hopefully we’re able to focus on that,” Ferency said.

After a few attempts Hemlock quarterback Austin Apsey found the end zone on the ground, bringing the score to 21-0 Hemlock with 4:09 left in the half.

Once Again Shepherd was able to gain yardage primarily on the ground, orchestrating a drive that would take it to the 1-yardline.

With no time outs remaining and less then 10 seconds left on the clock, the Bluejays scrambled back to the line of scrimmage but were unable to execute a play before time expired in the half.

After exchanging possessions back and forth in the third quarter Hemlock got the ball and Ethan Apsey seemingly sealed the deal on a 55-yard touchdown run.

Apsey’s second touchdown of the night would make the score 28-0, with less than a quarter left to play.

Hemlock’s Keyser followed suit on the next possession with his second score of the night, this one a 44-yard dash. The PAT bounced in off the upright and it was 35-0.

On a bizarre play, the ensuing kickoff struck the helmet of a Shepherd player who unlucky enough to be in the way. The ball bounced directly back into the hands of Hemlock, who took control with a commanding lead, and dwindling clock.

Brandon Stressman led the Bluejays with 154 yards on the ground on 36 carries.





Last Updated: 9/27/2013 10:38:34 PM EST

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