As far as season openers go, things couldn’t have gone much worse for the Shadle Park Highlanders.
Their 28-0 shutout loss to the visiting Lewiston Bengals showed just how far they have to go if they want to compete for a 3A playoff spot. Shadle was pushed around at the line of scrimmage and had a tough time containing Lewiston’s stable of big running backs.
The Shadle offense was its own worst enemy much of the night. The Highlanders gained only four first downs the entire game – two in each half – and sputtered each time they reached the red zone.
Quarterback Carson Doyle was just 5-of-18 passing for 60 yards with one interception. That lone interception was costly, as Shadle was driving when Doyle’s pass was tipped and ended up in the hands of Lewiston’s Kyle Alford in the end zone.
Shadle’s defense had its moments, but it couldn’t overcome Lewiston’s 162 rushing yards.
The Bengals handed the ball to four backs, with sophomore Michael Bramlett leading the way with 111 rushing yards.
“We just run guys who keep grinding it out,” Lewiston coach Matt Pancheri said. “We’ve got some guys, we have a sophomore and they’re big kids. We just keep rotating those guys.”
After a scoreless first quarter, Treyce Bradley’s 4-yard run put the Bengals on the board.
Lewiston quarterback Tyson Wallace connected with Connor Spencer for a 12-yard touchdown pass to extend the lead.
Shadle stopped Lewiston on fourth-and-one late in the first half, escaping to the locker room trailing by two touchdowns. The Highlanders’ opening drive of the second half saw them threaten briefly, but a costly holding penalty took them out of he red zone and they were forced to punt.
Bradley had his second touchdown of the game on a 50-yard run up the middle. Wallace and Spencer connected for another touchdown, this one from 80 yards midway through the third quarter.
For the Bengals, the win was comforting after a one-point loss last week to Idaho Falls.
“What we hoped to do this week was play better defensively,” Pancheri said.
Wallace was an efficient 12-for-15 passing with 274 yards and the two touchdowns. Spencer and Colt Jacobs led the way receiving with 101 and 103 yards, respectively.
Shadle receiver Xavier Atkins had two catches for 59 yards. Running back Klouse Albers collected 62 yards on the ground.
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