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No. 3 was No. 1 at James Buchanan

September 09, 2006|by BOB PARASILITI

MERCERSBURG, Pa. - The James Buchanan football team found out that numbers don't lie.

Especially if it's the number before the name of an opponent.

"That's why they are the No. 3 team in the state," James Buchanan coach Kevin Gustafson said.

Shenandoah Valley showed why it is ranked third among Class A teams in Pennsylvania, scoring on every possession it had in the first half Friday for a 39-8 victory over the Rockets.

The Blue Devils (2-0) efficiently ran off six touchdowns, shared among three players, to take a 39-0 lead by the intermission, while the Rockets were held to 2 yards of offense on 16 plays. James Buchanan managed one first down, that coming on a penalty.

Shenandoah Valley showed James Buchanan that opposites detract. The Blue Devils made a living out of moving the Rockets in one direction and just countering back to where the defenders once stood to roll to the victory.

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"They controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball," Gustafson said. "That's the way you win games. We knew they had tough runners and were a tough club. ... We tackled poorly."

The Blue Devils set up their attack well, starting most possessions with swing passes before storming up the middle on counter plays to control the ball.

"We did a lot of counter stuff because we knew they like to fly to the ball," Shenandoah Valley coach Nick Sajone said. "They played off on defense and we used the swing passes to bring them up. We sustained some drives today, and that was good because that's what we want to do."

Shenandoah Valley took a 19-0 lead in the first quarter on touchdown runs of 3 and 21 yards by Josh Metkus, sandwiched around a 1-yard plunge by Nick Varga. Meanwhile, James Buchanan was held to a pair of three-and-out series.

The Blue Devils' passing game showed in the second quarter as quarterback Mike Reese connected on scoring strikes to Koury Kaplafka - 12 yards on the first play of the period and 86 yards on the first play of the next possession - to jump to a 33-0 lead.

Varga capped the scoring with a 14-yard score for the 39-point lead with 1:36 remaining in the half. Reese finished 8 of 11 for 172 yards passing while Kaplafka had four catches for 138 yards.

James Buchanan got on the scoreboard in fourth quarter during the running-clock phase of the game. Quarterback Justin Lee hit Macke Hall with a 29-yard score with 4:12 remaining.

JB (0-2) finished with 82 yards of offense - mostly on a 35-yard run by Alex Buterbaugh and the Lee TD pass - and three first downs for the game.

"This was one of the better teams we had on our schedule," Gustafson said. "We just have to keep working."

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