WEST NORRITON — If you want to make the case that numbers don't lie, feel free to utilize those from Saturday afternoon's Norristown-Bishop Shanahan football game.
The host Eagles would finish the day with nine fumbles (losing two), three unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, five sacks against and a whopping seven punts.
Whatever calculator you use for the math, the end product was gridiron futility for Norristown, which just about sums up Shanahan's 31-0 victory.
The visitors shook off a listless first quarter, scored 21 second-quarter points and won going away while limiting their hosts to a single first-half first down, negative yardage on the ground and other eye-popping numbers too painful for the Norristown faithful to contemplate.
"We did not play well,' said a despondent E.J. Smith, the Norristown head coach. "We've been inconsistent in our first two games and wanted to play two good halves of football today.'
Instead, Norristown got only a fraction of its goal, as the visiting Eagles grabbed the game by the throat and dominated from late in the first quarter on.
"We were fortunate we played a team similar to (Norristown) last week,' said Shanahan head coach Paul Meyers, referring to his team's season-opening win over Penn Wood, "a team with a lot of skill and speed, so we got a chance to prepare once for two games.
"But the good thing about this team is that we don't have individuals. We play together and our players share the wealth.'
To be sure, a lot of folks had a hand in Shanahan's win. Ten different players carried the ball, four different players registered sacks and the Eagles' no-huddle offense was a whirling dervish of sets and formations that rarely seemed to use the same skill players on successive plays.
"The whole team is playing together,' said junior Cody Smith, who rushed for Shanahan's first score and added two more touchdowns via receptions. "It's a team of unity. and we have high expectations this year.'
Shanahan moved the ball on its first two series, but came away with nothing but a missed field goal on its second possession.
Meanwhile, Norristown had just three total yards in its first three possessions, as fumbles and penalties kept its offense anchored in its own backfield.
"Offensively, we just kept fumbling the snap,' Coach Smith said, "and it's tough to do things when you're not taking care of the ball.'
Shanahan took over following a punt late in the first quarter, and by halftime had a firm grip on the game.
First came an eight-play, 55-yard Shanahan drive that featured key runs by Nick Pasvanis and a 17-yard pass from quarterback Dan Murphy to Smith.
Smith finished off the drive with a 3-yard run 1:10 into the second quarter.
Norristown was forced to punt on its next possession and the visitors went right back to work, again scoring in eight plays, with Smith beating single coverage and Murphy finding him for a 55-yard score.
Two snaps later, Shanahan's Thomas Seifert pounced on a Norristown fumble and the visitors cashed in again, with Smith latching onto a 25-yard Murphy scoring pass.
In the closing moments of the first half Norristown managed its initial first down.
But it didn't change the Eagles' fortunes.
Shanahan took advantage of a short field late in the third quarter, with Vincent Angelini scoring on an 11-yard run with 3:37 left in the period.
Norristown was down, and ultimately out.
"Our offense wasn't able to get anything going and it seemed like our defense was on the field the whole game,' said Norristown safety Rashon Lusane. "But we kept playing hard, we were playing for pride, and I thought our defense played pretty well until we got tired.
"We just have to get our offense going.'
"All we can do is get ready for Friday night,' Coach Smith said. "Our league season starts against Upper Merion, and we need to play better football.'
EXTRA SNAPS: Among Norristown punter Derik Cross' seven punts was a 57-yarder early in the second quarter. ... Norristown's Kip Patton came up with a standout defensive play in the third quarter, actually deflecting an attempted pitchout and then recovering the football.
BISHOP SHANAHAN 31, NORRISTOWN 0
Shanahan 0 21 7 3 - 31
Norristown 0 0 0 0 - 0
BS - C.Smith 3 run (Geiger kick)
BS - C.Smith 55 pass from Murphy (Sprague run)
BS - C.Smith 25 pass from Murphy (kick failed)
BS - Angelini 11 run (Geiger kick)
BS - Geiger 20 FG
First Downs 19 6
Rushing Yards 49-219 21-(-53)
Passing Yards 117 148
Totals Yards 336 95
Passing 7-14-0 14-29-1
Penalties 5-35 8-68
Fumbles lost 1-1 9-2
Punts-Avg. 2-33.0 7-34.0
RUSHING — SHANAHAN: Murphy 16-62; Pasvanis 10-60; C.Smith 7-39, 1 TD; Jackson 2-25; Angelini 6-21, 1 TD; Zebrowski 3-9; Evans 1-3; Riccardo 1-2; Johns 1-1; Ruggieri 2-(-3). NORRISTOWN: Davenport 2-2; Center Snap 1-(-6); Brewer 7-(-9); Pardea 5-(-10); Gorski 6-(-30).
PASSING — SHANAHAN: Murphy 7-14-0 ints., 117 yds., 2 TDs. NORRISTOWN: Gorski 10-21-1 int., 120 yds.; Brewer 4-8-0 ints., 28 yds.
RECEIVING —SHANAHAN: C.Smith 4-102, 2 TDs; Seefeldt 1-9; Angelini 1-3; Roselli 1-3. NORRISTOWN: Lyons 6-44; Carter 3-11; Wiggins 2-69; Lusane 1-13; Davenport 1-6; Carr 1-5.
INTERCEPTIONS — SHANAHAN: Sprague. NORRISTOWN: None.
SACKS — SHANAHAN: Costin 2; Berrodin; B.Smith; Furlong. NORRISTOWN: None.