H.S. FOOTBALL: Game of the Week: Shippensburg heads into Bermudian Springs game with confidence
SHIPPENSBURG >> Don't let last year's score fool you.
Yes, Shippensburg's football team was defeated by Bermudian Springs to the tune of 21-0 just one year ago.
But not only are the Greyhounds a different team, the Eagles are basically a whole new squad.
"We replaced 24 seniors, and we only had one kid returning that started last year," Bermudian coach Jon DeFoe said. "It's a completely new lineup."
So far, that lineup hasn't proved to be all that successful. The Eagles are 0-2 after suffering a last-second loss to New Oxford in Week 1 and a 21-0 defeat to Boiling Springs last week. And although Shippensburg (1-1) isn't going to count its chickens before they hatch, it's going to have one big thing on its mind: Stop the run.
"They're a true wing-T team," Hounds coach Eric Foust said. "Seriously, they run the wing-T truer than me or (Greencastle coach) Chuck (Tinninis) ever did."
That is not an understatement. Eagles quarterback Tristan Hoke is a mere 1-for-16 for 7 yards and three interceptions through two games. Bermudian Springs does, however, have three running backs at or around the 100-yard range.
Freshman Chase Dull paces the run game with 143 yards on 17 carries, while Devon Hodgen (83 yards, 21 carries) and Ashton West (76 yards, 23 carries) have also made noise.
"To be honest, we're a real work in progress," DeFoe said. "We're really looking for some guys to put a stranglehold on any position, but we knew we would have challenges early on."
Shippensburg, on the other hand, has proved that its offense is not one to overlook. In Week 1, the Greyhounds threw for 271 yards, and in last week's game, they rushed for 221 yards.
"If Zion (Ware) can have the same effort that he did last week (181 rushing yards) and if we have (Wade) Mills and (Cody) Gustafson going, we're a tough offense to defend," Foust said. "We balance ourselves out pretty well, which was our goal.
"I believe we'll score; we're going to put points up against anybody we play. But we have to stop people more efficiently defensively."
A couple of defenders Foust will be relying upon are linebackers Nathaniel Sheffield and Cameron Tinner and cornerback Mills. The Hounds will also be looking to limit their turnovers – they've fumbled the ball six times already this season.
Meanwhile, Bermudian's biggest focus will also be a defensive one.
"For us to have a chance, we gotta eliminate the big plays," DeFoe said. "We can't let them throw those fades over the top – at their Dover game, it was like one after another, hitting the long balls. We're not nearly as explosive as we have been offensively, so we need to keep games lower scoring to keep ourselves in them."
EAGLES-GREYHOUNDS AT A GLANCE
Game data: Bermudian Springs Eagles at Shippensburg Greyhounds ... Friday, 7 p.m. at Veterans Stadium at Memorial Park ... Non-league game.
Media: Webcast available at www.sesportsnet.com ... Radio — WIOO (1480 AM, 93.9 FM).
Teams: Ship is 1-1 after holding off Chambersburg for a 26-21 victory in Week 2 ... The Eagles are 0-2, having just suffered a 21-0 loss at the hands of Boiling Springs.
Series: Bermudian won the team's only meeting last year, 21-0.
P.O. pick: Ship by 10.
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