Clayton Stine making strides for Ship
The Shippensburg football team will travel to Hershey to compete in the program's first-ever District 3 championship game, Friday. So naturally, GameTimePA had a few Shippensburg football players taste different flavors of Hershey chocolate.
Last week when Shippensburg was trailing by 14 points with 1:26 remaining in the District 3 Class 4A football semifinal against Bishop McDevitt, the Greyhounds' top throwing target was all tangled up.
But let's face it, when a player puts up numbers like Cody Gustafson, and already has 16 catches, two touchdowns and 206 yards in the game, there's no wonder why the Crusaders were looking to eliminate him.
Luckily for the Greyhounds, they had another trick up their sleeve.
Stine was on the receiving end of two touchdowns passes in the final 30 seconds of the game, leading Shippensburg to a shocking 29-28 win over Bishop McDevitt, which hadn't lost in the District 3 playoffs in more than six years.
Stine, who had just three catches in the game, had not connected with quarterback Carter Van Scyoc before the Greyhounds' second-to-last drive in the final 1:20 of the game.
The first touchdown was unplanned. Stine ran a wrong route, and with Van Scyoc under pressure, Van Scyoc pitched it to Stine toward the right hash marks. He found an opening and booked it down the sideline and got in for the score.
Sine said, "I ran toward the sideline when I saw Carter under pressure because I know he was rolling right, so I just ran over there to help him out, and I turned upfield and no one was there."
And the second was no easy trick, either. Stine was heavily guarded in the middle of the field, reaching above his head to pull down the reception and tumbling into the end zone with a defender on his back.
"It kept going through my mind, 'I have to catch that ball,' and thankfully I did," Stine said. "I was shocked. I was shocked when I woke up the next morning, and I'm still in disbelief; it was a lot of fun."
"It's nice to have him sitting in the back because we know what he can do, and they may not," Shippensburg coach Eric Foust said. "But once they (eliminated Cody), Carter is comfortable throwing to Clayton as well as he is to Cody, so I thought Clayton handled himself well and we were comfortable in that situation."
With a player like Gustafson on the team, it's easy to overlook a receiver like Stine.
But when he makes a catch, he makes it count. Among 24 receptions this season, seven of them went for touchdowns, and he averages 15.8 yards per catch.
"Cody being on the team is tremendous for me because he's taught me some of his tricks and he's a big role model," Stine said. "He always works hard, so I have to complement that by working hard myself. And with him being double-teamed, it opens it up for me to go to work."
Although Stine is obviously the No. 2 receiver on the team, with Gustafson racking up more than 2,700 yards, Stine's history with Van Scyoc helps him become an option when teams shut Gustafson down. Both JV starters last season, Stine was Van Scyoc's top receiver, and transitioned that power to varsity.
"For him to step up in his first year of varsity, and do what he's done this year is a testament to his work ethic and what he had to do to get there," Foust said. "He's a great team guy; an opportunity arose and he took care of it."