By George Bremer
The Herald Bulletin
MIDDLETOWN, Ind. —
The helmets and quarterback were new, but the result Friday night was awfully familiar for the Shenandoah football team.
The Raiders rushed for 401 yards on 40 carries and crushed visiting Hagerstown 60-21 in the season opener. The victory was a measure of revenge after a 35-27 loss to start the 2012 campaign.
That season ended with a 9-4 overall record and Shenandoah's fourth sectional championship.
With junior quarterback Adam Lovan taking over the reins from T.J. Nethery, the Raiders' multiple-option offense looked just as smooth as ever in Week 1.
"The kids played hard tonight," Shenandoah coach Scott Widner said. "I don't think we turned the ball over on offense. So that's good."
Indeed, the Raiders did not turn the ball over. In fact, they didn't even punt until the 6:56 mark of the fourth quarter. By that time, the outcome had long since been determined.
The game looked like it might turn into a shootout after both teams scored touchdowns on their first possession, but Lane Young broke Hagerstown's serve with a 41-yard interception return on the Tigers' second drive and the Raiders ran off 34 unanswered points.
It was 47-14 at halftime, and it didn't feel that close.
If there were any negatives to nitpick, Shenandoah no doubt would like to cut down on its six penalties for 45 yards, and the Raiders' defense had occasional lapses in concentration.
Hagerstown's first score came on a 73-yard screen pass from Trevor Bradway to Austin Durham, and Bradway added a 45-yard touchdown run to start the third quarter. The Tigers' other score came on a 6-yard pass from Bradway to Clayton Barber with 2:46 remaining in the first half.
"We've gotta figure out a way to eliminate the big plays on 'D'," Widner said. "But we had a good opening night."
It would be extremely difficult to find flaws with the offense. The Raiders had 10 different ballcarriers, and six players scored touchdowns.
Chandler Hale led the way with 123 yards on just six carries, including touchdown runs of 3 and 8 yards. Hale also had a 57-yard scamper to set up Lane Young's 1-yard scoring run on the opening possession.
Young racked up 76 yards overall on eight carries, adding a 22-yard run in the third quarter and the interception return in the first.
Shenandoah's other scores came on runs of 9 yards by JJ Myers, 6 by Hunter Hess and 2 by Wayde Stiers. Lovan also threw a 47-yard touchdown to Trevor Conner, who made seven of eight extra-point attempts.
The Raiders' defense intercepted Hagerstown quarterbacks Bradway and Brett Burns four times.
Shenandoah (1-0) hosts Southern Wells next week.