After outlasting the Milton Black Panthers to begin the season 1-0, Shamokin has their eyes set on a new challenge: North Schuylkill.
Henry Hynoski earned his first victory as Shamokin’s new head coach. The team produced a good collective effort on offense defense and special teams.
The Indians will try to start the season 2-0 for the first time since 2014.
Shamokin made a ferocious comeback by outscoring Milton 20-6 in the fourth quarter, including two Brycen James touchdown runs.
“What I like most is the reiliency of our players. They could have easily folded when we got down at half time but instead they were motivated to come back and determined to win the football game. So our determination, our drive, our passion, our dedication that’s all that we’ve been preaching and now the kids know and they believe in themselves,” Hynoski said.
“It’s football. You’re going to have bad moments , you’re going to get behind, but them being able to step up and showing what they’re capable of and picking their heads up when we were down, that showed alot for their character,” Hynoski added.
The Indians produced 206 yards through their ground attack as they got 128 from James. The running back also caught a 30-yard touchdown pass with 2:23 left in the game.
The team also received a strong performance by quarterback Collin Bowers that included 182 yards and two touchdowns.
During an after-practice-interview earlier this week, Hynoski discussed the talent on his roster, including two underclassmen.
“Alot of good underclassman coming up. We have a full stable of good athletes and good coachable guys from the senior class down to the freshman class. Two guys that really stand out lately for underclassmen: sophomore Ian Paul and freshman Max Madden. They’ve been playing really good football for us lately. It not just those two that stand out, but it’s all across the board. We have a bright future with our team,” Hynoski explained.
Shamokin will need to clean up a few things before their matckup on Friday with the Spartans.
There were 14 penalties against the Indians for 93 yards. They also fumbled the ball three times in their season opener.
It will be vital to make these corrections before their second game of the season. North Schuylkill bulldozed its way last week against Loyalsock.
The Spartans carried the rock for 448 yards and converted seven of 12 third downs last week.
If Shamokin can shutdown the North Schuylkill running game, then that will force them to throw the ball more. The Spartans only had 17 yards through the air last week.
The Indians made the right adjustments coming out of the half-time break against Milton. The team held the Black Panthers to 12 points in the second half.
Despite allowing 165 yards to Milton receiver Quaylin Rice, Shamokin contained him in the second half; He grabbed only two passes for nine yards the rest of the game.
Shamokin also has the ability to make noise on special teams.
With 3:49 remaining in the ball game, the Indians blocked a PAT. James returned a kickoff 41 yards, which gave Shamokin great field position at the Milton 44.
With the Indians making big plays and steering the ship in the right direction, last week’s 34-33 win over Milton can set a tone for the rest of the 2018 season.
Hynoski understands defeating North Schuylkill won’t come without plenty of challenges.
The coach said the Spartans are “extremely physical and play smart”. Hynoski also stated that they have good athletes and they focus on running the football with good support on the perimeter.
With important games still on the horizon Shamokin is already capitalizing on its ability to withstand any difficulties that might occur in a game.
From a slow start, large deficit, penalties and fumbles, the Indians have found reasons for optimism this season and beyond.