Shorthanded Truman can’t cope with conditions, CB West’s ground attack

LEVITTOWN – A driving rain, gale force wind and unseasonably cold temperature greeted the Harry S Truman football team as it took the field to face visiting Central Bucks West Friday night. And that was just the start of the Tigers’ troubles.

With star quarterback Mark Lopez-Shefcyk and dynamic running back Corey McCloud already out for the season, both with torn ACLs, Truman then lost another featured runner, Justin Fant, to an ankle injury in the second quarter.

Then somewhere along the line, things really began to fall apart. The visiting Bucks scored three second-half touchdowns to turn the contest into a 27-0 rout, dropping Truman to 0-2 in the Suburban One League’s Continental Conference and 2-3 overall. Barely a month ago, the Tigers were considered among the title contenders in the SOLC.

“It’s tough. Anyone would be battling with this (circumstance) right now,” Truman head coach Jon Craig said. “We’re just a team that’s got to find a way. We’ve got Quakertown coming up and we’ve got to find a way to get (the job) done.”

Fant had eight carries for eight yards before leaving the game late in the second quarter. He seemed to come up limping after a 15-yard run, one of just three double-digit gains by Truman in the game. Three plays later, a CB West lineman stopped him for no gain and Fant went to the sidelines, not to return. Craig did not know the severity of his condition immediately after the game.

Fant totaled almost 1,000 yards in combined rushing and receiving last year while scoring nine touchdowns. Craig said that McCloud has already had reconstructive knee surgery, while Lopez-Shefcyk has a surgery coming up.

Lucas Gray started under center for the Tigers last night and led the offense statistically with 42 rushing yards on 13 carries.

CB West (3-2, 2-0 SOLC) found running similarly difficult for most of the night against a stingy Tigers defense, led by Mike Beers, Tim Kenny-Schwartz and Maurice Jackson. But the Bucks capitalized on a few big plays, along with favorable wind and field position in the first and third quarters.

“We had a real good week of practice. We coped with the weather when we first came out here. I can’t name a point in the game when everything went wrong,” Jackson said.

In the first quarter, West quarterback Eddie Shields scrambled for 20 yards before running back bolted for 35 more to set up Shields’ one-yard touchdown sneak. Meanwhile, Truman struggled to escape its own half of the field. The wind made passing unlikely and the punting game near impossible. Justin Stone managed punts of 16 and four yards for the Tigers in the first quarter, before unleashing a 61-yard boot early in the second.

With the wind at its back, West tried a 55-yard field goal in the first. Kenny Doak’s kick reached the end zone but sailed well wide of the target. Both of Doak’s kickoffs in the opening quarter sailed beyond the end zone.

When the teams changed ends for the second quarter, Truman moved the chains a bit better but West prevented the Tigers from any big gains, preserving the one-score lead into intermission.

The Bucks opened the second half with the ball and the wind, moving 70 yards in five plays including Griffin Shields’ 59-yard run. Jake Reichwein capped the drive with a two-yard touchdown run and two-point conversion. West led, 14-0.

Truman’s Gray gained 19 and 15 yards on consecutive carries, but the Tigers botched a handoff near midfield and lost the fumble.

Griffin Shields’ eight-yard touchdown run capped West’s eight-play, 57-yard drive that effectively clinched the Bucks’ victory. Reichwein tacked on a 49-yard touchdown for the Bucks with 2:27 to go in the fourth.

CB West 27, Truman 0

(Oct. 2 at Truman)

CB West (2-3) 6 0 14 6 – 27

Truman (2-3) 0 0 0 0 – 0


First Quarter

CBW — Eddie Shields 1 run (PAT failed)

Third Quarter

CBW — Jake Reichwein 2 run (Reichwein run)

CBW — Griffin Shields 8 run (kick good)

Fourth Quarter

CBW — Jake Reichwein 49 run (PAT failed)

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