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High School Football:
Big Plays Decide Freshman Meeting between Triton and Shawnee

Friday, October 13, 2000

By Bob Wankel
SJSports Student Correspondent

The winless Mustangs of Triton High School entered week 5 as a clear underdog. They were going up against a bigger, stronger, and probably more athletic Shawnee team. They knew they had to bring their "A game" in order to win this one. They also knew that Shawnee would be in for a surprise.

Triton got possession of the ball first. The offense drive was shut down quickly and they were forced to punt. On Shawnee's first possession, Renegade running back David Kellum took one 37 yards to the house to open the scoring. Triton's running back Zach Finley then fumbled, but the Mustangs stopped Shawnee on the ensuing possession.

In the second quarter, Renegade running back, David Kellum continued to give the Triton defense trouble as he flew into the end zone with a 44 yard run. Triton had one more shot to score in the half, but that drive was halted when quarterback Matt Reese threw the first of his two interceptions on the day. At the half the Renegades led the Mustangs 14-0.

Looking at the scoreboard you would think that with a 14-0 lead, Triton was getting beat pretty well. However, that was not the case. The THS offense moved the ball better, their lines had more push, and they were practically beating Shawnee in every aspect of the game. Triton believed with a break here or there that they could still pull this one out.

The fired up Mustang defense knew they had to create a turnover in order to have a shot in the second half. They did just that. On the Renegade's first possession Jeremy Smith knocked the ball out of the hands of the Shawnee ball carrier. Joe Ragonese was "Johnny on the spot" picking up the loose ball. However, Triton gave it right back as they fumbled. Shawnee put together their own version of the "thunder and lightning combination" when #33 took one 65 yards to the Mustang 5 yard line. "Lightning", Dave Kellum got his third TD of the game with a five-yard run. However, as he crossed the goal line he was crushed. Kellum was slow getting up, but he remained in the game. The extra point was blocked and this seemed to shift the game's momentum. Late in the third Zach Finley finally put the Mustangs on the scoreboard with a 16-yard TD. Jared Curry added the point after to make 20-7.

In the fourth, Triton was faced with a huge third and one. Once again Kellum saved the day for the Renegades as he sacked Reese to force another punt. On the ensuing possession Shawnee fumbled, this time Matt Reese recovered for the Mustangs. Triton had one more opportunity late in the game, but they faced a seemingly impossible fourth and twenty-six. Reese was pressed for time and was brought down once again. Time expired and the frustrated Mustangs had lost again.

This latest lost almost didn't seem fair once you look inside the numbers. The Triton defense gave a total of no more than 5 first downs in the whole game. Dave Kellum for Shawnee had 83 yards rushing and 3 TD's on 8 carries. Eighty-one of the 88 yards came in two carries. Triton was 3 tackles away from a 7-0 victory. Kellum's huge plays proved to be the difference in the end. Zach Finley rushed for 70 yards and a TD. The offense line and defensive line had more push throughout the whole game then the Renegades, and the winless Mustangs basically played better than the victorious Shawnee team.

Finley once again had another solid game for the Mustangs. Greg Paul played very well, and Matt Reese played also played well on defense. Mike Matteo was an intricate part of the swarming Triton D, and Ryan Bogner made solid contributions in this one.

For Shawnee David Kellum and his 3 TD's saved the day for the Renegades. Solid games were also played by QB Chris Fornan and running back #33.

With a break here and there this Triton team could very well be 3-2. However, they haven't gotten those breaks. Despite measurable improvements from the Eustace game, this team walks off for the fifth time in as many weeks as a loser. Triton will still be looking for that first win next week against Edgewood.

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