After Schuylkill Valley’s dominating 34-14 victory over visiting Wyomissing on Oct. 25, most of the Panthers’ student section ran onto the field to greet the victors.
Standing off to the side, Schuylkill Valley coach Jeff Chillot waved his hand approvingly, nodded and smiled.
“It’s a huge win and feels good, but it’s not a surprise (to us),” Chillot said. “It’s another step, it’s not the Super Bowl. It helps our position for the playoffs.”
Behind the powerful running tandem of of Nick Scheidt (36 carries, 194 yards, two TD’s) and Ed Shuttleworth (16-186, three TD’s) the Panthers rebounded from a 14-0 first quarter deficit by running past, around and usually over the Spartans’ defense.
“They don’t go down,” Chillot said of the two backs. “It’s a credit to our team to withstand the first nine minutes of the game.”
The Spartans, who had won 13 straight games in the series, scored on a 77-yard run by Peter Geyer and a 95-yard interception return by Chase Hartman to stun the Leesport faithful.
Schuylkill Valley responded on its next possession by driving 75 yards on 8 running plays with Shuttleworth scoring on a one-yard run.
After forcing a punt by the Spartans, the Panthers marched 55 yards in 6 plays with Shuttleworth scoring on a 25-yard run to pull the Panthers to within 14-13 with 8:12 left in the half.
“It’s a huge win, we’re fifth in the district and can get a home playoff game,” Shuttleworth said. “Beating Wyomissing is incredible after two close losses last year.
“It’s all about our coaches. They created a playoff mentality.”
The Panthers (2-3 Berks Football League, 6-3 overall) took the lead for good before the half when they went on another long drive (10 plays, 73 yards). It took the Panthers four attempts to get in from one yard out, but Scheidt scored from the 1 to give the Panthers a 20-14 halftime lead.
“We found success running the ball and stayed with it,” Chillot said.
The Panthers played seven offensive linemen in the game. Kyle Smith, Jonathon Tindall, Jack Innis, Robert Simko, Brandon Voelker, Aaron Smith and Alec Trievel opened the holes for the runners and dominated the Spartans defensive front.
After Scheidt scored on a 7-yard run to extend the Schuylkill Valley lead to 27-14 with 6:53 left in the third quarter, it was the Panthers’ defense that slammed the door on any hopes that Wyomissing (4-1, 5-4) had of a comeback.
The Spartans drove to the Panthers’ two and had a first-and-goal. Four running plays by Wyomissing yielded zero yards.
“The defense was huge, giving up only one score,” Chillot said. “Besides the goal-line stand they made stops throughout the first half.”
Schuylkill Valley put the exclamation point on the win when Shuttleworth scored on a 46-yard run with 5:12 left in the contest.
The Panthers had 457 yards of total offense (391 rush, 66 pass) to the Spartans 186 yards (171 rush, 15 pass).
On Friday, Nov. 1 the Panthers travel to Hawk Hill to play backyard rival Hamburg Area, who is also battling for playoff position, in the annual Frost Bowl.