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Dismal third period sinks Indiana

A dismal third period ruined Indiana’s chances for a big upset and its first section football win, and instead turned into a 34-21 loss at Kiski Area Saturday night. The game was postponed from Friday night. Indiana (2-2) took a 7-6 lead into halftime, but could do little right in the third quarter, starting on the second play of the period when Jason Shirey threw an interception to Scott McKillop.

Justin Wray set up Kiski’s second touchdown of the game with a 24-yard run, and the Cavaliers took the lead when Wray hit off right guard for a one-yard TD on fourth down. Shortly, disaster struck the Indians when a bad punt snap turned into a 31-yard loss, and McKillop turned that into a one-yard TD run and a 21-7 Kiski lead. (Indiana finished the third period with -27 yards, thanks to that bad punt snap.)

Kiski quarterback Adam Gunn scored twice in the fourth quarter, first on a 15-yard run and later on a nine yard run after Indiana tried an onside kick but failed to recover the ball. Kiski had notched the game’s initial touchdown when Wray ran in a 16 yard score. That TD was set up by a questionable 15 yard roughing the punter penalty on the Indians.

Indiana’s offense again was keyed by senior quarterback Jason Shirey, who scored in the second quarter on a three yard plunge.

In the fourth quarter he put some salve on the Indians’ wounds by rushing for a 32 yard touchdown, giving him 80 yards on the night, and throwing a 12 yard touchdown pass to flanker Tom Simmons on the last play of the game.

Indiana Coach Mark Zlinskas, who must get his team refocused after two section losses in time to host Franklin Regional tonight, said the Indians were making too many mistakes, primarily because of the number of players who were injured. Those mistakes particularly piled up in the third quarter, and gave the Cavaliers too much momentum.

Shirey was also credited with some outstanding plays from his free safety position, or the final score might have been more lopsided still. Also credited with solid defense in the face of adversity were such Indiana players as linebacker Derek Wisnieski, nose guard Luke Newquist, cornerback Anthony Stipcak, end James Tyger and tackle Adam Ayers. Cornerback Alex Valeski had an interception.


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