Shippensburg used a strong passing game and an underrated defense to beat Mechanicsburg 27-7 at Mechanicsburg’s Memorial Park on Homecoming Night and the dedication of the Rich Lichtel Fieldhouse at the park.
The Greyhounds (6-0, 2-0 Colonial) came out firing the ball, as Tucker Chamberlin completed his first four passes to drive Shippensburg into the red zone. He later found Erby Weller for a 6-yard completion and the first score.
“This was our dream since we were little kids,” Chamberlin said. “I would be the quarterback, and he as the wide receiver catching passes. We trust each other and everything worked out tonight. We struggled last year with COVID, and this season, we have really focused on being a team this year and controlling what we can control.”
Mechanicsburg (3-3, 0-2 Colonial) responded and drove the ball into the red zone, but Shippensburg swarmed a fourth-down handoff at the 2-yard line to Sage Thomas, forcing the Wildcats to turn the ball over on downs.
“That was a key play,” said Wildcat coach Anthony Rose. “We have to be able to punch that ball in there. If we do, the game is 7-7, and you never know what happens.”
On their next possession, Chamberlin found Anthony Smith wide open behind the secondary for 56 yards and a 14-0 lead.
“The first few plays were scripted tonight based upon film we saw,” Chamberlin said. “We are a family and work hard, and we have a lot of weapons. We can get better. I didn’t see anybody open, but I see Anthony’s big hand waving at me on that touchdown.”
The play capped a 98-yard drive after the fourth-down stop.
“Our defense has been underrated all year,” Greyhound coach Eric Foust said. “But they made a huge play there. We follow that up with a 98-yard drive and a 14-0 lead, instead of a 7-7 game. We are really playing well. We were missing some guys tonight, but our depth really helped out.”
A 15 play, 83-yard drive by the Greyhounds ended with a third score just before the half. Chamberlin found Weller again in the right corner of the end zone for a 21-0 lead.
Shippensburg, avenging a 35-20 home loss to the Wildcats last year, stretched its lead to 27 Friday when Chamberlin rolled right, changed directions and rushed through an opening to the left corner of the end zone.
Mechanicsburg got on the board when Parker Sample led the rushing attack down the field, and Sage Thomas found a hole behind the left side of his line, walking in for a score to break up the shutout.
“I saw some positive things out there tonight,” Rose said. “The one thing with this Wildcat team that I love is they will not quit. Marlon (Aristy), Sam (DeLuca) and Michael (Jones) will not let this team quit.”
Jeff Lougee has played football since eighth grade. But playing quarterback for just his second year, his first at the varsity level, the Mechanicsburg sophomore has pestered opposing defenses with an arsenal that includes speed, vision and a rifle for an arm.