The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Sports

September 18, 2012

High school football: Walter leads Seals to big rivalry win

SELINSGROVE — This was more than just a run-of-the-mill rivalry game for Selinsgrove senior running back Mike Walter.

“As a senior, I had never been on a team that beat Shikellamy,” the 5-foot-11, 192-pound halfback said Monday night after he scored three times to help the Seals blank the cross-river rival Braves 37-0 in a Heartland Athletic Conference Division I game at Harold L. Bolig Memorial Field.

“There was a tragedy last week and we prayed for them before the game, and then we decided it’s football time and it’s Shikellamy,” he said.

The game was postponed from Friday after an auto accident that morning claimed the life of a Shikellamy student and left three others injured.

“It just means so much after last year (the Seals were 1-9) to start a season off like this and we are just so proud of everybody.”

Selinsgrove coach Dave Hess said, “Mike is tough as nails. He’s a leader, a positive guy. The guy out in front of the team leading the chants. He is just running so hard right now and he’s got a never-say-die attitude.”

Walter scored his TDs on runs of 11, 21 and 1, but Walter’s success on the ground was only part of the story for the Seals (3-0 overall, 2-0 HAC-I).

When Shikellamy (1-2, 1-1) did a good job shutting down the run early, the Seals surprised the Braves by going to the air, and quite successfully.

Quarterback Tyler Krebs dinked and dunked his way to a 144-yard passing night on 12-of-15 with no interceptions.

Shikellamy coach Todd Tilford said, “We were prepared to try to stop the run. They had 80 runs last week, but we were surprised when they came out and threw as well as they did.

“We had the defense to stop the run so I guess they recognized that and made some plays in the passing game and that set the tone for them,” he said.

Tilford also added, “They were much more physical and they took it to us.”

Hess said, “We saw some things that we thought might work against them and we wanted to run our short passing game. But they came out tough in that first drive and they took our run away. We had to try to open it up with something so we went to the pass.”

The Seals got on the board in the second quarter when Walter’s 11-yard TD capped a 13-play, 58-yard drive and Logan Benner’s PAT made it 7-0 with 9:34 left in the half.

The Braves wasted an interception by Nathan Shrawder when, on the next play, they fumbled in the end zone, recovering it for a Selinsgrove safety.

Tilford agreed that was a turning point in the game as the Braves had just gotten a turnover and suddenly they were down 9-0.

After the kickoff, the Seals drove for another score, a one-yard run by Conner Liesenfeld to put the home team up 16-0 at intermission.

Walter scored two more times in the third and the Seals added a 19-yard TD run by reserve David Klinger for the final margin.

The game took a turn for the worse when the two teams got into a melee on the field after Selinsgrove’s Javon Botts saw his 67-yard TD run wiped out by a holding penalty.

Two Selinsgrove players and one from Shikellamy were ejected.

Neither coach could tell what happened, but both were upset by it.

Said Hess, “It’s a shame for things like that to happen. I’m not blaming any one person or team, I just don’t like seeing things like that. We got that straightened out. Don’t plan on seeing that type of thing from a Selinsgrove team ever again.”

Said Tilford, “That is really frustrating. It is a heated rivaly. It’s a shame to have something like that.”

But, he added, “Our coaches have a lot of respect for one another and I would hope the kids would too.”

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