SHILOH CHRISTIAN 48, POTTSVILLE 19
SPRINGDALE -- By halftime, Broc Berus had amassed more than 200 total yards and three touchdowns to power Shiloh Christian's 48-19 victory over Pottsville at Champions Stadium.
It's the first time in a decade the Saints have opened the season 3-0, while Pottsville dropped to 1-2.
Berus touched the ball just once in the second half as the Saints' senior running back finished with 12 carries for 148 yards and 2 touchdowns. Berus, who doubles at linebacker, also caught a 70-yard touchdown pass from Connor Reece, who completed 7 of 13 passes for 174 yards and 2 touchdowns.
"[Berus] played a great game on both sides of the football," Shiloh Christian Coach Jeff Conaway said. "He's a physical back and is hard to tackle. He was able to get some big yards rushing and also made a big catch."
On the touchdown reception, Berus displayed a quick burst of speed over the final 30 yards thanks to receivers blocking down the field.
"On that wheel [route] catch out of the backfield, there were two great downfield blocks by Jaret Russ and Jake Nelson," Berus said. "I don't score on that play if their blocks don't spring me free."
Berus rushed for two touchdowns, including a 73-yard run when the Saints went for it on fourth and short from deep in their own territory, which gave Shiloh Christian a 42-13 lead.
Conaway said his staff believed Berus' run on the outside-zone play would work on that fourth-down situation.
"We trusted them, and they capitalized," Conaway said. "You don't always enjoy going for it on fourth down when you're backed up like that, but it turned out pretty good."
Another touchdown run, this one by sophomore I'Juan Litszkey, allowed the clock to run continuously over the final 17 minutes of regulation.
A key play by Shiloh Christian's defense came early in the second quarter when sophomore Micah Button made an open-field tackle to stop Pottsville's Kurtis Kemp from converting on fourth and 5 from midfield. The next play, Berus broke several tackles and made a late cutback against the grain for a 54-yard touchdown.
"When you play a team like this that runs the ball well, those tackles like [Button's] are very important," Conaway said. "If you don't get them off the field on third or fourth down, they can really chew up the clock, so that was something we really wanted to focus on."
It was one of three, one-play drives for the Saints' offense, which put the game away with two quick scores thanks to the defense forcing punts after three-and-outs on the Apaches' first two possessions of the second half.
Sports on 09/17/2016
Print Headline: Berus racks up yards for Shiloh Christian