Madonna’s bounce-back season ends with 37-14 loss to Sherman

RUSHING — Madonna’s Gavin Dietrich looks for a hole during Friday’s Class A first round matchup at Jimmy Carey Stadium. (Photo by Michael D. McElwain)

WEIRTON — The Tide rolled Friday night inside Jimmy Carey Stadium as No. 9 seed Sherman downed No. 8 Madonna 37-14 to move on in the Class A playoffs in West Virginia.

After capturing a 10-8 halftime lead, Sherman coach Michael Showalter decided at the intermission to junk his option offense and go to power football and it paid off as his Tide outscored the Blue Dons 20-6 in the second half.

The Blue Dons held the lead briefly in the second quarter at 6-3, but Sherman running back Ben Salmon and his mates proved to be too much. Salmon finished the game with 153 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries. He gained 104 of those yards in the second half as the Blue Don defense was unable to contain his power runs outside the tackles.

Sherman junior quarterback J. T. Hensley ran for 61 yards and two touchdowns in the second half and tossed a 32-yard scoring pass to senior Austin Cooper in the first quarter.

The loss closed out the Madonna season at 8-3 while the Tide continues to the quarter finals with 9 wins in 11 games.

Blue Don junior Donavan Kirby piled up 193 yards on the ground with touchdown runs of 46 and 72 yards, but those were the only offensive scores. The defense tacked on a safety.

Madonna senior Vinnie Pulice caught 5 passes for 75 yards and junior quarterback Gavin Dietrich put the ball in the air a season high 13 times completing six for a total of 81 yards. Senior Chayce Lemley hit Pulice for an 18-yard gain.

The Blue Dons also were plagued with turnovers as they lost two fumbles and Dietrich threw one interception.

Kirby wound up with 2,554 yards, a Madonna record that stood up since 2004 when Jake Myers rushed for more than 2,150 yards.

Sherman 37, Madonna 14

Sherman 0-10-14-13 — 37

Madonna 0-8-6-0 — 14

S: Parsons 27 field goal

M: Kirby 42 run (kick failed)

S: Salmon 33 (Parsons kick)

M: Safety

S: Salmon 2 run (Parsons kick)

M: Kirby 72 run (run failed)

S: Cooper 32 pass from Hensley (Parsons kick)

S: Hensley 6 run (kick failed)

S: Hensley 22 run (Parsons kick)

RUSHING: Sherman: 48-254-4 (Salmon 24-153-2; Rinchich 8-34; Dickens 2-4; Harper 1-2; J. Hensley 14-61-2). Madonna: 40-158-2 (Kirby 31-193-2TD; Lemley 1-(-5); Baird 1-(-1); Dietrich 7-(-29)).

PASSING: Sherman: 3-5-75-TD (all by J. Hensley). Madonna: 7-14-99-0-1. Dietrich 6-13-81-0-1; Lemley 1-1-18.

RECEIVING: Sherman: 3-75 (W. Hensley 1-9; Salmon 1-34; Cooper 1-32-TD). Madonna: 7-99 (Pulice 7-75. Lemley 1-24).

FIRST DOWNS: Sherman 11; Madonna 9.

PENALTIES-YARDS: Sherman 13-87; Madonna 10-66.

FUMBLES-LOST: Sherman 2-1; Madonna 3-2.

PUNTS-AVG.; Sherman 1-34; Madonna 4-37.