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Sharon Tigers Toss 34-0 Shutout at Slippery Rock

Written by: on Saturday, September 26th, 2009

SHARON — Slippery Rock and Sharon don’t have to worry about a head-on collision as they venture through the 2009 football season because the two teams are headed in totally opposite directions.

Friday night at Tiger Stadium, the two teams butted heads and the result was a 34-0 Sharon win over the Rockets.

After a season-opening loss to powerful Farrell, the Tigers have now won three in a row, while the loss leaves Slippery Rock still looking for that elusive first win of the campaign at 0-4.

“They (Sharon players) have come to practice and worked hard to consistently get better,” said Fromm. “We were able to ratify some of the mistakes we had during that first week. I think we did a good job of realizing that it is over, done with, let’s move on and play the next team. I think we have done that.”

Going into the game, Fromm knew the Rocket defense was tough against the run. As a former quarterback at Sharon High and Bethany College, Fromm put the ball in the hands of his quarterback Ronnie Howard, turned him loose, and Howard did the rest.

For the game, Howard completed 12 of 16 attempts for 321 yards and three touchdowns, while he also rushed eight times for 53 yards.

“He (Howard) is an athlete, but I don’t want to take away from the work he has been putting in to be an athlete who is also a quarterback,” said Fromm. “He is getting better at the position week-in and week-out. He works hard at it and he has a good work ethic that serves him well right now.”

As for his big night, Howard was quick to allude to the fact that he had a lot of help from coaches and teammates.

“It (the success) was a little bit of everything,” said Howard. “The coaches did a great job of calling the plays against the coverage’s they were giving us and the line did a great job blocking for me. I feel comfortable back there (in the pocket) because I had time and the receivers just did a great job of going and getting the balls. I have a lot of trust in them and I just tried to put it where they could get it.”

When it came to dealing with the team speed of the Tigers as well as their swarming defense, Slippery Rock coach Allen “Pops” Hartzell knew his young and inexperienced troops were going to have their hands full.

“Well, you either have it or you chase it. That is all I can say,” said Allen “Pops” Hartzell about dealing with the Tiger speed. “They are a good team and we knew that. I would like to have stuck with them a little better than we did, but we are so young and inexperienced.”

Following an exchange of fumbles on the first two possessions, the Tigers wasted no time asserting themselves as they needed only three plays to turn their takeaway into six quick points.

Howard scooted for 64 yards to the SR 5-yard line, and two plays later, Kevin Brown bulled over from one yard out for the score. Jason Sypolt made the score 7-0 with his first of four PATs.

Again unable to sustain any type of drive, the Rockets punted to the Tigers at the Sharon 40.

From there, it only took Sharon four plays to hit pay dirt, the touchdown coming on a 47-yard aerial connection from Howard to Louis Brown. Sypolt made it 14-0 after one quarter.

After putting together a short drive of 30 yards to open the game, the Rockets, unable to deal with the swarming Sharon defense, went three-and-out on their next three possessions.

“That is what it is when you have kids who haven’t played a lot,” added Hartzell. “We’re getting better. We played a really good team tonight and I don’t feel the final score is any indication of the team we have. These (Slippery Rock) kids played hard.”

While the Sharon defense was bottling up the Rocket offense, the Tigers put their third score on the board midway through the second period when Howard tossed his second TD of the night, a 17-yard effort to Steven Bittler.

With the Rocket offense still stymied by the swarming Tiger defense, Sharon was able to put the final two scores of the night on the board in the third period when Louis Brown hauled in his second TD aerial of the night from Howard covering 68 yards before Cameron Brown capped the game scoring with two seconds left before the turn for home on a 3-yard run to set the final.

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