SOFTBALL

Shippensburg fights, but can't complete comeback in quarterfinal loss

Dylan Jacobs
Chambersburg Public Opinion
Shippensburg enters the field before the game. Solanco defeated Shippensburg 42-35 in the quarterfinals of the District 3 5A Playoffs on Saturday, November 12, 2022

In the first half of Saturday's district quarterfinal, it looked like it could have been a long night for the Greyhounds.

The Golden Mules got out to a big early lead and could have ran away with it, but the Greyhounds fought back. They just ran out of time.

Shippensburg fought back from a 28-0 deficit, but couldn't jump out in front, as Solanco held on for a 42-35 win to move on in the district playoffs.

Shippensburg's season ends at 8-4. Here's how it happened.

What it means

Tucker Chamberlin and head coach Eric Foust hug after Solanco defeated Shippensburg 42-35 in the quarterfinals of the District 3 5A Playoffs on Saturday, November 12, 2022

What this game showed is that the Greyhounds had a lot of fight.

QB Tucker Chamberlin put the offense on its back, making big time throws in what would be his final high school game.

"You knew that Tucker [wouldn't give up]," Head coach Eric Foust said. "I'm going to miss these seniors, Tucker and Erby [Weller] and a lot of these kids. They fought hard every day."

An onside kick recovery and a 4th down stop helped Shippensburg cut into the lead, as Shippensburg scored 4 times in the second half to work its way back.

Kevin Foxworth (52) pumps the team up before the 2nd half. Solanco defeated Shippensburg 42-35 in the quarterfinals of the District 3 5A Playoffs on Saturday, November 12, 2022

Key plays

The Shippensburg offense came alive in the second half, but the defense did not have an answer for the Solanco attack.

The Golden Mules run a triple-option, similar to those run by service academy colleges, with the quarterback under center, a fullback behind him and aa running back off to the side.

Solanco prepares to enter the field before it defeated Shippensburg 42-35 in the quarterfinals of the District 3 5A Playoffs on Saturday, November 12, 2022

Whether quarterback Brody Mellinger kept it, handed it off, or pitched it, it didn't matter. They got consistent yardage.

"They play a different style of football than what we see all year, and it's tough to adjust to," Foust said. "We got to get bigger and stronger. We'll work on that in the offseason. Can't fix that tonight."

The Golden Mules had two empty possessions all game. One right before the half and one with only minutes remaining. They ran the ball 59 times for 414 yards.

By the numbers

Tucker Chamberlin (12) celebrates a touchdown. Solanco defeated Shippensburg 42-35 in the quarterfinals of the District 3 5A Playoffs on Saturday, November 12, 2022

Chamberlin finished the game with 224 passing yards, two passing and one rushing touchdowns. Trae Kater was big in the game as well, finishing with two rushing and one receiving touchdowns. Troy Chamberlin had the other receiving touchdown.

After trailing 28-7 at halftime, Shippensburg outscored Solanco 28-14 in the second half.