Laychur hurt in Hughesville win at Shik
SUNBURY – Hughesville’s Andy Laychur carried the ball on the Spartans’ first offensive play Friday night at Shikellamy. Like so many others this season, Laychur found a big hole, accelerated and dashed beyond the first-down marker.
This one, however, had a different ending. Hughesville’s leading rusher remained on the ground and needed his teammates to help him off the field. While a collective gasp came from those beyond the sidelines, Hughesville quarterback D.J. Foresman received the next play call and the Spartans marched on without their leader.
With Laychur sitting on the trainer’s table the remainder of the first half, Hughesville showed again what it has proved all season – its success doesn’t come down to one single player.
Cody Butler rushed for over 100 yards, Foresman threw for three touchdown passes – all to tight end Bryce Pardoe – and the Spartans remained undefeated with a 35-12 win over previously unbeaten Shikellamy.
“We’re not a one-dimensional team, we’re not a one-man team and we’ve preached that all year,” said Hughesville coach Rick Reichner, a Shikellamy alum who helped spoil the Braves’ homecoming. “I feel comfortable with the kids coming in – Ethan Showers, Cody Butler and Robert Hodgson. We’ve had kids who have stepped up all year and it was their turn and they stepped right in.”
Butler fumbled on his third carry during the Spartans’ (5-0) initial possession, but he proved more than capable of carrying the load as he finished with 118 yards on 15 carries as the Spartans ended an opponent’s perfect record for the second straight week. He scored on runs of 45 in the first quarter and 40 in the third, which made the score 28-6.
His first-quarter touchdown was the only score during the first 12 minutes.
The second 12 minutes belonged to Foresman and Pardoe. The quarterback and tight end connected for a pair of scores, including a 35-yarder on a fourth-and-4 play that gave their team a 21-0 lead. Foresman set up the play with a good play fake and bootleg to his left side. He then squared his shoulders and unleashed a throw to an open Pardoe, who caught all six of Foresman’s completions for 88 yards and three touchdowns.
The three touchdown passes give Foresman 10 for the season, while the three touchdown receptions for Pardoe were the first three of the season and the six rececptions were four more than he had entering last night.
“Bryce Pardoe is a great target and he had great catches all night,” said Foresman, who received a lift from his tight end when he one-handed a pass in the fourth quarter to extend a drive. “We’re trying to get him more touches because he is a good weapon for us.”
This game, though, wasn’t all about the Hughesville offense.
The defense canceled out a few of the offense’s mistakes on a slippery night. A pair of fumbles and bad snap to the punter gave Shikellamy (4-1) three possessions deep inside Hughesville territory, but each one ended with no points.
“Our defense has been tremendous,” said Butler. “They have come up with big stops in every game and it’s a credit to them.”
The defense offset three fumbles by the offense with four turnovers, including a Levi Oden interception in the end zone after Shikellamy took over at the Hughesville 11 following a fumble.
“All year our defense has stood up to the challenge and bailed us out,” said Reichner.
By defeating a previously undefeated Class AAA team, Hughesville gained 160 district points and took the lead in District 4 Class AA.
Laychur returned to the sidelines in sweats during the second half, arriving on a utility vehicle. Reichner did not have any early prognosis on his running back only saying it was a knee and that Laychur would be evaluated.
“We certainly miss Andy because he is the heart and soul of the team, he’s a leader and the backbone of our team,” said Reichner. “He does a lot of great things for us, but we have kids to step up and make plays and they did tonight.”