VAN – T.J. Hager threw for two touchdowns and Colby Buzzard ran for one and caught another leading Class A No. 14 Sherman to a 24-14 victory over county rival Van Friday night at Herschel Jarrell Field.
With its victory, Sherman retained possession of the “Coal Shovel,” a traveling trophy that sits in the school’s trophy case, for the fifth straight year. “The Showdown for the Shovel,” as it is called has been in possession of the Tide every year since its inception in 2017.
C.J. Winnell rushed for 148 yards on 26 carries and scored one touchdown for the Tide. Winnell also recovered a fumble on defense for the victorious Tide. Hager completed 6-of-his-10 passes for 52 yards and two scores. He was intercepted once, which was returned for a Van touchdown.
Buzzard ran for 54 yards on 19 carries and one touchdown and caught two passes for 29 yards and one score. Dalton Rollo hauled in two passes for 19 yards and picked off two passes on defense.
Sherman jumped out to a 6-0 lead on Hager’s touchdown run, but on the Tide’s next possession Hager was intercepted by Van’s Byron Stewart, who returned it 24-yards for a Van touchdown. Cade Price tacked on the two-point conversion to give Van an 8-6 lead after one quarter of play.
The second quarter belonged to Sherman as the Tide scored 12 unanswered points to take an 18-8 lead into the locker room at halftime. Buzzard scored twice in the quarter, first on a run and then later in the quarter on a pass from Hager.
Sherman added to its lead in the third quarter as Winnell scored on a 46-yard run to give the Tide a 24-8 lead after three quarters of play.
Van had the lone score in the fourth quarter as Shaun Booth scored on a run to trim the deficit to 24-14 following a failed two-point conversion attempt.
Flores completed 6-of-11 passes for 100 yards and two interceptions. Brady Green, Van’s leading rusher with 661 yards entering Friday night, was held to 67 yards on 11 carries. Booth ran for 48 yards on seven carries and caught four passes for 76 yards.
The Tide outgained the Bulldogs 294-248 in total yards and ran 62 plays to the Bulldogs 42 play. On the ground, Sherman rushed for 242 yards on 52 attempts while holding Van to 148 yards on 31 attempts.
Brad Craze had eight tackles while Daniel Green and Joey Runion had six each. Green and Runion each had a tackle for loss with Runion registering a quarterback sack.
Weston Gunnoe recorded 15 tackles on defense to go along with three for loss and one sack. Gunner Flores had 14 stops and Ridge Flores 11 stops. Isiah Perdue made 10 tackles, Stewart had eight to go along with one interception and Booth and Green each had seven for the Bulldogs.
Sherman improved to 5-2 on the year and is likely to move up in the next set of ratings released by the West Virginia Secondary Schools Activities Committee Tuesday afternoon. The Tide will return to action on Friday hosting Greenbrier West.
Van, who was tied for 14th with Sherman and Tyler Consolidated, drops to 4-3. The Bulldogs are expected to drop out the top 16 with three games remaining on the schedule. They will return to action, Tuesday, Oct, 26, when they host the Hurley (VA) Rebels.