"A wins a win - that's been our motto all season long," said Sheffield coach Dave Fitch, after Sheffield defeated an injury-plagued Eagles, 15-6, on Friday at Mike Shine Field.
As if a match-up of county rivals wasn't enough motivation for these two teams, which last met in 2009, Sheffield and Youngsville entered Friday night with a combined 15 losses, and neither had won a game since September.
After a slow first quarter, Sheffield's Tyler Fitzgerald rumbled in a six-yard run with under five minutes to go in the second to give the Wolverines a 6-0 lead. Fitzgerald carried the ball 13 times for 89 yards.
Times Observer photo by Cody Elms
Sheffield’s Tyler Fitzgerald bears down on Youngsville quarterback Jacob Lauffenburger on Friday at Youngsville High School.
Jacob Lauffenburger connected with Rocco Gatta in the third for a 17-yard touchdown to tie the game 6-6. However Sheffield responded on the very next drive with a 38-yard carry by Shequan Wright.
"I had never seen them this up after a half," Fitch said. "I gotta give our offensive line props."
Sheffield tacked on two more points with a safety in the fourth to make it a two-score game.
"It was quite a swarm," said Fitch. "Our defense in the second half won it for us. Obviously, we were concerned about Rocco (Gatta), but the seniors really stepped up. They played on point and wanted it."
The Wolverines defense made a statement on the last offensive series for Youngsville, with two sacks and two tipped passes to ensure the victory; something Fitch hopes will carry over into next season.
"We have seven kids that are getting a lot of playing time now that will be back," Fitch said. "To end on this type of high note will give us momentum in the offseason. I'm excited. Weight room is open on Monday."
Sheffield ends the season with a 3-7 record, while the Eagles finished 1-9 and having lost eight in a row after losing a multitude of players due to injury as the season progressed.
Gatta ended his successful career with 123 of Youngsville's 153 total yards on the night, and the team's lone score.
S-Tyler Fitzgerald 6 run (Kick failed), 4:32.
Y-Rocco Gatta 17 pass from Jacob Lauffenburger (Kick failed), 7:11.
S-Shequan Wright 38 run (Wright kick), 6:14.
S-Tackle for safety, 7:36.
RUSHING-Sheffield, Fitzgerald 13-89 (TD), Wright 13-68 (TD), Brandon Johnston 12-49, Brendan Winslow 1-38, Daiquan Brown 3-17, Tony Burt 1-8, Adam Higby 1-(-4). Youngsville, Gatta 12-32, Dan McLaughlin 1-10, T.J. Hardy 1-10, Lauffenburger 18-5.
PASSING-Sheffield, Wright 2 of 7 for 20, Higby 0 of 1 for 0. Youngsville, Lauffenburger 8 of 19 for 96 (TD).
RECEIVING-Sheffield, Adam Barr 1-17, Johnston 1-3. Youngsville, Gatta 6-85 (TD), McLaughlin 1-10, Hardy 1-1.