The Shaler Area Titans football team finished the season without winning a game for the fourth time in the past five years as they had a season where overcoming adversity was a common theme.
It was a disappointment the Titans did not win a game this year after coming off a season in which they won two games. This years season was filled with a lot of ups and downs for this football team as who never met the full potential this season.
“We thought that it would be a good season and we would have 4-5 wins possibly looking at playoffs. But it was disappointing not winning any. For the people that stayed though it was good because we showed to others and ourselves that we could stick it out,” Christian Henning said.
This year the WPIAL realigned conferences placing Shaler Area in the brand new 6A classification. The Titans schedule did not do them any favors as they had to play state powerhouses such as, Central Catholic and Pine Richland.
The team started off the season against North Hills and this was the first opportunity for fans to see the dynamic duo of underclassmen, freshman QB Darin Mizgorski, and sophomore Jake Pollak. Another side note in this game, two seniors Jack Quinn and Andrew Schramm both suffered season ending injuries which really cost the team as the season progressed.
“Now that our season is over the problem was having multiple kids get injured throughout the season” Henning said.
Pollak and Mizgorski both were offensive threats as Mizgorski scored two touchdowns in the first two games. Pollak had over 100 rushing yards against Norwin in week two. Unfortunately the lack of offensive production this year led to the Titans getting shutout in five out of nine games this season.
There were other obstacles the Titans had to overcome this season such as their newly renovated turf field not being completed by the start of the season. These complications meant the Titans had to play their first two games at Biles Field behind the high school.
Although the venue changed the result was the same for the Titans. On September 30th the team returned to the brand new Louis C. Martig Stadium to host Butler after two games at Biles.
This was arguably the best game the titans played all season. They scored the most points they had all season as Jake Pollak returned after a two game absence and had an outstanding game scoring two touchdowns along with a interception. The team lost 34-16.
The rest of the way was very tough for the Titans. They lost to Canon-Mac at homecoming and then had to travel to Pine Richland and Seneca Valley. During these stretch of games they were outscored 142-13 by their opponents.
But this team never gave up as they came back to Titan Stadium for an emotional senior night and the team put on a show for the titan fans against Peters Township.
This game was full of surprises as that week junior Hunter Zukowski was named starting quarterback and it was rumored the team was going to be changing their offense.
They changed it up as they scored their first touchdown of the game on a fake field goal pass to senior Ryan Porter. This was Porter’s second touchdown of the season as he scored on a kickoff return the week before.
The next touchdown which gave the titans a lead for the first time all season was a passing touchdown by running back Jake Pollak. Although the team fell short in this one it gave the fans some hope about what they have to look forward to in the future.
Some advice for future players is “Keep up the work go all out everyday. Once gameday comes leave everything out on the field.”Henning said.
The Titans have a lot of potential with a majority of their key starters returning next season. Through offseason workouts, practices and bringing it all on game day the possibilities for next season are endless.