By Kaylee Lindenmuth
SHENANDOAH - A strong first half was enough to launch Shenandoah Valley to a 20-0 lead over Jenkintown at halftime, though it wasn't enough to lock in a home opener victory against the Philly-area team.
A strong performance across the board for the Devils, along with a host of penalties against the Drakes contributed to the first-half dominance.
A first quarter would remain a scoreless defensive battle until 3:44 remained, when Shenandoah struck first on a pass to Alex Donchak. A failed PAT created a 6-0 score, a score that would hold until midway through the second quarter.
Jake Thomas, a stellar defender in the first half, recovered a fumble, rumbling all the way to the one yard line, setting up a quarterback Joseph "Junebug" Karvois touchdown run to set up a 12-0 game with 5:47 remaining in the half.
Thomas would score on his own, in another defensive play later in the second quarter, taking an interception to the house for a 20-0 lead with 1:21 remaining in the half.
Jenkintown was down, though not out.
With 8:48 remaining in the third, they answered, and again on a touchdown pass with 3:14 remaining. At the end of the third, the Drakes were within 7.
With 8 minutes remaining in the game, Jenkintown knotted the score at 20, and with 4:34 remaining, took the lead.
The Drakes would turn over the ball on downs with :40 remaining, while attempting to run out the clock, giving Shenandoah Valley a chance to send it into overtime.
A Karvois pass would be intercepted, and Jenkintown would take a knee, finalizing the 27-20 conclusion.
Shenandoah Valley will be on the road once again next week, heading to the home of the Battlin' Miners, Minersville, on September 7.
Keep a check on the Sentinel for a full photo gallery and video highlights soon.