Behind strong defense, Shawnee tops Seneca

If you only knew David Gajderowicz's name from reading it, chances are you haven't figured out that the first syllable is pronounced like the word "gator."

"I guess that's why 'Gator' has been my nickname most of my life," the Shawnee senior linebacker said.

It's sort of a fitting coincidence.

If his last name was Smith, "Gator" would still make just as much sense as a nickname for the hulking, 6-foot-1, 230-pounder.

On the field, Gajderowicz is equal parts slick and mean - all traits that were useful Friday night as Shawnee edged Seneca, 14-7, at home on senior night.

In a smash-mouth game won at the line of scrimmage, Gajderowicz recorded three sacks. And in his most impactful play of the night, he helped knock the ball loose in the backfield to set up Ryan Parris' 13-yard fumble recovery for the go-ahead touchdown with 10 minutes, 5 seconds left.

"The whole defense played awesome. We played an amazing game tonight," Gajderowicz said. "And when it came to crunch time, we made the stops."

Parris' touchdown came one play after J.J. Scarpello - also Seneca's quarterback - intercepted a ball in his own end zone.

On the very next play, Scarpello completed a screen pass, Gajderowicz wrapped up the receivers legs, and Will Kane knocked the ball out.

"I scooped up the ball and knew it was time to help out my team," Parris said. "Once I had the ball, it was wide open."

The Shawnee defense also set up the Renegades' other score when a Colin Wetterau interception led to a 22-yard touchdown pass from Mike Welsh to Anthony Mague in the second quarter.

"I told our guys all week - you better be ready," Shawnee coach Tim Gushue said. "We somehow found a way to win.

"The offense carried us last week. The defense came through for us tonight."

Shawnee (5-2) would have had a shutout if not for a 42-yard Hail Mary touchdown on a play that started with .5 seconds left in the first half.

The play sent both teams into the locker room tied at 7-7. It was a bright spot in a frustrating night for Seneca (4-3).

When the Golden Eagles weren't being stifled by the Renegades defense, they were bogged down with penalties and mistakes.

"We played with great effort, but when you play teams like Shawnee, you can't make that many mistakes," Seneca coach Bill Fisher said. "Every time we had a little momentum offensively, we went backwards."

Seneca 0 7 0 0 - 7

Shawnee 0 7 0 7 - 14

Sh: Anthony Mague 22 pass from Mike Welsh (Rich Demko kick)

Se: Taylor Rosales 42 pass from JJ Scarpello (Kevin Gsell kick)

Sh: Ryan Parris 13 fumble recovery (Demko kick)

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