Shidler also had his most memorable moment of the game in the fourth quarter, when he caught an eight-yard slant pass over the middle. He was later overthrown on a fade pattern on a fourth-down play on the drive. He was only targeted four times in the game and made the most of his only opportunity that wasn’t overthrown or batted away by a defender.
“We didn’t get the victory, which kind of sucks. But it was a fun experience. I would never change this for the world,” Shidler said. “Meeting a bunch of great guys, great football players that are going on to the next level and playing with them and competing with them, it was just an awesome week.”
The last time Shidler had played wide receiver was his freshman season at Winamac. He was the Warriors’ quarterback the last three seasons.
He said Merrillville’s spread offense was installed during the week in practice.
“Learning a new offense was fun,” he said. “A lot of routes went into this. It was just fun.”
Roth got emotional when talking about the week for him.
“It was great. I don’t know how to explain it,” he said. “They’re a super bunch of guys. They’re very well coached, very well representatives of their communities. They’re just good kids.
“I’ll be something I remember the rest of my life.”
Roth said he even enjoyed coaching Lytle of the rival Panthers.
“He was on my side, and I’m glad he was I’m telling you,” he said. “He’s a great kid. I’m glad he’s gone, but he’s a great kid, a lot of fun, a jokester. We had the Winamac-Pioneer moments a few times this week, but it was a lot of fun.”