Troy bound … Shelby Academy to battle for AISA title

Shelby Academy head coach DeWayne Kervin doesn’t mind that his team will enter Friday’s AISA Class-1A title game as underdogs.

&uot;I think we’re kind of enjoying it,&uot; Kervin said. &uot;Maybe we’ll relax some and just play. I think it will take some of the pressure off of us.&uot;

Undefeated Jackson Academy was nearly a consensus pre-season favorite to run the table in the division. In fact, even the Raiders expected the defending state champs to return to the title game.

&uot;There was no doubt we’d meet Jackson if we made it this far,&uot; Kervin said.

Shelby Academy set up the showdown, which will be played at 1 p.m. at Troy State’s Movie Gallery Stadium, by defeating Lakeside 28-7 in last Friday’s semi-final game.

Kervin said Jackson will be the toughest team the Raiders have faced this season.

&uot;The problem with Jackson is they’ve got good size and real good team speed,&uot; Kervin said. &uot;They’ve got the whole package.&uot;

The last time the two teams met was in last year’s semi-finals. Jackson won the contest 28-12 and went on to win the state championship.

Friday’s matchup marks the first time the AISA title game will be held in Troy.

&uot;Our players are excited,&uot; Kervin said. &uot;That’s been their goal all year.

Shelby Academy will rely heavily on a ball-control offense, led by brothers Ryan and Andrew Elm, both coming off solid performances in last week’s Lakeside victory.

Ryan Elm rushed for 116 yards and a touchdown in the win.

Coming off an impressive performance the week before, Kervin said Lakeside keyed on Raider back.

&uot;If you’re busy trying to stop Ryan, then Andrew can pick up the slack,&uot;Kervin said.

Andrew Elm did just that, rushing for 144 yards and three touchdowns in the game.

The Shelby Academy offense was able to score a touchdown in all four quarters.

The Raider defense was led by J.B. Beard, who had 12 tackles and an interception.

Randall Lewis added 6 tackles while Preston Newsom had 2 tackles and a 38-yard fumble return.

Kicker Colby Green was good on all four PAT attempts for the Raiders.

Lakeside’s only score came on a 5-yard run