Shelby Raiders clinch playoff spot

Junior running back Chad King rushed for four scores and passed for a fifth to lead Shelby Academy over visiting Evangel Christian Academy of Montgomery, 45-14, Friday.

The victory clinched a playoff berth for the Raiders (4-3, 3-2), who earned their third in-region victory.

King scored twice in the first quarter from 4 and 30 yards out to give the Raiders a 15-0 lead. Senior running back Brandon Horton added a 51-yard touchdown run for a 22-0 lead after the opening quarter.

King then added a 20-yard run in the second quarter to increase the lead, 29-0.

Evangel suffered through four first-half turnovers, however, Darius Dixon ran for a touchdown from 61 yards away to get the Lions on the board. After a successful 2-point conversion, the Lions recovered an onside kick and drove the ball down to the 7. But an interception in the end zone killed the drive.

Two plays later, King moved under center and ran around the right side and, with the help of a couple of key blocks, down the sideline 78 yards for his fourth touchdown of the night and a 35-8 lead. King, who moved to quarterback in the second half, finished the game with 139 yards on just six carries.

At halftime, the Raiders honored and welcomed back members of their two past state champion teams. Now competing in AISA Class 2A, Shelby Academy won 1A state championships in 1998 and 2006.

In the third quarter, after having two touchdown erased by penalties, King finally connected by Horton for a 23 yard touchdown pass. Jordan Ikner made his first field goal of the season from 40 yards out to make the score 45-8.

Evangel quarterback Denzel Dixon closed out the scoring fore with a 50-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

The Raiders will host Monroe in a non-region game Friday, before traveling to Autauga on Oct. 24 for their final in-region game of the regular season.