Shelby County posts shut out at John Carroll

Shelby County traveled to John Carroll Catholic Friday night to pick up its second shutout of the season with a 49-0 road win over the Cavaliers.

The game versus the Cavs was a big one. It was important as the Wildcats continue to be in the hunt for another Class 5A, Region 4 crown and hope to secure a spot in the postseason. They answered the bell, again, with focus and a plan.

“Coming off last week, everyone worked as hard they had all season…the coaches and the players,” said Shelby County coach Ryan Herring. “Our players came out with such a focus tonight that it was almost scary. They did an excellent job all week in preparing for tonight. They executed the gameplan like we wanted and the intensity was there all night.”

“I’m happy with this win and this is as big as it gets right now,” Herring said.

The Wildcats (5-1, 2-1 in Class 5A, Region 4) set the tone early when Demonte Ford steamrolled a Cavalier for a safety on the first play from scrimmage. Shortly thereafter, the momentum favored Shelby County when Braten Dill scampered down the right sideline from the Cavs’ 30-yard line.

Dill’s quarterback keeper and Chad King’s point-after-attempt gave the visiting Wildcats a 7-0 lead.

On the next two Shelby County possessions, speedster Denzel Williams, added two long rushing scores. However, two holding penalties negated the runs. What would have been a very early 21-point lead remained a 7-0 lead.

As the second quarter opened up, Evan McNeal picked off a Chris Bunio pass in diving fashion that set up a Tae Lewis 37-yard touchdown run on the next play for the Wildcats. Just 23 seconds later, McNeal pounced on a loose football that positioned Williams for 17-yard scoring run, again, on the very next Shelby County play from scrimmage.

Williams scooped the football and scored just 16 seconds later on another Cavalier fumble at the 28-yard line.

A little over a minute had clicked away in the second quarter and the Wildcats had picked up three scores to extend their lead to 28-0.

On the following John Carroll offensive possession, the Wildcats defense bent, but didn’t break as they battled with the Cavs on four plays inside their own 5-yard line, eventually stopping the Cavs on fourth-and-goal from the 2-yard line.

With less than two minutes remaining in the half, the Wildcats mustered up a six play, 86-yard scoring drive that ended when Dill connected with Williams on a 29-yard strike in the back of the end zone to give the Wildcats a 35-0 lead going into the half.

It was a different half, yet the same story for the surging Wildcats in the second half.

Williams reeled off a 61-yard touchdown run on Shelby County’s first offensive possession of the half, while Kevin McNorton added to the lead with an 83-yard pick six when he intercepted a Bunio pass in the fourth quarter.

It was another fruitful night for the Wildcats offense as they rolled up 286 yards on the ground and 99 yards through the air. Williams accounted for three scores with 91 yards rushing on just four carries. Lewis added 52 yards and one touchdown.

Defensively, the Wildcats created two turnovers that accounted for touchdowns, while only giving up 202 yards on the night.

The Shelby County Wildcats will travel to Moody to take on the Blue Devils next week for another Class 5A, Region 4 battle.