Shelby County falls in region opener

By RICKY RUSTON / For the Reporter

The Shelby County Wildcats’ first region game of the season ended with a 36-21 loss to Erwin.

It was a night that bulk and agility of the Eagles met the grit and determination of the Wildcats.  Despite the loss, the red and white left it all on the field at Papa McCombs Stadium when the final horn sounded.

“I could not be more proud of the way our kids played tonight; the first half was unbelievable,” said Shelby County coach Ryan Herring. “The improvements this team has made between week one and week is a great thing to see.”

“We just have to continue to improve and work to get better.  That was a great effort from our boys tonight and I’m very proud of the way they fought tonight,” he added.

As most know, a Herring offense has always been a veer offense and a solid running game has been the scheme that rocks the cradle.  Brent Wooley revived that running attack that Wildcats’ fans have grown to love.

On his way to 147 rushing yards on the night, Wooley provided 1-yard and 4-yard scoring runs on the Wildcats’ first two offensive possessions. Another score came from the hand of Evan McNeal when he found Denzel Williams for a 5-yard touchdown toss midway through the second quarter.

As the first half rolled along, two of the three Shelby County touchdowns were countered by the Eagles on their ensuing drives.  However, an incomplete pass on a fourth-down attempt allowed the Wildcats to take a 21-14 lead into intermission.

As the second half opened, the Eagles made adjustments and tightened the screws on the defensive side of the ball.  Good field position was the result and the Eagles’ offense took advantage, scoring on two long runs and a pass as the night came to an end.

Offensively, the Wildcats finished the night with 232 yards on the ground and 17 through the air.

Shelby County travels to rival Chelsea for another Class 5A region game Sept. 10.