Calera outlasts Shelby County, 42-27
By DREW GRANTHUM/Sports Writer
The scoreboard doesn’t show it, but the Sept. 27 rivalry game between Shelby County High and Calera was anything but a 42-27 runaway win for the Eagles.
Instead, it was an absolute shootout for the majority of the game, as both squads squared off in Columbiana for a non-region matchup.
Shelby County opened with the ball, but a three-and-out led to a David Watkins punt. Calera then turned in an 11-play drive that led to a 21-yard touchdown pass from Ronnie Clark to Jordan Bishop. The extra point was blocked, giving Calera a 6-0 lead with 5:23 left in the first.
Shelby County responded by putting together a 14-play drive that covered 66 yards, resulting in a 20-yard touchdown pass from Ty Proctor to Marterius McGregor. The extra point was good, and the Wildcats held a 7-6 lead with 11:09 left in the half.
Calera wasted no time in putting together a scoring drive, reaching the end zone on a 9-yard Shakeith Tyes touchdown run. The two point try was good, and the Eagles led 14-7.
Shelby County punted on its next drive, and Calera needed one play for Ronnie Clark to break a 74-yard touchdown run to take a 21-7 lead into the half.
Calera took the opening kickoff and proceeded to launch a grinding drive, taking 15 plays to move 67 yards. The Eagles scored on a Tyes run from three out, opening a 28-7 lead with 6:28 in the third.
Just as all hope appeared lost for SCHS, the Wildcats roared to life, as Ty Proctor hit Deon Carter for a 60-yard strike to close to 28-14 after the Aldo Jones kick.
Shelby’s Jaylen Woods then blocked a Stephen Ellison punt on the next drive to give SCHS the ball on the Calera 33. Proctor then scrambled for a 33-yard touchdown run two plays later. Jones’ kick made the score 28-21 with 3:05 left in the third.
Shelby County came up with another huge stop on the next drive, forcing the Eagles to punt. McGregor fielded the punt and ripped off a 69-yard punt return to pull the Wildcats within 1. On the extra point try, SCHS faked the kick but came up short, trailing 28-27 with 10:27 left in the game.
Calera scored on the next drive when Clark broke a 30-yard run to make it 35-27 after Ellison’s kick.
Shelby was unable to move the ball, and punted to Calera.
On the second play of the drive, Clark hit Bishop again on a 45-yard strike to pull ahead 42-27 with 8:01 left.
Shelby County then drove 68 yards, turning the ball over on downs on the Calera 4-yard line with 1:07 left in the game.
The Eagles ran out the clock, and took the 42-27 win.
“Shelby County played a great game,” Calera head coach Wiley McKeller said. “It’s a rivalry game. They played really hard. Their kids are turning the corner. I told (our players) I was proud of (them for) when we had to have (points) our kids responded.”
Shelby County head coach Brent Smith applauded his team’s effort.
“”I’m very, very proud of my kids and how we approached the week and the game,” he said. “I think it gives them confidence. Our kids played hard.”
Clark led Calera with 151 yards passing with two touchdowns and 169 yards rushing with two touchdowns. Bishop led all receivers with 169 yards and the two catches.
Proctor finished with 117 yards passing and two touchdowns. Jamarius Mayfield had 71 yards and rushing for the Wildcats.
Calera will host Carbon Hill Oct. 4, while Shelby County plays Ramsay in Coulmbiana for homecoming.