Shelby County stumbles at St. Clair County

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

ODENVILLE – Everything seemed to be on Shelby County’s side going into their second game of the season and first region matchup at St. Clair County on Friday, Sept. 8, but an offense that looked impressive on opening week didn’t look as strong leading to a 56-22 defeat to start region play.

While the Wildcats, 1-1 (0-1), have had some promise early in the season, this is a game that was there’s for the taking after a strong showing on both sides of the ball in week one.

Shelby County started the season with a 51-8 win over Holt, and although Holt isn’t the best judge of how good a team can be, the Wildcats showed a lot of promise. Last year against Holt, Shelby County picked up a 49-12 win heading into its matchup with St. Clair County the following week.

Scoring 51 in the opener this year, you would’ve expected a similar showing in week two again this year, but he offense was only able to muster 22 points. It was particularly disappointing, not just from the defense struggling, but the fact that the Saints had given up 49 points the week before.

St. Clair County started strong going up 16-6 after one quarter of play, not only punching in two touchdowns during the opening quarter, but also tacking on two-point conversions to each.

The Wildcats were able to post one touchdown in the first quarter, which kept them in striking distance, but the Saints’ consistency when it came to scoring was going to be too much to overcome.

In the second quarter, St. Clair County scored two more touchdowns and this time kicked the extra point as opposed to going for two. They were able to outscore the Wildcats 14-8 in the second quarter alone, giving the Saints a large 30-14 lead at the break.

Still though, that lead wasn’t insurmountable and could easily be made up with some halftime adjustments, despite Shelby County being an option team not built to come from behind.

The third quarter played a large part in determining the outcome as the Saints stole any chance of the Wildcats gaining momentum. They were able to put up seven points to extend their lead to 37-14 for the only score of the frame.

Had the Wildcats been the team to score in that quarter, it could have been a completely different ball game, but instead St. Clair County seized all of the momentum and outscored the Wildcats 19-8 in the fourth quarter to win by the final of 56-22.

Lamont Bush was the only Shelby County player to post a noteworthy stat line with 267 all-purpose yards including 208 on the ground and two touchdowns. Nevada Wages added a touchdown as well.

The Wildcats posted 364 rushing yards and 17 passing yards in the game with 16 first downs. Shelby County is already in a situation where it needs to win three of its next three games, which is an attainable task.

They’ll have games against Moody, Wenonah and Springville over the next three weeks, with Moody and Springville being complete toss ups right now.

More photo available at www.ShelbyCountyPhotos.com.