Montevallo takes down Shelby County with strong 2nd half

Published 1:14 am Saturday, September 1, 2018

By ERIC STARLING | For the Reporter

COLUMBIANA – In this week’s Shelby County Game of the Week, the Montevallo Bulldogs and the Shelby County Wildcats faced an almost two hour delay at halftime due to weather on Friday, Aug. 31, at Shelby County High School.

After a strong performance by the Wildcats’ defense in the first half to hold Montevallo scoreless, the Bulldogs dominated the second half, scoring 22 unanswered points at one point, and came away with the 22-12 win to remain undefeated on the young season.

Facing each other for the first time in 15 years, the Bulldogs struggled to get anything going on offense in the first half, failing to score before the halftime break.

“All credit goes to the Wildcats and their game planning on holding us scoreless in the first half,” stated Montevallo head coach Brandon Wilcox.  “They executed well and we struggled early.”

The Wildcats leaned heavily on the running game in the first half but it was a 38-yard pass play from Chase Holliman to Isaac Montgomery that got them the spark needed to move into Bulldog territory.

With 7:43 remaining in the second quarter, Tyrese Goodman punched it in from 2 yards out, giving Shelby County its first touchdown of the 2018 season after being held scoreless in its opener. A failed 2-point conversion left the score 6-0.

The Wildcats stopped two long drives by the Bulldogs in the second quarter with two interceptions as the defense continued to play lights out. The second one came as the first rain of the evening started pouring down and the clock expired for the halftime break.

“It felt like we had been in the locker room for 15 hours and our players were slipping out of that game mentality. I decided to share a story with them about Jamie Riggs and the T.R.Miller team in a rain delay game. I asked them if coach (Heath) Childers were to walk in right then, would he see a team that he had been beaten down, or a team that he needed to fear in the second half.  It wasn’t pretty but our guys were fighters in the second half,” Wilcox said.

The Bulldogs drove 61 yards on nine plays during the first drive of the second half using a mix of run and pass. The series was capped off with a 1-yard quarterback sneak from Malik Inabinette. After a missed extra point, the score was knotted at 6-6.

Shelby County fumbled the ball right back to the Bulldogs giving them the ball at the Wildcats’ 39-yard line. Inabinette connected with Joseph Anderson for a 31-yard pass play moving the ball into the red zone. Deon Gilliland scored from 3 yards out before Inabinette punched it in for the 2-point conversion to all of a sudden give Montevallo a 14-6 advantage.

On the next drive by the Bulldogs, Inabinette connected with JJ Evans for a 26-yard touchdown with just seven seconds remaining in the third quarter. Evans went on to lead all receivers with 93 yards in the game, while Inabinette finished his night with 237 yards passing as well as one passing and rushing touchdown each.

The Wildcats started deep in their own territory to begin the fourth, and were successful on the ground once more moving the ball all the way to the 5-yard line before Goodman scored his second touchdown of the night. The 2-point conversion was unsuccessful, which kept the deficit at 10 points, 22-12.

Shelby County had one last chance on offense, only to see Montevallo’s Avery Anfield go up and intercept a Holliman pass to seal the win.

Montevallo, now 2-0, will look to continue its winning ways on the road on Friday, Aug. 31, at Dallas County for the Bulldogs’ first region game of the season, while the Shelby County Wildcats, now 0-2, will hope to notch their first win of the season in a region contest with Chilton County.