Shelby County earns win on homecoming night

Published 12:51 am Saturday, September 29, 2018

By JEREMY RAINES / Special to the Reporter 

COLUMBIANA – Entering homecoming week with a big region win at home last Friday over the Marbury Bulldogs, coach Heath Childers and his Shelby County Wildcats were ready to defend their turf once again this week against the Moody Blue Devils.

All time, the Wildcats hold the head-to-head matchup against the Blue Devils with a 7-1 record and winning last year’s meeting 27-21. Both teams entered the night with just 1 win apiece.

The first quarter quickly passed by as both teams saw their fair share of run plays early. With 1:21 left in the opening quarter, Shelby County struck first as a handoff to senior Chase Franklin led to a touchdown, but the attempted 2-point conversion was stopped just short of the goal line. Wildcats took the early lead 6-0.

Shortly into the second quarter, Shelby County scored in exciting fashion as running back Trinity Martin picked up a huge touchdown run down the home sideline to extend the Wildcat lead to 12-0 after being unsuccessful on another 2-point conversion attempt. This time, Moody didn’t waste time on their ensuing possession as the Blue Devils capped off an impressive drive of their own with a handoff to up the middle to put the Blue Devils on the board. The PAT attempt was no good, which brought the score to 12-6 with 8:31 left in the first half.

A strong performance by the Wildcat offense allowed them to soon strike again as quarterback Chase Holliman capped the drive off with a run by himself to take the Wildcats up 18-6 with just over 2 minutes left in the first half. Martin followed the Holliman touchdown run with an impressive diving 2-point conversion that stretched the lead to 20-6.

Moody responded with a quick drive, however, as a huge pass took the Blue Devils from their own 40 yard line to the Wildcat 28 yard line. The pass was followed by a 9-yard touchdown pass to the speedy Blue Devil running back, tightening the score to 20-13 after the PAT with only 31 seconds in the half.

After facing two consecutive false start penalties on their opening drive of the second half, Holliman connected with receiver Tyrese Goodman with a great pass across the middle to set the Wildcats up with a first and goal. Goodman also got the prize run for 6 more points as he took it to the house on a fourth-and-goal run to take the Wildcat lead to 26-13.

Moody threatened again, as the Blue Devils got to the Wildcat 4-yard line with less than 9 minutes left in the game. A strong Wildcat defense had other plans, though, as a strong stance forced a fumble. The Wildcats were unable to capitalize on the fumble, though, as a short offensive stance resulted in a punt from their own end zone. The result of the punt was a return for a touchdown by the Blue Devils. The PAT was good, bringing the score to 28-20.

Facing exhaustion, the Wildcat defense dug deep to find just enough life to hold off the Blue Devils capturing their second win in a row at home for their faithful fans.

“It was a great effort by our players tonight. We had some guys nicked and dinged up, so we weren’t able to play a lot of guys tonight,” Childers said. “We had a big first half, which is what we needed. We needed to pull out and get a lead. We got tired in the second half and we couldn’t sub a lot of guys, but our defense stepped up and I’m really proud of those guys.”

The Wildcats improved to 2-4 on the season as they prepare to travel to take on a tough region opponent in the Demopolis Tigers next week.