Shelby County wins regular-season finale, sets sights on playoffs
By SCOTT MIMS | Staff Writer
TALLADEGA — Signs point to good things for the Shelby County Wildcats as they capped their regular season with a 28-23 victory over fellow 5A playoff contender Talladega Tigers on Friday night, Oct. 30.
Running back Evan Joiner shined throughout the game, making three of the team’s four touchdowns and racking up a total 297 rushing yards on 36 carries.
Wide receiver Isaac Montgomery set the stage for some of those touchdowns, making some big plays of his own—among them an interception, an onside kick recovery, a long kickoff return and a 30-yard gain on a slant.
The road win was a huge confidence builder for Shelby County, as the Wildcats go into Round 1 of the playoffs next week.
“Obviously you want to have momentum going into the playoffs, and that’s what we did,” said Shelby County coach Heath Childers. “We beat a good football team. It’s always good to go on the road and get a win, and it’s even better when you beat a good football team.”
Childers compared the offensive line to some of the great O lines of Shelby County’s past and said they are starting to be “nasty” at the point of attack. He also noted that Joiner has scored 12 touchdowns over the last four games.
“Evan Joiner is these last three or four games putting up all-state type numbers, and that’s not bad for someone who started the season as the number two fullback,” Childers said.
Joiner was first to cross the goal line for the Wildcats, and Tyrese Goodman scored on a jet sweep in the second quarter. That was enough to lead the Tigers 14-10 going into halftime, even though Shelby County trailed in yardage at that point, 167 to Talladega’s 176.
The Wildcats outscored the Tigers in both halves, as Joiner’s other two touchdowns brought them to 28 and Talladega’s 13 additional points were simply not enough to get the job done Friday night.
Next week the Wildcats travel to Montgomery County to face Pike Road High School in the first round of the playoffs.