Shelby County falls by four to Marbury

Published 1:57 am Saturday, October 21, 2023

By SCOTT MIMS | Special to the Reporter

COLUMBIANA — Victory eluded the Shelby County Wildcats in the final seconds of their homecoming game on Friday night, Oct. 20, as Marbury held off a strong comeback in the second half for a 32-28 victory.

Marbury was up 18-0 near the end of the first half, going strong on the momentum of Carsyn Cobbs’ first three touchdowns. The Bulldogs attempted 2-point conversions each time, but all were unsuccessful.

Then, with 43 seconds on the clock in the second quarter, Bradley Horton scored on a 2-yard run to put the Wildcats on the board. Following the PAT, the score was 18-7 Marbury at halftime, giving the Wildcats some momentum at the break.

Horton got right back to work in the third quarter, scoring on a 4-yard rush to cut Marbury’s lead to 18-14.

But with 5:57 left in the third, Marbury’s Cobb answered with a short goal line dash and accompanying 2-point conversion to extend the lead to 12.

The Wildcats missed a field goal attempt with 1:10 left in the third, but in the fourth quarter a 14-yard run by Horton set up another short touchdown run to put Shelby County within five points at 26-21.

However, Marbury’s Jeremy Baileynemard hauled in a 75-yard reception for the Bulldogs with 5:51 on the clock, making it 32-21 following an unsuccessful conversion attempt.

Shelby County didn’t give up, however, and showed what it can do in the air when Ryan Sipes found Anthony Palmieri from 45 yards out, as the clock ticked down to 4:07 to play. The PAT made it 32-28.

The Wildcats defense held Marbury this time and Shelby County regained possession, driving the ball down to the Marbury 5-yard line with a chance to win.

On the final play, a quarterback keeper came close but was stopped just short of the goal line, as the Wildcats fell in heartbreaking fashion.

With the loss, Shelby County is now in a three-way tie for the third and fourth seed in the region with Marbury and Selma. With the Wildcats beating Marbury and falling to Selma and Selma beating Marbury, the deciding factor will come down to non-region opponents as the Wildcats play two more games against Rehobeth and Woodlawn that will determine their playoff fate.

Eli Holliman led the Wildcats defense with 12 total tackles, including eight solo tackles. Cooper Pennington had 10 tackles with six solo tackles and two tackles-for-loss. Nico Palmieri finished the night with eight tackles, including four solo tackles and two for a loss.

Shelby County will finish the season with two non-region games versus Rehobeth at home on Oct. 27. and at Woodlawn Nov. 2.