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Tigers' big plays down Eagles

By CHRIS SIERS ~ sports@t-g.com
Posted 8/26/22

SHELBYVILLE — A handful of big plays and a couple of untimely mistakes ultimately proved costly for Shelbyville Central (0-2) on Thursday night against Marshall County.The Tigers (2-0) were …

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Tigers' big plays down Eagles

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SHELBYVILLE — A handful of big plays and a couple of untimely mistakes ultimately proved costly for Shelbyville Central (0-2) on Thursday night against Marshall County.
The Tigers (2-0) were able to build a three-touchdown, first-half lead and hold on in the second half for the 36-14 win over Shelbyville Central.
“We gave up a couple of big plays to them, but over all, we’re pretty happy with the way the defense played, forcing them to make plays. That’s what we wanted to do and that’s what they did,” Eagle coach Jud Dryden said.
The Tigers marched the game’s opening drive 70 yards and capped the possession on a 16-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Silas Teat to receiver Aja Jones.
The Eagles answered and effectively moved the ball on their first drive of the game, including a key third-down conversion on an eight-yard pass from quarterback Jake Preston to Bron Ransom.
After moving into plus-territory, the Eagles went to the air again and a mis-handled pass ended up in the hands of Tiger linebacker Thomas Beech, who returned it to the 37-yard line with 1:05 left in the opening frame.
The Tigers took advantage of the Eagle turnover and on the first snap following the interception, Marcus O’Neal scampered 68 yards for the second Marshall County score of the night.
Shelbyville continued to move the ball well, but just couldn’t finish drives.
The Eagles’ best scoring chance of the first half came after Shelbyville started at its own seven-yard line and pushed well into Tiger territory, with Preston connecting with Micah Threatt for a 36-yard connection to move the sticks.
But with 5:55 left in the half, the Eagles turned the ball over on downs.
It wasn’t until the third quarter that Shelbyville finally found paydirt.
Starting at its own 45-yard line, Preston made a key fourth-down conversion pass to Threatt for 16 yards to keep the drive alive.
Sophomore tailback Rocky Chandler then put the Eagles on the board on a 13-yard run with 2:03 left in the third to cut the Tigers’ lead to 22-7, following Ben Betzelberger’s successful kick after.
Marshall County wasted no time answering the Eagles’ score, with Teat connecting with Jones on a 61-yard touchdown pass on their first play following the Eagles' touchdown.
Shelbyville found one final score in the game when Preston hit Threatt on a 48-yard touchdown pass with 8:32 left in the game to cut the Tigers’ lead to 29-14, but as before, Marshall County orchestrated a four-minute scoring drive, capped off with Teat’s fourth touchdown toss of the night to Jayden Randolph.
“Offensively, we were able to move the ball, we just weren’t able to capitalize on opportunities the way we could have and should have. So we go into practice next week looking to fix those,” Dryden said.
In total, the Eagles cranked out 275 yards of offense, with Preston connecting on 6-of-17 pass attempts for 122 yards.
Threatt was his top target of the night, hauling in four grabs for 111 yards.
On the ground, the Eagles out-gained the Tigers 153-117, with Chandler’s 20-carry, 90-yard night leading the way for the Eagles.
“He (Chandler) is incredibly valuable on both sides of the ball, because he starts at outside linebacker for us too. Every snap, he gets better,” Dryden said.
Marshall County totaled 333 offensive yards, with Teat completing 13-of-20 attempts for four touchdowns and 215 yards.
Jones made six grabs for 141 receiving yards.
While it’s been a tough start for Shelbyville so far this season, the Eagles will dive into Region 3-AAAAAA play next week, which Dryden said carries a huge amount of importance.
“It’s huge in so many different ways. Right now, we’re 0-2. We’ve got to get into the win column, but to do it against a region foe that will also put us in the playoffs is incredibly important,” he said.
Shelbyville will travel to Manchester to face the Coffee County Red Raiders at 7 p.m.

Marshall Co. 14 8 7 7 — 36
Shelbyville 0 0 7 7 — 14

First Quarter
M — Aja Jones 16 pass from Silas Teat, (Wyatt Joyce kick), 5:35.
M — Marcus O’Neal 68 run, (Joyce kick), :51.
Second Quarter
M — O’Neal 47 pass from Teat, (Jayden Randolph 2pt. run), 2:18.
Third Quarter
S — Rocky Chandler 13 run, (Ben Betzelberger kick), 2:03.
M — Jones 61 pass from Teat, (Joyce kick), 1:07.
Fourth Quarter
S — Micah Threatt 48 pass from Jake Preston, (Betzelberger kick), 8:32.
M — Randolph 1 pass from Teat, (Joyce kick), 4:18.

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