John Curtis Daily Union Sports Editor
Shelbyville Daily Union
---- — Shelbyville (2-4) plays at Sullivan-Okaw Valley (2-4) for the Redskins Homecoming and, on paper, you could flip a coin to see who’ll win.
The two programs use each other as a measuring stick in more than just football, being somewhat equal, friendly rivals in the Okaw Valley Conference. Shelby holds a slight edge at present and that could be the case again tonight, but not necessarily.
Shelbyville has rushed for 672 yards for 9 TDs. SOV has rushed for 673 yards and 6 TDs. Shelbyville has thrown for 850 yards, 8 TDs and 7 interceptions, while SOV had thrown for 600 yards, 4 TDs and 7 interceptions.
SOV did beat Central A&M, 23-14, after Shelby fell short against the Raiders, 27-20. SOV also beat Meridian, but just 14-8, in a defensive game. Shelbyville beat Warrensburg 20-8, but should have won by three TDs, at least if not for shooting themselves in the foot. Shelbyville beat Clinton like a drum, 40-8 and, once again, escaped the game with fewer toes than they started.
Shelbyville’s offense was finally able to operate last week and fans saw what they can do.
The Ram rushing game is depending on holding blocks and running backs picking holes faster and running downhill before the pursuit catches up. SOV’s running game is ground and pound Jake Eaton and let QB Nick Frerichs pick a hole.
Frerichs is the wild card. The Ram defense can’t let him have escap-ability or stop early on a play against Eaton and allow them to put up big plays from missed tackles. Frerichs is a definite threat to throw even though his numbers are less than Shelby’s QB Lucas Duckett.
The Ram defense was aggressive and more controlled last week and are the strength of the Rams at this point. The Ram rush needs to pressure Frerichs without letting him escape the pocket. The Ram secondary can’t let Joe Jeffers, Griffin Sullivan, and Peyton Hagerman get open and especially not behind them as Clinton had some success at last week.
SOV’s defense has also been a key to what success they have had this season. It could be a low scoring game, unless defense turns takeaways into scores.
If Shelbyville and Sullivan both play like they can, Shelbyville is a one touchdown favorite. But, it is Sullivan’s homecoming. Someone might have to impose their will to tip the scales in their favor.