Daily Union Sports Editor
---- — The 2013 Shelbyville Ram roster was filled with former junior varsity players starting varsity for the first time. Their conference schedule was stacked against them and they were projected to fall short of playoff eligible (5 wins). Shelbyville won every game they were projected to win, except one. Five of their six losses were to eventual playoff teams.
Shelbyville opened the season with a loss to reigning state champs Maroa-Forsyth, 40-0. In their first chance for a win, the Rams let one slip away. They lost their home opener to Central A&M, 27-20. Week 3 was an uphill battle at Argenta-Oreana. The Rams lost to the eventual playoff team, 41-14.
Week 4, the Rams finally broke into the win column, getting a score on defense and winning at home against Warrensburg, 20-12. Shelbyville went to playoff bound St. Teresa the following week. The Rams won the 2nd half, but still lost, 43-27.
Week 6, Shelbyville dominated in their homecoming victory over Clinton, 40-8. The Rams put together two wins in a row, by spoiling Sullivan-Okaw Valley's homecoming in Week 7, 14-12. The final two weeks of the season, Shelbyville played two more playoff teams and lost.
They lost Monticello, 38-6, scoring on the final play of the game, a punt return. The Ram season finale was at Tolono's Senior Night, losing 25-7. The Rams won the 2nd half, as the defense shutout Tolono in the final two periods.
The Rams were led by their defense. The defense had one problem, giving up a few big plays in every game.
The offense was not very effective. They moved the ball, when they weren't shot in the foot by a drive killing penalty. When they did moved the ball, they had trouble scoring in the red zone. Their most effective aspect of the offense was the passing game, even though the Rams scored 11 TDs rushing and nine passing.
Shelbyville was a 2nd half team, out-scoring their opponents 105 to 51 in the 2nd half. They out-scored their opponents 67 to 19 in the 4th quarter.
A testament to the Rams ability to move the ball and their opponents scoring on big plays, was that the Rams had more 1st downs than their opponents, 91 to 88. The Ram passing game was better than their opponents. Shelby passed for 1146 yards (91 of 187) to their opponents 1089.
However, the Rams were doubled up in rushing by their opponents, 1691 to 755. The Rams had twice as many penalties and twice as many penalty yards than their opponents. The Rams were equal with their opponents in turnovers, averaging two per game.
The Ram defense was led by senior Matt White, who missed most of last year due to injury. White had 71 tackles (38 solo, 33 assists). He had five tackles for loss, blocked a kick and recovered two fumbles. Three other defenders were standouts.
Junior Adam Hudson recorded 70 tackles, including a team-high 45 solos (25 assists). He had seven tackles for loss and two fumble recoveries.
Junior Tice Robinson registered 50 tackles (38 solo, 12 assists), despite missing the first two games due to injury. Robinson had a fumble recovery and an interception for a 25-yard touchdown.
Junior Jared Finley was uniquely effective on defense. He recorded 52 tackles (37 solo, 15 assists) and 9 of them were for loss, a team-high. He pressured the quarterback forcing bad passes, knocked down passes, tipped a pass leading to a pick six, forced fumbles, and intercepted one pass.
Junior Mike Ulrich had 23 tackles and 7 of them, almost a third, were for losses.
Shelby had 48 tackles for loss in 9 games (5.33 per game).
The Ram defense picked off six passes. Wyatt Fox picked off two passes for 31 yards in returns. He picked off a third pass for a TD, but it was called back due to a penalty. Zach Williams had an interception with a 29 yard return.
Shelby recovered 12 fumbles in 9 games. White, Hudson, and senior Luke McConnell had two, each.
The Rams had four kick blocks. White, senior Dylan Patch, sophomore Bart Kennell, and senior Garrett Ferguson had one, each.
Junior quarterback Lucas Duckett was at the helm all season. His passing was effective, when he wasn't being blitzed. He complete 51% of his passes (91 of 180) for 1109 yards and nine touchdowns. He threw eight interceptions.
The Ram leading rushers were juniors Tyler Hendryx, who had 237 yards, despite missing the final game, and Tice Robinson, who had 208 yards, despite missing the first two games.
Hendryx averaged 5.2 yards per carry with a team-high four TDs. Junior Devin Peterson got more carries as the season went on and had a team-high 5.4 yard average.
Wyatt Fox was the leading receiver with 20 catches for 269 yards (13.5 avg.) and two TDs. Fox had the longest play from scrimmage, a 66-yard pass play.
Tight end, Luke McConnell, was the other leading receiver, catching 22 passes for 11. yards per catch and two TDs.
Senior Dylan Patch had the second longest play from scrimmage, the second longest pass play (57 yards). He also had the longest run from scrimmage, 43 yards.
Junior Tristan Wade also had a 50 yard pass reception. He caught just six passes, but two were for TDs. He had a team-high 19 yards per catch. Peterson and Hendryx both averaged 17.5 yards per catch.
One of the most valuable players on the team was Wyatt Fox, not just for receiving, but for punting. He reversed field position effectively. He punted 43 times in nine games (4.6 times/game) for 1473 yards, averaging 35 yards per punt. His longest was 52 yards.
Patch kicked off 31 times for 1184 yards (38.4 avg.). He also converted 10-of-15 extra-point kicks and was 0-for-2 in field goal attempts.
Finley was the most prominent punt returner, returning 13 punts for 212 yards, averaging 16.3 per return with one 70 TD return. Finley also returned 11 kickoffs for 213 yards (19.4 avg). His longest was 39 yards.
Robinson returned 17 kickoffs to lead the team with 371 yards (21.8 avg). His longest was 59 yards.
Quarterback Lucas Duckett had 1139 yards from scrimmage, all but 30 from passing, 11 TDs. Other than Duckett, Hendryx had a team-high 412 yards from scrimmage (237 rushing, 175 receiving) and six TDs. Fox had 273 yards from scrimmage (269 passing, 14 rushing), 2 TDs.
Other than Duckett, Robinson had the most all-purpose yards from rushing, receiving, and return yardage (592 yards), 1 TD. Hendryx had 523 yards and Finley had 495 yards.
2013 Ram Stats
Team Stats: OFFENSE 1901, 20 TDs; RUSHING 292 for 755 yards, 11 TDs; PASSING 91 of 187, 1146 yards, 9 TDs; 1st Downs 91; PENALTIES 45 for 376 yards; Fumbles (Lost 10, Recovered 12); INTs (Lost 8, Picked 6)
Individual Stats: RUSHING Hendryx 46 for 237 yds (5.2 avg) 4 TDs; Robinson 45 for 208 yds (4.6 avg), 1 TD; Patch 51 for 155 yds (3.0 avg), 2 TDs; Peterson 21 for 114 (5.4 avg), TD; Duckett 100 for 30 yds (.3 avg), 2 TDs; Chase Jackson 17 for 28 yds (1.6 avg), TD; Fox 2 for 14 yds (7.0 avg); Zach Williams 1 for 13 yds; Finley 1 for 3 yds (3.0 yds); Garrett Brachbill 1 for 2 yds 92.0 avg); PASSING Duckett 91 of 187 (51%), 1109 yds, 9 TDs, 8 INTs; Fox 1-for-5 37 yds (20%); Hendryx 0-for-1; RECEIVING 20 for 269 yds (13.5 avg), 2 TDs; McConnell 22 for 244 yds (11.1 avg), 2 TDs; Hendryx 10 for 175 yds (17.5 avg), 2 TDs; Patch 12 for 135 yds (10.4 avg), TD; Wade 6 for 114 yds (19.0 avg), 2 TDs; Peterson 4 for 70 yds (17.5 avg); Finley 6 for 67 yds (11.2 avg); Hudson 3 for 36 yds (12.0 avg); White 2 for 18 yds (9.0 avg); Robinson 5 for 13yds (2.6 avg); Robbie Boarman 1 for 5 yds 95.0 avg); TACKLES White 71 (38 solo/33 assists), 5 for loss; Hudson 70 (45/25), 7 for loss; Finley 52 (37/15), 9 for loss; Robinson 50 (38/12), 2 for loss; Ulrich 23 (15/8), 7 for loss; Duckett 23 (15/8), 1 for loss; Elliott Smithson 22 (13/9), 3 for loss; Patch 22 (12/10), 2 for loss; Fox 21 (15/6), 2 for loss; Andrew Mudgette 21 (12/9), 2 for loss; Caleb Cloe 20 (11/9), 2 for loss; McConnell 20 (12/8), 1 for loss; Zach Williams 20 (16/4); Kennell 15 (14/1), 3 for loss; Ferguson 14 (10/4), 1 for loss; Ben Houska 11 (5/6), 1 for loss; Jackson 10 (6/4); Hendryx 5 (4/1); Peterson 5 (3/2); Noah Applegate 2 (2/0); Cwenton Williams 1 (1/0); Jordan Smith 1 (1/0); Wade 1 (1/0); INTs Fox 2 for 31 yds; Finley 1 for 0 yds; Robinson for 25 yd, TD; Z. Williams 1 for 29 yds; Jackson 1 for 2 yds; FORCED FUMBLES Duckett, Smithson, Patch, Mudgette, McConnell; FUMBLE RECOVERIES White 2, Hudson 2, McConnell 2, Robinson, Duckett, Cloe, Kennell, Ferguson, Applegate; BLOCKED KICKS White, Patch, Kennell, Ferguson; PUNTS Fox 43 for 1473 yds (34.3 avg); PUNT RETURNS Finley 13 for 212 yds (16.3 avg), TD; Peterson 2 for 33 yds (16.5 avg); Hudson 2 for 21 yds (10.5 avg); XT PTS Patch 10 of 15; KICKOFFS Patch 31 for 1184 yds (38.2 avg); KICK RETURNS Robinson 17 for 371 yds (21.8 avg); Finley 11 for 213 yds (19.4 avg); Hendryx 7 for 111 yds (15.9 avg); Jackson 5 for 68 yds (13.6 avg); Z. Williams 1 for 8 yds (8 avg).