JOHN CURTIS - Daily Union Sports Editor
Shelbyville Daily Union
SHELBYVILLE, IL. —
After dominating the Charleston JFL Jamboree a week ago, the Shelbyville Ram heavyweights routed the Sullivan-Okaw Valley Redskins, 42-6, after the Ram lightweights won, 32-8.
The Rams were a juggernaut in the first 12 minutes. They scored on their first possession in the first minute and a half. Mason Cameron ran the ball in from 12 yards out. The extra-point kick was bobbled and the run attempt failed. The Ram defense stymied SOV in part due to Kelby Firnhaber's tackle for loss on the outside.
They got the ball back and Quin Martz went up to catch a ball from QB Turner Pullen in the middle of the defense, came down with the ball and was surrounded. Firnhaber laid a down field block on a tackler and Martz sprung free to the outside. He raced to the side line and into the end zone. Gottfriedt kicked the ball through the uprights and Shelby was up 14-0 in less than 3:00.
The Rams stopped SOV and got the ball back again. They worked their way down the field and Pullen found Cade Watson for an 11-yard TD reception. Gottfriedt put the extra-point kick right down the middle and in less than 4:00, the Rams were up, 22-0.
SOV had a good 1st down run and finally got into Ram territory as the 1st period started to wind down. The Rams stopped SOV on 4th and short at the Ram 22 yard line and got the ball back.
On the second play of the 2nd period, Shelby set up a one-on-one fade pattern deep to Kelby Firnhaber and Pullen hit him. Firnhaber turned to the outside at midfield and ran away from the pursuit for an 85 yard TD, 28-0. Shelby got the ball right back and Gottfriedt scampered 37 yards on a TD run with only 11:59 gone in the game, 34-0.
The 3rd period was scoreless and most of the 4th. SOV finally got on the board with a break-away 62 yard TD run with 1:37 left in the game. Shelbyville still got the last word, however. Firnhaber took the ensuing kick off and ran it back 78 yards for a TD. Gottfriedt made the extra-points kick and Shelby capped the scoring at 42-6.
The Ram offense has been a juggernaut in the last two weeks, but the defense is equally dominant. The Rams had 292 yards of offense and the defense had 11 tackles for loss, holding SOV to just 65 yards of offense. This contrast was startling, even though the Ram starters were pulled after the 2nd quarter and the Ram offense stopped throwing after the first 12:00 of play.
The biggest offensive stat was the Ram passing game. That was mostly due to runs after the catch. Quinn Martz ran 33 yards for a score after an exceptional catch and a great down field block. Kelby Firnhaber's 20-yard fade pattern was caught due to great focus against a defender and then out-running the pursuit for his 85-yard TD.
Tylr Gottfriedt also ran free after two catches, accumulating 65 yards. All that was in the first 12:00. Gottfriedt, besides kicking off, kicking 3-of-7 extra points, and catching two balls, ran 37 yards for a TD, to lead the 72 yard Ram rushing game.
The defense was led by four players with double-digit tackles. Ryan Skowronski and Clayton Peterson both had 12 tackles, while Gottfriedt and Pullen had 10 each. Derek Fisher and Nick Hoene had eight and seven tackles, respectively. The Rams had 16 defenders with tackles and Cade Helton snagged a fumble.
Tomorrow the Rams will play host to Tolono Unity, last year's conference title game rematch.
Shelbyville 42, Sullivan-Okaw Valley 6
1st (8:32) - SH Cameron 12 yrd TD pass from Pullen (PAT failed), 6-0
1st (7:10) - SH Martz 33 yrd TD pass from Pullen (Gottfriedt Kick), 14-0
1st (6:14) - SH Watson 11 yrd TD pass from Pullen (Gottfriedt Kick), 22-0
2nd (9:25) - SH Firhhaber 85 yrd TD pass from Pullen (PAT failed), 28-0
2nd (8:01) - SH Gottfriedt 37 yrd TD run (PAT failed), 34-0
4th (1:37) - SUL Sullivan 62 yrd TD run (PAT failed) 34-6 Shelby
4th (1:22) - SH Firnhaber 78 yrd kickoff return for TD (Gottfriedt Kick) 42-6 Shelby
Ram Stats: RUSHING- 72 yards, 7 attempts, (TD); Pullen-16 yds, Cameron-4 yds, Spears-8 yds, Gottfriedt-37 yds (TD), Helton 7 yds; PASSING- 8 for 10, 220 yards (4 TD's); Pullen - 7 for 7, 213 yards (4 TD's); Blesky - 1 for 3, 7 yards; RECEIVING-Gottfriedt - 2 catches for 65 yrds; Watson - 2 catches for 17 yrds (TD):Cameron - 1 catch for 12 yrds (TD); Firnhaber - 1 catch for 85 yrds (TD); Martz - 1 catch for 33 yrds (TD); Helton - 1 catch for 7 yrds; KICK/PUNT RETURN-Mason Cameron had 107 yrds, Kelby Firnhaber 78 yrds; DEFENSE: 11 tackles for loss; Tackles: Ryan Skowronski - 12, Clayton Peterson -12, Tylr Gottfriedt - 10, Turner Pullen - 10, Derek Fisher - 8, Nick Hoene - 7, Braden Young - 3, Mason Cameron - 3, Kelby Firnhaber - 3, Cade Watson - 3, Cade Helton - 2, Daric Austin - 2, Brayton Vice - 2, Eli Houska - 1, Emerick Messado - 1, Braxton Vice - 1. Cade Helton fumble recovery.
SOV stats: RUSHING-58 yrds on 28 attempts; PASSING- 2 for 4/7 yards