JOHN CURTIS - Daily Union Sports Editor
SHELBYVILLE, IL. — Sure, it was like all-star midget mud wrestling in the basement of the Okaw, but despite a flock of penalty flags and miscues, the Shelbyville Rams (1-3) emerged with a win over Warrensburg (0-4) on Friday night, 20-12.
The game went so fast it was almost like having a running clock for four quarters. In the end, it all came down to Warrensburg self-destructing late in the 4th and the Ram defense taking advantage.
The Rams had their second pick six inside the final 2:00, but the TD was called back for yet another Shelby personal foul. The teams were chirping so much at each other, instead of trying for another score, the Rams just let the clock run out and notched the win.
Neither team could get going offensively, so it was up to the defense most of the game. Shelby had a drive, taking over on downs at their own 31 late in the 1st quarter. Tyler Hendryx had a 26 yard run.
Tice Robinson and Lucas Duckett had runs that got to the Warrensburg 10. But on 3rd and 12 from the 12, a screen pass hit an unsuspecting Cardinal defender and he ran 64 yards to the Ram 22.
Warrensburg went four downs and the Ram defense stopped them and took over at the 20.
On the first play a bad snap led to a Duckett fumble that was picked up and taken to the house, 6-0 Warrensburg with 6:57 left in the half.
Warrensburg got the ball back after a punt, driving from midfield to the Ram 29. On 3rd and one, Elliott Smithson stuffed the run. On 4th and 1, the QB sneaked it for a 1st down.
Bart Kennell sacked the QB on the next play for a 12 yard loss. After a phantom interference call on the Rams, Warrensburg faced 3rd and 5 at the Ram 11 with less than a minute in the half.
Chase Jackson picked off a pass at the 10 yard line and the Rams averted the Cardinal score with 23.6 seconds left in the half.
The refs blew a call on the kickoff that would have put the Rams at their own 35. The Rams got a rekick and Jackson returned it from the 20 to the 45.
With 3 receivers to the left, Duckett hit tight end Luke McConnell in the middle in the field for 19 yards to the Warrensburg 32.
On 3rd and 5 Duckett hit McConnell again and his run after the catch got the 1st down at the Cardinal16. Jackson ran for six yards and Hendryx for one, before a procedure flag pushed them back to the 19.
Duckett threw a fad pattern to Wyatt Fox, who got separation inside the 5 and made the catch for a game-tying TD. The Dylan Patch kick was blocked and with 6:46 left in the 3rd it was 6-6.
Warrensburg took the kickoff, but playd by Finley and Ulrich brought 4th down. A fake punt was stopped by Zach Williams and the Rams got the ball at the Warrensburg 32.
Devin Peterson ran 13 yards for a 1st down at the Cardinal 14. Tice Robinson ran twice and the measurement proved a 1st down at the Cardinal 2 yard line.
Duckett kept the ball up the middle and kept pushing the pile over the goal line with 2:30 in the 3rd. The fake kick didn't work and Shelby was up 12-6.
The Cards took the kick, but on 3rd and 4, Finley sacked the QB again. After the punt the rams had the ball at the Cardinal 47.
A pass to McConnell netted another 1st down at the WL 33. The game went into the 4th period, but on 3rd and 15 Duckett threw an interception in the middle of the field.
Warrensburg had the ball at the 44. In a bad flashback to previous games, the Rams let a counter play go for a 56 yard TD on the first play from scrimmage. One man had a shot at him, but he slipped on the wet grass. Warrensburg tied the score 12-12 with 10:21 to play. The extra-point kick missed.
A short kickoff was taken by Zach Williams and he returned it to the Shelby 43. After 3 and out, Wyatt Fox punted the ball and it bounced to the Warrensburg 2.
Fox made a run sack to bring 3rd down at the 2. Finley stuffed a run and Warrensburg had to punt from the back of the end zone. The punt went out of bounds at the Cardinal 26.
Duckett got a 1st down run to the WL 15. Another holding penalty pushed them back to the 24 and gave them 2nd and 19. Robinson ran for 10, but the Rams couldn't convert two passes and Warrensburg got the ball at their own 14.
A tipped pass wasalmost picked off, then Warrensburg almost got a delay of game call and had to call a time-out. A ahlf-back pass went incomplete, but a late flag was thrown for interference for a Cardinal 1st down.
On the very next play, a pass was deflected by Jared Finley and Tice Robinson caught it along the sideline and took it 20 yards for the score. The pick six gave Shelby an 18-12 lead with 2:55 left in the game.
On the 2-point try, duckett flipped the ball on a reverse to Henryx who threw to the back of the end zone to Luke McConnell, 20-12.
Warrensburg took the kickoff and on the first pass play Fox picked off another cardinal pass and brought it from the WL 35 to the 21.
After a Robinson run, two players got into it and there were offsetting penalties. With 2:16 left, Patch ran for a 1dt down to the 10.
Duckett ran and fumbled the ball at the 5 and it was recovered by Warrensburg in the end zone. On their first play from the 20 with 50 seconds left, Fox picked off another pass and took it in for the score.
Shelbyville would have won by two touchdowns, but another Ram personal foul penalty negated the TD. Shelby let the clock run out to end the game.
Shelbyville 20, Warrensburg 6
2nd (6:57) - WL 17 yd fumble return, kick failed, 6-0
3rd (6:46) - SH Duckett to Fox 19 yd pass, kick blocked, 6-6
3rd (2:30) - SH Duckett 2 yd run, run failed, 6-12
4th (10:21) - WL 56 yd run, kick failed, 12-12
4th (2:56) - SH Robinson 25 yd INT return, pass good, 12-20
Ram stats: OFFENSE 216 yds, 2 TDs; 1st DOWNS 11 (7 run, 4 pass); RUSHING 129 yds; Robinson 8 for 50 yds; Duckett 10 for 43 yds, TD;Hendryx 8 for 25 yds; Peterson 1 for 13 yds; Patch 7 for 10 yds; Jackson 2 for 8 yds; PASSING 87 yds; Duckett 6 for 17, 87 yds, TD, 2 INTs; RECEIVING McConnell 3 for 41 yds; Fox 1 for 19, TD; Hendryx 1 for 26 yds; Patch 1 for 1 yd; TACKLES- Finley 7 (5/2) 2 sacks(1 ,10 yds); Ulrich 6 (4/2), sack (1 yd); Patch 5 (3/2); White 5 (3/2), 1 sack (1 yd); Robinson 5 (5/0); Smithson 4 (2/2); Hudson 4 (4/0); Z. Williams 4 (3/1); Ferguson 2 (2/0); Kennell 2 (2/0), sack (13 yds); Jackson 2 (1/1); Peterson 1 (1/0); Wade 1 (1/0); McConnell 1 (1/0), sack (9 yds); KICK RETURNS Robinson 1 for 28 yds; Jackson 1 for 20 yds; Z. Williams 1 for 8 yds; KICKOFFS Patch 4 for 182 yds; PUNTS Fox 2 for 87 yds; PUNT RETURNS Finley 1 for 14; INTSJackson 1 for 2 yds; Robinson 1 for 26 yds, TD; Fox 1 for 16 yds (pick 6 20 yds called back); PENALTIES 8 for 76 yds
*Watch for web updates and the Tuesday print edition for more photos