SHELBYVILLE, IL. — Without much varsity experience in the opening game of the season, facing the reigning state champions, it was a stage too big for the Shelbyville Rams, who were not ready for prime time and lost 40-0.
As sophomores last year, the now junior-led Rams, showed promise in limited roles. But with the weight of starting varsity on their shoulders, Maroa was too big of a monkey on their back.
No one expected a Buster Douglas knockout of Mike Tyson when the Rams faced Maroa right out of the box. But Shelby had trouble tackling and had trouble snapping the ball. That put blood in the water for the Maroa scoring machine and the Trojan defense.
Maroa had also had three touchdowns called back on penalties and there was a running clock for most of the 2nd half or the score would have been much worse. Maroa put up 388 yards of offense, mostly in the 1st half, to Shelbyville's 115 yards of offense.
The Rams had one drive that got them in the red zone, down just 14-0 in the 2nd quarter. They were competing well. But they were stopped and Maroa quickly scored on three plays to break their back. You could stick a fork in the Rams, they were done with 6:00 left in the 1st half.
The Rams coughed up the ball and Maroa scored on one play, 27-0. On the next Ram possession, Shelby had to punt from their own end zone and Maroa scored again on one play, to lead 33-0 at the half.
Maroa's QB, Hockaday, had 251 yards passing in the 1st half and threw for four touchdowns. He also ran for 54 yards and a TD. Shelby had just 78 yards of offense in the 1st half.
Hockaday didn't play in the 2nd half, but his replacement scored on one play to make it 40-0 with 9:11 left in the 3rd quarter. The Ram star of the game in the second half was the running clock.