Last year, Shelbyville heavywight JFL had to travel to Tolono for the final season of the game to decide the title. Tolono tumbled the Rams, 42-6. But Karma requires a payback and, on Saturday, payback was rich as the Rams got revenge, rolling Tolono, 44-0.
“Tolono put it to us pretty good last year, so we knew we couldn’t make to many mistakes and come away with a win,” said Ram coach Matt Cloe. “We had some big hits early on that kind of set the tone for the game. Nick Hoene, Quinn Martz, Turner Pullen, and Cade Watson all had big hits that sort of took the wind out of their sails so to speak. Outside of the Decatur MacArthur game, this may have been our best performace thus far in terms of intensity and focus. It was a good win for our town, our fans, our program, and our kids.”
Shelby was all over Tolono like stink on Grape Ape. The Pink Panther was cool as a cucumber, as Inspector Clouseau had no clue. Turner Pullen accumulated 237 all purpose yards and had four TDs. Tolono had no answer. The Ram defense also stymied the Tolono offense, formerly know as awesome. They held Tolono to 18 yards of total offense.
Pullen threw for 140 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran four times for 86 yards and two more touchdowns. He connected on a 65 yard pass play for a score, then ran for a 21 yard score. He threw a 12 yard TD pass and ran for another 43 yard score. He also caught a pass for 11 yards.
Tylr Gottfriedt caught three balls for 83 yards, but 65 of that came on a catch and run for 65 and a TD. He also converted 4-of-7 extra points kicks for eight more points. Mason Cameron caught four balls for 54 yards including the 12-yard strike. Nick Hoene had the big play on defense, scooping a fumble in a jail break blitz in the Tolono back field and taking 59 yards to the house. Ryan Skowronski threw in the last shovel of dirt on Tolono in the 3rd period with a 43 yard TD run.
The Ram defense was led by Gottfriedt and Clayton Peterson, both with a dozen tackles, followed by Skowronski in double digit tackles (10). In addition to the fumble recovery for six, was an interception by Cameron, the result of a pressure rush on the Tolono QB.
“We did a nice job as a team,’ said Ram coach Matt Cloe. “We were very focused on our goals and I think we accomplished them for the most part. Our contain guys did a great job of setting an edge defensively. I think Tolono only got outside of us once all night, and that reflects in their offensive numbers.”
Although the Rams handled Tolono, it wasn’t because Tolono was no good. They were dominant the previous week.
“Tolono just came off of a big win at Warrensburg, and we heard about their running back and QB all week long,” Coach Cloe said. “I think their running back touched the ball 6 times and scored 6 TD’s against Warrensburg, so we knew he was a good runner. They are a team that tries to dominate the edge, and we pretty much took that away from them.”
Their premier runner carried the ball 9 times against Shelbyville for a total of just 3 yards.
The Rams got the ball early and went in for a quick score. Pullen went back to pass as Gottfriedt ran out and up along the sidelines in double coverage. As Gottfriedt turned up field behind one defender the ball came down just as Gottfriedt ran by the second defender coming over to try to help. Gottfriedt caught the ball in stride and was gone. The score was barely over two minutes in the game. Gottfriedt converted the 2-point kick, 8-0 Rams.
The Ram defense respected Tolono’s offense early, but still got after them. As the game wore on the Rams smelled blood, stopped respecting Tolono and pinned their ears back.
Shelby got the ball back and Pullen rolled out to his left. One man stood between him and the clear path to the coal line 21 yards away. Pullen threw a shoulder fake and froze the defender. It was nothing but open sideline as he ran for the 14-0 lead.
A little over 2:00 into the 2nd quarter, Cameron caught his TD pass from Pullen. Gottfriedt converted again and after just 12:39 of play Shelby was up on their nemesis, 22-0.
Tolono was determined to run the ball and try to wear down the Rams, but it never happened. The Ram defense was too tough. Multiple Rams were in the back field and Hoene scooped up the fumble and had an escort of teammates in his wake as he ran for the score. Already up 28-0, Pullen kept the ball on a run and nobody could wrap him up. He just kept running and didn’t stop until he hit the end zone. Gottfriedt converted the kick and Shelby was up 36-0 at the half.
With a comfortable lead, like last week, the Rams substituted in the 2nd half. After almost 8:00 of play in the 3rd, the Rams got a break away run from Skowronski. Gottfriedt capped the scoring with the extra-points kick, 44-0.
The Shelbyville lightweights lost to Tolono, 33-31.
Next Saturday the Rams will travel to Clinton.
Shelbyville 44, Tolono 0
1st (7:53) - SH Gottfriedt 65 yrd TD pas from Pullen (Gottfriedt Kick) 8-0 Shelby
1st (2:11) - SH Pullen 21 yrd TD run (PAT Failed) 14-0 Shelby
2nd (7:21) - SH Cameron 12 yrd TD pass from Pullen (Gottfriedt Kick) 22-0 Shelby
2nd (4:22) - SH Nick Hoene 59 yrd fumble return for TD (PAT Failed) 28-0 Shelby
2nd (2:51) - SH Pullen 43 yrd TD run (Gottfriedt Kick) 36-0 Shelby
3rd (2:33) - SH Skowronski 43 yrd TD run (Gottfriedt Kick) 44-0 Shelby
Ram Stats: OFFENSE-304 yrds (4TD’s); PASSING 9-for-16, 151 yards (2 TDs); Pullen - 8 for 15 / 140 yrds (2 TD’s); Martz - 1 for 1 / 11 yrds; RECEIVING-Gottfriedt - 3/83 yrds (TD); Cameron - 4/54 yrds (TD); Pullen - 1/11 yrds; Firnhaber - 1/3 yrds; RUSHING- 16/153 (2 TD’s); Pullen - 4/86 yrds (2 TD’s); Gottfriedt - 1/2 yrds; Firnhaber - 1/21 yrds; Houska - 1/1 yrd; Johnston - 2/9 yrds; Brayton Vice - 2/9 yrds; Braxton Vice - 1/1 yrd; Matt Wasson - 1/6 yrds; Messado - 2/18 yrds; Blesky - 1/0 yrds; DEFENSE- Tackles: Gottfriedt - 12; Peterson - 12; Skowronski - 10; Pullen - 6; Helton - 5; Firnhaber - 4; Austin - 3; Watson - 3; Young - 3; Martz - 3; Hoene - 2; Houska - 2; Braxton Vice - 2; Cameron - 1; Johnston - 1; Rodman - 1; Messado - 1; Interception- Cameron; Fumble Recovery-Young, Hoene
Tolono Unity Offensive Stats: Offense 18 yards; Rushing- 34 attempts for 14 yrds; Receiving- 1 for 4/ 4 yrds