JOHN CURTIS - Daily Union Sports Editor
SHELBYVILLE, IL. — Shelbyville beat the 'Skins by the skin of their teeth, spoiling Sullivan-Okaw Valley's homecoming on Friday, 14-12.
It was a defensive struggled between two equally matched teams. Despite giving up big plays again, the Ram defense stiffened in the 2nd half and won the game.
After falling behind 12-8 in the 2nd quarter, the Ram defense stopped SOV on their first possession of the 2nd half on a 3 and out.
Ram punter Wyatt Fox put the ball inside the 'Skin 15. After the punt, Shelby used the short field to put together a 7-play, 45 yard drive to take the lead, 14-12.
SOV used a 32 yard play on their next possession for 1st and 10 at the Ram 31. They faced 4th and 5 just as the 4th period started at the Ram 26.
Adam Hudson made a big play to stop SOV two yards short and give the ball back to Shelbyville.
Shelbyville offense only had 179 yards of offense on the night, but they made a big play, when it counted.
On their first possession of the 4th quarter, they faced 4th and inches on their own 33. They calle time-out and instead of punting, quarterback Lucas Duckett kept the ball and ran for the 1st down. The gamble paid off.
Tyler Hendryx picked upp another 1st downon a 14 yard run and got the ball near midfield. They had to punt, but Fox put this one down to the SOV 10 yard line.
The Ram defense held SOV to 3 and out again thanks to a QB sack by Luke McConnell and Caleb Cloe and Matt White blowing up a wide receiver screen for a loss. SOV had to punt from their own end zone.
Shelbyville got the ball in great field position, but couldn't get a horsecollar flag and had to punt again. Fox punted the ball inside the 10 and the returner was immediately tackled.
With just 2:21 left in the game and down two points, SOV went to a 5 receiver set. The Ram defense sacked the QB and almost scored a safety.iday
SOV faced 4th and 11 at their own 9 yard line with 1:18 to play. The SOV pass was knocked down by the Ram defense line and Shelby took over.
They could have scored with a minute left and won by a touchdown, but they just took a knee and ran out the clock for the win.
After the first three possessions of the game, Shelbyville received a punt at midfield and put together a 10-play 51 yard drive for a touchdown.
Devin Peterson ran for 8 yards and, on 4th and inches, Tice Robinson ran for the first of his four 1st downs, two on that drive. Tyler Hendryx ran the ball in from the 11 yard line.
On the extra-point kick, SOV roughed the kicker, Dylan Patch. The Rams got the ball closer to the goal so they went for two. Duckett ran the ball in untouched for the 8-0 lead with 1:34 left in the 1st quarter.
That SOV penalty and the resulting 2-point conversion turned out to be the margin of victory. SOV made another faux pas in the 1st half. Shelbyville had a rare short punt from Fox and the ball hit an SOV player. The Rams recovered the ball and possession, instead of giving SOV possession in Ram territory
Despite those mistakes, SOV got a couple big plays in the 2nd that sparked a pair of scores.
SOV had a huge kick return after the Ram TD. They started their drive from the Shelby 32 yard line. Eaton ran the ball on the second play for 28 yards. Frerichs ran the ball in from the 1 to cap the 5-play drive. The conversion was stopped by the Rams and they held onto the lead, 8-6, with 11:46 left in the half.
After the touched punt recovery, Shelby had another long drive of 14 plays. Duckett ran for a 1st down and a pass interference gave then another 1st down.
Robinson ran for a 1st down, but they couldn't convert on a 4th and 6 at the Redskin 9 yard line.
SOV got the ball and went 90 yards in just four plays. Eaton ran for 20 yards and a 1st down. He ran for 9 yards.
On 2nd and 1 from the SOV 45 Frerichs broke free for another big play, a 54-yard TD run, for the lead, 12-8. Again, the Rams stopped the 2-point conversion. That proved to be huge in the 2-point win.
Shelbyville (3-4) host Monticello next Friday for Ram Senior Night.
Shelbyville 14, Sullivan-Okaw Valley 12
1st (1:34)-SH Hendryx 11 yd run, Duckett 2 pt run, 8-0
2nd (11:46)-SOV Frerichs 1 yd run, x pt NG, 8-6
2nd (2:21)-SOV Frerichs 54 yd run, 2 pt NG, 8-12
3rd (3:21)-SH Duckett 1 yd run, 2 pt NG, 14-12
Ram Stats: OFFENSE 169 yds, 2 TDs; RUSHING- 138 yds, 2 TDs; Robinson 16 for 71 yds; Duckett 10 for 23 yds, TD; Hendryx 5 for 23 yds, TD; Peterson 3 for 12 yds; Patch 8 for 9 yds; Jackson 1 for 1 yds; PASSING-Duckett 6-for-11, 31 yds; Fox 0-for-1; RECEIVING-Fox 4 for 13 yds; McConnell 1 for 12 yds; Hendryx 1 for 6 yds; PUNTS Fox 5 for 199 yds (longest 52), 39.8 avg.; 1ST DOWNS-10; TACKLES White 11 (7/4); Hudson 8 (6/2); Smithson 4 (3/1), 1 for loss; Duckett 3 (2/1); McConnell 3 (2/1); Cloe 3 (2/1) , fumble recovery; Kennell 3 (3/0); Robinson 2 (2/0); Patch 2 (1/1), 1 for loss; Mudgette 2 (2/0), 1 for loss; Fox 2 (2/0); Ulrich 1 (0/1); Hendryx 1 (1/0); Williams 1 (0/1); Jackson 1 (0/1); Peterson 1 (0/1); PUNT RETURNS Finley 2 for 35 yards (longest 33) KICKOFFS Patch3 for 142 yards (47.3 avg); KICK RETURNS Hendryx 1 for 13; Finley 2 for 28; PENALTIES 3 for 15 yards..
*Watch for web updates and the Tuesday print edition with official stats.