JOHN CURTIS - Daily Union Sports Editor
Daily Union Sports Editor
SHELBYVILLE — Maroa had been talking trash the last few weeks leading up to the JFL heavyweight match-up between the Trojans and the Shelbyville Rams. On Saturday night, the Rams did their talking on the field, winning 52-19.
Undefeated and conference leading Shelbyville scored 18 unanswered points in the 1st quarter, while the Rams defense forced two 3 and outs and gave up only one 1st down on three Maroa possessions.
Shelbyville upped their lead to 44-6 before the half and Maroa wasn't talking trash anymore. All you could hear from the other side were crickets. Shelby shut up the Trojans, except for the whining.
A Maroa coach complained about being the recipients of the mercy rule, the running clock after a 30-point lead. He continued to whine and was thrown out of the game and had to leave the field.
Shelbyville had planned to leave the starters in through the 3rd quarter. The Rams got one possession in the 3rd and had to punt. With the running clock, the 4th quarter came quick. After the Ram defense stopped Maroa on the first possession of the 4th, the 2nd string Ram offense took the field.
Shelby went 3 and out and Maroa scored on a 3rd and 9 on a screen pass that was cut back, 44-13.
The Rams got one more possession as time was ticking away. Mason Cameron returned the kickoff 25 yards. Then Tyler Gottfriedt got the ball.
His first run was arguably the most inspiring run in Shelbyville football over the last 9 years. He went 40 yards, fighting off a host of tacklers along the sideline for the last 15 yards, while fighting to stay in bounds and still picking up yardage no matter how many tacklers grabbed him.
Gottfriedt got the ball again and ran for 10 yards. He got the ball again and ran inside the 5. Clayton Peterson ran the ball over the goal line on the next play with 1:07 left in the game. Brett Spears kick the extra points and Shelby was up, 52-13.
Maroa got a final score on their 2nd kick return for a touchdown and made the extra-point kick, 52-19.
Deondre Gregory scored all three Maroa touchdowns. He was the only one allowed to run kicks back. Teammates would take the kickoffs, but had to give the ball to Gregory all nine times. Two he ran back. The other score came on his screen pass reception and run.
Gregory was a strong runner, who could break many tackles, but he was all that Maroa had.
Prior to the game, former legendary Shelbyville coach Gerald Temples gave the pre-game speech to the Rams and stressed "T-E-A-M" over "I". One player, no matter how good he was, was not going to beat a Shelbyville team effort.
Maroa won the coin-toss and deferred, big mistake. Shelby grabbed the momentum and never let go.
On the Rams 1st possession, quarterback Turner Pullen ran the option to the outside and kept the ball for a 49 yard gain. They ran the same play and he picked up 29 yards. Gottfriedt ran for 2 yards and Pullen ran it in on the next play after just a minute of play (8:56), 6-0.
On the first Maroa posession, they ran three plays all for loss and faced 4th and 20. After the punt, Shelby got the ball at their own 47.
Pullen rolled out again and kept the ball. He picked up 6 yards and was tackled by his facemask, giving them another 15 yards. A fumbled hand off was recovered by Maroa.
Maroa picked up a 1st down on a 19-yard Gregory run. Gottfriedt tackled the runner on the next play after 4 yards. Gottfriedt stopped him at the line of scrimmage on the followng play. A screen pass picked up a couple yards and they faced 4th and 4. They ran for two and Shelby took possession,
Shelby had the ball at their own 30. Pullen ran the option again and picked up another 40 yards. They ran the same play again and he went the final 36 yards for the score. With 2:51 in the 1st, Shelby was up 12-0.
Maroa took the kick-off and went 3 and out, again. They punted to the Shelbyville 30. Brett Spears ran for 15 yards and a 1st down. Pullen was sacked, but there were multiple flags thrown. The personal foul on Maroa moved the ball to the Maroa 45.
After a illegal procedure against the Rams, Pullen uncorked a long pass to Gottfriedt. Gottfriedt came back for it, then eluded the defender and headed for the goal line. He beat the pursuit and took it in with 28.7 second left in the 1st, 18-0.
Gregory took the ensuing kick-off up the sideline for a score with 14.5 seconds left in the 1st, 18-6.
Maroa had an onside kick, but Shelby's Eli Houska covered it. Pullen ran the option and picked up another 15 yards. On the first play of the 2nd quarter, Quinn Martz got the call and ran away from the defennse for a 36 yard TD. With 9:50 left in the half, Shelby was up 24-6.
On the ensuing kick-off Peterson made the tackle for negative yardage. He mad the next tackle for zero yards. On the following play Maroa fumbled and Shelby recovered it at the Maroa 15.
On the first play of the possession, Pullen thr ew a fade to Spears in the corner of the end zone for their second touchdown in 47 seconds. Shelby led 30-6 with 9:03 still left in the half.
After shanked kick-off Maroa had the ball at the Ram 36. Two negative plays left Maroa 3rd and 19. A pass off the receivers hands was picked off by Mason Cameron. Shelby had the ball at their own 22.
On the first play of that possession, Martz beat the coverage and accelerating when the pass from Pullen him in stride. He was free and clear and scored the 78 yard touchdown for the third score in 2 and a half minutes, 36-6.
It would be another 3 and out for Maroa. Facing 3rd and 12 at their own 42, they tried a reverse. the runner was corraled and as tried to evade tacklers he lost more yardage and was swallowed up by a host of Rams, like swarning raptors devouring their prey.
After the punt the Rams had the ball at the 50. A pitch to Spears went 21 yards. On 3rd and 9 Pullen was sacked. Facing 4th and a ton the pass was incomplete.
Maroa got the ball on downs. An incomplete pass was followed by Gottfriedt stooping a run for no gain. After another incompete pass, Shelby called time-out with 2:07 left in the half.
On 4th down, Maroa passed the ball and Cade Watson intercepted it at the Shelby 30. He eluded tacklers and recorded a 70-yard pick six. Gottfriedt's extra-point kick was good with 1:51 left in the half, 44-6.
Maroa drove to the Shelby 38, but had 4th and 14. A halfback pass failed and the Rams had theball again. A long pass was incomplete and the half ended.
Maroa got the 2nd half kick-off and drove to the Shelby 46, but a huge sack by two Rams made it 3rd and 19. Shelby took over on downsat their own 40. Shelby went 3 and out and punted into the 4th quarter.
Daric Austin had a sack bringin 4th and 9 and the Rams stopped Maroa on the next play. The Ram B offense took the field and was stopped. Gregory scored on his screen pass TD, then Gottfriedt set up the final Ram score with inspired "never let up" running.
*Watch for web updates and the Tuesday print edition with complete stats and photos.