John Curtis Daily Union Sports Editor
Shelbyville Daily Union
---- — Tolono Unity hosting Shelbyville on their Senior Night, may be a 3-touchdown favorite, but the Rams have an opportunity to make a down payment on next year in Friday’s season finale.
Tolono is 6-2 and ranked 8th in the state in Class 3A. They will be playing for playoff position and will be motivated to put this game away quickly. The key to avoid and make a down payment on next year, is for the Ram defense to play their best game of the season.
No big plays. No missed tackles. The Rams have a host of highlights this season on defense, including scoring. The defense cane keep Tolono from blowing this game out, by making Tolono sustain a long drive and come up with some of those sacks. A take-away could be huge.
Senior Matt White lead the Ram defense with 63 tackles, five for loss, two fumbles recoveries and a blocked kick. Adam Hudson has 56 tackles, three for loss and two fumble recoveries.
Jared Finley has been a whirling dervish. He has 47 tackles, with nine for losses. He also has an interception, pass knock downs, one that led to a Tice Robinson pick six. Robinson has 35 tackles, two for loss, despite missing two games.
Shelby offense must execute, especially in the red zone, and hang on to the ball. A Wyatt Fox punt (1210 yards, 34.6 avg) is better than a fumble.
Shelbyville special teams finally got a punt return for a touchdown last week. That can happen again, but they can’t give up a score.
Eliminate big plays on defense, take care of the ball on offense, execute in the red zone, get a key turnover and a special team or defense score and the Rams will come close to an upset. They also will make a down payment on next year.