Shelbyville could have surprised Tuscola, but when it counted they cramped up, failing to score three times in the red zone and giving the Warriors just one more opening night win, 28-0.

Tuscola was ranked #6 in Class A and Shelbyville ranked #5 in their division of the Okaw Valley Conference. No one, except those who knew the Rams, expected a different outcome on Friday. But with all the weapons at Shelby’s disposal, they had an opportunity to upset Tuscola. But, they couldn’t capitalize on those opportunities.

"We were in the red zone three times and couldn't cash in," said Ram coach Ross Forlines. That is something we are going to have to work on. We have to get a better surge. We played well. We are things we need to fix and can fix and when we do we will win ball games.They wore us down defensively. They hurt us early on. We had a tackle out of position. Then we fixed it. But, in the fourth quarter they wore us down."

Down 14-0 in the 2nd quarter and with Tuscola driving, the Rams got a pass interception from Cody Boarman in the end zone. The Rams then kept the ball for 6:00 and threatened. Boarman ran, Bo Buhrmester ran, Caine Cloe ran and Tuscola had a penalty.

Stalled near mid-field the Rams had to punt. Tuscola roughed the punter, Boarman, and the Rams got new life. Caine Cloe threw deep to Boarman and he was down to the Tuscola 15 yard line, in the red zone. Shawn Bly ran the ball, then a receiver dropped a pass for a possible touchdown that would have made it 14-6.

On 3rd and 5, defenders were all over Levi Pruemer, but no interference was called. On 4th and 5, Cloe was picked off in the end zone. Strike One!

It was the third turnover of the first half, the second interceptions to go with a fumble after the catch.

Tuscola got one first down, the Cloe played the option perfect and stripped the ball. The Rams recovered and were in business again. Two shorts runs and an incomplete pass made it 4th and 4. The pass was tipped, but Buhrmester made a great catch falling down and the Rams had a 1st down at the 15 yard line, in the red zone.

With 2:00 to play in the half, the Rams had a penalty, then Cloe was sacked and the ball was back to the Tuscola 29. An incomplete pass made it 4th and 24. A pass was tipped away from Levi Pruemer and that was strike two!

Tuscola took over on downs at their own 29. Tuscola took a knee and still led at half, 14-0. But, it could just as easily been 14-14 at the break.

The Rams took the 2nd half kick and moved the ball 20 yards before punting again. James Gill came up with a big sack and Tuscola had to punt on 4 and out. The punt was almost blocked by the Rams and they got the ball on their own 34 yard line.

After a short loss, Boarman took the hand off and threw a halfback pass down field to Nate Holmes. Holmes was out of bounds at the Tuscola 3 yard line, in the red zone again. The Rams ran the ball four straight times, three times from the one and couldn’t get in, strike three!

It could have been 21-14 Rams, but it was still 14-0 Tuscola.

Tuscola then mounted a drive and got it to the Rams 18 before the 3rd quarter horn sounded. After being stalled by the Ram defense, Tuscola tried a field goal. The Rams blocked it an got the ball back with 12:00 left in the game still trailing just 14-0.

At this points, the cramps and the Tuscola helmet to helmet, helmet to knee hits started to take their toll. The Rams went three downs then another tipped pass was picked by the Warriors, the third INT of the game for Shelbyville, you’re out!

Tuscola’s most dangerous player, receiver Gunnar Edwards made a diving catch in the end zone three plays later and it was now 21-0 with 9:49 to play. The Rams got the ball to the 30-yard line after the kick return, but then went backwards as Tuscola put their ears back and came hard.

The Ram punt got to midfield and Tuscola ran downhill to the end zone on nine straight running plays, 28-0 with 5:13 to play.

The Rams got the ball back, but the offense went backwards again and the Tuscola subs came in and ran out the clock.

Shelbyville (0-1) host Meridian next Friday at 7 p.m.

Tuscola 28, Shelbyville 0


1st (5:14)-(T) Meyer 1-yd run, kick good, 7-0

1st (2:33)-(T) Meyer 8-yd run, kick good, 14-0

4th (9:49)-(T) Meyer 8-yd pass to Edwards, kick good, 21-0

4th (4:10)-(T) Stewart 1-yd run, kick good, 28-0

Official Shelbyville stats: RUSHING-Bo Buhrmester 6 carries, 26 yards; Cloe 7 carries, 10 yards; Bly 5 carries, 4 yards; Boarman 5 carries 2 yards; Colton Mahnke 2 carries, 3 yards; PASSING-Cloe 7 for 21, 75 yards, 3 INTs; Boarman 1-for-65 yards; RECEIVING- Nate Holmes 2-for-72 yards; Boarman 2 for 31 yards; Buhrmester 1-for-16; Bly 2-for-15 yards; Levi Pruemet 1-for-6 yards; TACKLES-James Gill 10 (6 solo/4 assists), 1 sack (3); Cody Langan 9 (7/2), 2 sacks (7.1); Buhrmester 8 (5/3); C. Cloe 8 (6/2); Dustyn Fatheree 7 (4/3); Holmes 5 (3/2); Mahnke 5 (2/3); Boarman 5 (3/2); Bly 4 (4/0); Nick Ray 4 (2/2); Dylan Sarver 3 (3/0); Alex Jones 2 (1/1); Jake Duck 2 (2/2); Matt Rentfro 1 (1/0); A.J. Howell 1 (0/1); Pruemer 1 (1/0); Zach Curtis 1 (1/0); Hayden Miller 1 (1/0); KICKOFFs-Bly 1-for-45 yards: KICK RETURNS-Buhrmester 2 -for-31 yards; Bly 1-for-24 yards; Boarman 1-for-12 yards; Sarver 1-for-10 yards; PUNTS-Boarman 3-for-107 yards; Howell 1-for-28 yards; INTs-Boarman 1-for-0 yards; FUMBLE RETURNS-C. Cloe 1-for-0 yards; BLOCKED PUNT-Fatheree 1; 1st DOWNS-6 (4 passing, 1 running, 1 penalty); PENALTIES 3 for 25 yards.

Ram leading stats: RUSHING-25 for 41 yards; Bo Buhrmester 6 for 33 yards; PASSING- Cloe 7-for-16, 81 yards; Boarman 1-for-48 yards; RECEIVING-Boarman 3-for-48 yards; TOTAL YARDAGE- 163 yards; TURNOVERS 4 (3 INT, 1 fumble)

Ram team stats: RUSHING 34 for 166 yards; 18 catches for 181 yards; TOTAL YARDAGE 347 yards; TURNOVERS 2 (INT, fumble).

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