The Shelbyville Ram football team opens their home season on Friday against Cerro Gordo at 7 p.m.

Shelbyville is still smarting after being controlled last Friday on the road at Seneca, 38-15. Their only offensive success came in the 1st quarter as the Irish defense was getting warmed up. The Rams also scored against reserves late in the game.

The Daily Union talked with Ram coach Bill Duckett and asked what to expect this Friday. 

"Everyone is healthy," Duckett said. "We need to improve our fundamentals and try to sustain drives. We only had 35 offensive plays last week. So, we need to get defensive stops and not allow long drives. We need to control the time of possession." 

Visiting Cerro Gordo scored both of their TD last week on runs. The Broncos was also on the road last week at Niantic Sangamon Valley. They eked out a win, 15-12. Both teams scored once in the 2nd quarter. Sangamon Valley scored with 5:00 to play in the half. CG came right back and scored on a 17-yard run. CG kicked an extra-point for the half-time lead, 7-6.

Both teams scored in the 4th quarter and CG had a 2-point conversion. With 10 minutes left Sangamon Valley scored on a 30-yard pass play, but failed on the 2-point try, to lead, 12-7.

Cerro Gordo scored on a 7 yard run play with 4 minutes to play and made the 2-point conversion to go up 3, 15-12. 

Last year, CG was 5-4 and made the playoffs. They beat Sangamon Valley, 34-22. Last year, Cerro Gordo, at home, beat Shelbyville by double, 45-22.

Last week, the the Rams had minimal yardage led by sophomore Rope Hatfield with one touchdown and an extra-point run. Senior quarterback Kentrell Beck had the other short TD run.

There were just 3 completed passes. One to Colten Reed for 17 yards, one to Josh Agin for 14 yards to set up the final TD, and one to Colton Miller for 12 yards. Beck was 3-of-13 for just 43 yards and 2 interceptions. 

If the Ram defense can stop the low-scoring Cerro Gordo rush and get the offense to execute in front of the chains the low-scoring Rams of last week may get a win. It may be a week when the leg of Seppe Vitale could push the Rams over the top for a win. 

John Curtis can be reached at

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