They are phrases that Shelbyville Golden Bear stakeholders – fans, parents, coaches, players – have adjusted to over a struggling three year stretch. Things like get better every day. Baby steps. Do the little things. Little successes.
It’s just one game. And the final score still saw Shelbyville suffer a loss. But Friday’s season opening 42-21 loss at Greensburg felt bigger than those phrases would suggest.
The game featured a Shelbyville 100-yard rusher, an offensive line that, at times, dominated Greensburg up front, and a defense that sent multiple tacklers to the football. All in all, it was an encouraging night for a football team that hasn’t had many in recent years
The beginning wasn’t exactly the way you’d draw it up for the Golden Bears Friday night as Greensburg freshman Kaden Acton took the opening kickoff right up the middle 85 yards for a touchdown in the game’s first 12 seconds. The Pirates led 6-0 as the two-point conversion failed.
Shelbyville’s opening drive stalled and Greensburg increased its lead to 14-0 on a 52-yard run and two point conversion.
But the Golden Bears bounced back. Sophomore quarterback Eli Chappelow replaced starter Colton Adkins and led a drive capped with a 32-yard touchdown pass to Alex Macharia with 2:21 left in the first quarter to cut the Pirate lead in half, 14-7.
Shelbyville would draw even, 14-14, on a Chappelow one-yard run with 6:52 left in the first half.
From there, the Pirates rebuilt a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. With 4:05 remaining in the half, 6’5” first year junior quarterback Sam West moved the Pirates quickly down the field and scored on a 14-yard run.
After Shelbyville failed to mount a drive to end the half the Bears punted and Greensburg took advantage of a short field with a West to Ethan Meadows 10-yard touchdown pass with 15 seconds to play.
Greensburg took a 28-14 lead into the half.
Late in the third, West hooked up with Meadows again as the senior wide receiver got behind the Shelbyville secondary and ran under a 60-yard pass from West to put Greensburg up, 35-14.
The largest lead of the night came with 7:44 left in the game as Pirates' senior Luke Scheumann scored from a yard out.
Shelbyville’s defense gave the Bears a final scoring opportunity when Jackson Parker picked off a pass from Greensburg backup sophomore quarterback Kadan Cain and returned it to the Greensburg 17-yard line. Cael Lux scored from three yards out with under a minute to play.
The touchdown from Lux capped a night with 127-yards rushing on 21 carries.
At quarterback, Shelbyville started senior Colton Adkins who gave way to sophomore Eli Chappelow in the first half. Adkins played the entire second half. Together, they produced a 4-for-11 passing night for 57 yards and a touchdown. Adkins rushed for eight times for 32 yards while Chappelow added five yards on five carries.
Greensburg’s Sam West made his varsity debut at quarterback. West, who appears headed for Alabama to play baseball but also has an offer to play tight end at Iowa State, was 7-for-13 passing for 135 yards and two touchdowns, both to Meadows. He also rushed for 66 yards on 12 carries.
Shelbyville head coach Brian Glesing on the GIANT fm Sports Cagney’s Pizza King postgame with Johnny McCrory and Mark Drake .
It was the 25th consecutive season opening meeting for the two programs. Shelbyville has won 17 of the 25 but has now lost four in a row in the series with their I-74 rival.
Overall, Shelbyville has now dropped 26 straight games dating back to September of 2018.
Shelbyville (0-1) will host Richmond Friday in the Golden Bears home opener. Richmond (1-0) beat Connersville Friday, 48-33. Richmond replaces longtime opponent Franklin on the schedule.
It’s the first meeting since the Red Devils hosted Shelbyville in a sectional game in October of 2012 and knocked the Golden Bears from the postseason, 14-0.
Greensburg (1-0) will travel to Bud Mendenhall Field for a Week 2 matchup with Triton Central. The #10 (2A) Tigers (1-0) dominated Cascade, 45-7.