Shelbyville’s season opening loss to Greensburg Friday at McKeand Stadium came down to a tennis analogy for Coach Brian Glesing.
Photos by Steve Bush
The Golden Bears were forced to punt early in the second half and it “broke serve” to give Greensburg an advantage.
Add on a late turnover by Shelbyville that brought an end to a potential game tying or winning offensive drive in a home loss, 35-21.
Shelbyville (0-1) was tied twice through the first three quarters, at 6-6 and 13-13, but never trailed until the early minutes of the fourth. The Shelbyville defense stopped Greensburg on a fourth down attempt on the opening drive of the game and then drove 68 yards for the game’s first score. Junior running back Axel Conover punched it into the endzone from one yard out for a 6-0 lead. The point after was squelched by a bad snap.
Greensburg (1-0) answered led by senior quarterback Sam West. West capped a drive with a two yard touchdown pass to sophomore Kaden Acton with 7:37 remaining in the second quarter. The game stayed tied 6-6 when the Pirates also couldn’t handle a snap on the extra point kick.
The passing touchdown was one of four accounted for by West. The 6’5”, 215 pound Indiana University recruit is going to play tight end in college but is needed now to star in his role as Greensburg quarterback for a second season. West was 10-for-15 passing for 88 yards.
Shelbyville was able to take a lead into the halftime locker room. Golden Bear quarterback Eli Chappelow found wide receiver Alex Macharia for a 20-yard touchdown pass and catch on a fourth and 8. The score with 2:41 left in the half put Shelbyville ahead, 13-6.
On the scoring drive, Chappelow and Macharia hooked up on a 30-yard pass play where Macharia came back to the underthrown football near midfield and made the catch in front of the defensive back.
Macharia had three receptions for 64 yards and a touchdown to go with five tackles on the defensive side of the ball.
Chappelow was 5-for-5 passing for 83 yards to open the game. He was only able to complete one of his final six throws and finished with 97 yards through the air.
Greensburg drew even at 13-13 midway through the third quarter on a Sam West two yard touchdown run that capped an 85-yard drive. The score came after Shelbyville was forced to punt on the opening drive of the second half. It's the point in the game where Brian Glesing broke out the tennis analogy to describe the swing in momentum.
Hear the GIANT fm Sports postgame conversation with Coach Glesing in the link below
Greensburg’s first lead came with 10:30 remaining in the fourth quarter on another West touchdown run, a 12-yard effort that capped an 89-yard drive with the Pirates on top for the first time, 20-13.
West led all rushers with 187 yards on 19 carries. He was second on the team in rushing in 2021.
Facing a deficit for the first time Shelbyville responded. 182 pound junior fullback Luke Jackson steamrolled up the middle for a 38-yard touchdown run to pull Shelbyville within one, 20-19. When the Bears had to use a timeout to get personnel on the field for the conversion kick the decision was changed to a two-point try by Axel Conover. Conover’s successful two-point run gave the Golden Bears their final lead, 21-20.
After a West 20-yard run and two-point conversion put Greensburg back ahead, 28-21, Shelbyville mounted a drive into Pirates territory. As Shelbyville got down to the Greensburg 27-yard line it looked like Shelbyville would get a late touchdown and then have to decide between tying the game or going for two and the lead. But then, following a handoff, the ball escaped the grasp of Conover and rolled up his body. The fumble was recovered by Greensburg.
In the final minute, Greensburg’s sophomore running back Kaden Acton broke free for a 68-yard touchdown to seal the game, 35-21.
Acton finished with 152 yards on the ground on 12 carries to go along with a receiving touchdown.
Shelbyville head coach Brian Glesing joined Johnny McCrory and Mark Drake on the Cagney’s Pizza King Postgame.
Shelbyville travels to Rushville next Friday. It’s the first game between the programs since 2009. Rushville (1-0) snapped a 24 game losing streak with a win over Milan.
Greensburg will travel to #13 (4A) Greenfield-Central for a Week 2 matchup. Greenfield-Central replaces Triton Central on the Pirates schedule. The Cougars escaped Plainfield with a season opening 30-28 win.