Shelbyville’s 60 points in a pair of season-opening losses is the most points the program has scored in back-to-back games since late in the 2017 season.
By comparison, the offense put up 43 combined points against Greensburg and Richmond in 2021.
Shelbyville continues to show upward trends for a program that has won two games over the last four seasons. The next step is to find offensive success against Hoosier Heritage Conference foes. The Golden Bears were shutout in four HHC contests last season.
“Now we’re playing a whole different ball game,” said Shelbyville head coach Brian Glesing of the 7-game stretch against HHC schools, including Class 4A, No. 1 New Palestine. “We are playing high-caliber teams. … We have to battle. It’s the HHC. We didn’t score a point last year and we didn’t score many the year before that and we didn’t score many the year before that. It is what it is. We can’t change who we play.”
Glesing gets his first up close look at Class 3A, No. 12 Delta (2-0) Friday after the 2021 game was cancelled due to Shelbyville having limited roster availability due to COVID-19 protocols.
“Delta is traditionally a good football program back to when coach (Grant) Zgunda was there,” said Glesing, who has spent most of his coaching career in southern Indiana. “They are well-coached, play hard and have a good football program. That is attributed to the things they have done traditionally.”
The Eagles have relied on senior running back Palmer Samuels to secure wins over Muncie Central (34-28) and Columbia City (21-14) to start the season. Samuels has 306 yards rushing and five touchdowns.
“We have do better with our keys, we have to play more aggressive, we have to play downhill and get off our blocks,” said Glesing of slowing Delta’s run game. “Our safeties have to be more active. Our linebackers have to play more downhill and be more aggressive. So what if you make a mistake, make it playing hard and going downhill. That’s what we have to do better.”
Kaiden Bond, Delta’s junior quarterback, has completed 16-of-28 passes for 126 yards this season. Caleb Elliott, a senior, and Jonny Manor, a junior, have combined for 15 of those pass completions.
“They have a lot of weapons that are good ones and they can really spread it out,” said Glesing. “It seems like they have a good athlete at every position.”
In its two losses, the Golden Bears have allowed 703 yards rushing. Rushville racked up 250 yards last week in a 41-39 win over Shelbyville.
“We’re not physical enough right now,” said Glesing. “We’re too passive; we’re not aggressive enough. We just stand on our heels and let teams take it right at us instead of us taking it to them.”
Senior linebacker Cael Lux leads the Golden Bears with 37 total tackles over two weeks. Senior Jordan Marcum (photo, below) has 20 total tackles.
Quarterback Eli Chappelow produced the best start of his career at Rushville, completing 58% of his pass attempts for 217 yards and a touchdown and rushing for 62 more yards and three touchdowns.
Axel Conover ran for 95 yards on 18 attempts.
“Delta plays a 5-2 and is fast and physical off the ball,” said Glesing. “They are fundamentally sound.”
Glesing closed out practice Tuesday celebrating the team’s football card fundraising success. Despite being a rebuilding program, Glesing is impressed with the Shelbyville community supporting the Golden Bears and the excitement the student body is showing – including at Rushville last week.
“It’s a tradition that I inherited and we’ve built on it a little bit,” said Glesing of the coupon cards. “It’s the same old good deal. A lot of high schools do it. I have people calling me to this day asking if I have any football cards left.”
Despite starting the season 0-2 and carrying a 7-game losing streak, there is profound positivity within the program.
“It’s one of the hardest things about the coaching profession,” said Glesing. “I’ve been there because I’ve built programs. You have to find those successes, those little baby steps that you can build on. Yes, we’re 0-2 but it feels a little different this year that we’ve made some strides, at least offensively.
“You can’t keep getting your brains beat in and then expect the kids to keep bringing it every day. That’s a challenge, especially in this conference.”
Shelbyville at Class 3A, No. 12 Delta
Game time: 7:30 p.m. at Delta Stadium in Muncie, Ind.
Head coaches: Brian Glesing, 1-8 in 2nd year at Shelbyville, 119-102 in 20th year overall; Chris Overholt, 42-26 in 7th year at Delta.
2021 record: Shelbyville 1-6; Delta 5-6.
Sagarin ratings: Shelbyville 36.29, 246th overall, 54th in Class 4A; Delta, 58.15, 130th overall, 29th in Class 3A.
Point spread: Delta favored by 24 points.
Last year: Due to COVID-19 protocols, Shelbyville had to cancel its Hoosier Heritage Conference contest with Delta. On Sept. 24, 2020, Delta defeated the Golden Bears, 68-0.
Last 10 years: Delta has won seven of the last 10 meetings and three straight in the series.
Around the HHC Friday: Class 4A, No. 8 Greenfield-Central (2-0) at Class 4A, No. 10 Mount Vernon (0-2); Class 4A, No. 1 New Palestine (2-0) at Yorktown (2-0); and Pendleton Heights (1-1) at New Castle (1-1).