Class 4A, No. 10 Greenfield-Central had an interception return for a touchdown and two kickoff returns for scores Friday to power past Shelbyville, 54-7.
The Golden Bears know to compete against the top half of the Hoosier Heritage Conference, they cannot allow quick scores and big plays – including a 70-yard run for a touchdown by G-C in the third quarter.
“Our special teams … we botched a field goal attempt too,” said Shelbyville head coach Brian Glesing. “The kickoff coverage is one of the harder things when you have a superior team and an inferior team, kickoffs is an area where you can be exploited or exposed the most.”
Greenfield-Central finished with 360 rushing yards and five touchdowns on the ground while not attempting a pass.
“I thought defensively, one of the things about an option team or a team that runs the wishbone like (Greenfield-Central), we forced them to do a couple of other things. I was excited about that,” said Glesing. “We did a good job of stopping the dive and getting to the quarterback. Then they had to run a quick pitch for a big score and their quarterback counter play hurt us.
“I was excited. I thought we did a good job going through our progression on the option even though the score didn’t indicate that.”
Preparing for Greenfield-Central is tough when you don’t have the personnel to simulate the unique offense. Preparing for Yorktown and its pro-style offense this week is much easier.
The Tigers are 4-1 overall (2-1 HHC) and coming off back-to-back wins over Delta (35-21) and New Castle (25-19).
“Football games have so many different pieces to the puzzle,” said Glesing about the final score of Yorktown’s win over New Castle, who Shelbyville beat one week earlier. “Things that happen in games, whether a penalty here or there or a turnover here or there can just change the way the score looks on the scoreboard.
“New Castle did some good things against Yorktown and kept it close. I would be tickled pink if we had it within one possession in the fourth quarter. That would be huge.”
Shelbyville’s defense has to slow down Yorktown junior running back Jalen Thomas, who has nearly 500 yards rushing in five games. Against Delta, Thomas had 169 rushing yards and 55 yards receiving while finding the end zone three times.
“They can probably give him the ball more,” said Glesing. No other Tiger has more than 14 carries this season.
Quarterback Mason Moulton is back from an injury and completing 57% of his pass attempts for 545 yards and three touchdowns in three games. The junior has thrown seven interceptions, though.
Shelbyville (1-4, 1-2 HHC) has five players with at least 100 yards rushing this season, led by Axel Conover’s 292 yards on 66 attempts. Cael Lux (146 yards), Alex Macharia (142 yards), Luke Jackson (113 yards) and Eli Chappelow (111 yards) also have surpassed the century mark. Combined, the quintet have eight rushing touchdowns.
Chappelow has completed 52% of his pass attempts for 512 yards and three touchdowns.
Jackson Parker (14 receptions, 178 yards) and Lux (seven receptions, 174 yards) lead the Golden Bears in receiving yards.
Shelbyville at Class 3A, No. 15 Yorktown
Game Time: 7:30 p.m. at Tiger Stadium in Yorktown, Ind. All tickets are $6 at the gate and cash only.
Broadcast time: 6:30 p.m. pregame show live from McKeand Stadium with Johnny McCrory and Mark Drake on GIANT fm (96.5 fm, 106.3 fm, 1520 am) or on the GIANT fm app.
YT promotion: Homecoming.
Head coaches: Brian Glesing, 2-10 in 2nd year at Shelbyville, 120-104 in 20th year overall; Mike Wilhelm, 95-94 in 18th year at Yorktown.
2021 record: Shelbyville 1-6; Yorktown 5-5.
Sagarin ratings: Shelbyville, 29.25, 232nd overall, 51st in Class 4A; Yorktown, 58.46, 103rd overall, 19th in Class 3A.
Point spread: Yorktown is favored by 31 points.
Last meeting: Shelbyville lost 35-0 in 2021 after a three-week layoff due to COVID-19 protocols limiting the roster size and forcing the cancellation of games.
Last 10 meetings: Shelbyville is 4-6 against Yorktown in the last decade. The Tigers have won four straight meetings.
Around the HHC Friday: Delta (3-2, 1-2 HHC) at New Castle (1-4, 0-3 HHC); Class 4A, No. 10 Greenfield-Central (4-1, 2-1 HHC) at Class 4A, No. 1 New Palestine (5-0, 3-0 HHC); and Mt. Vernon (2-3, 2-1 HHC) at Pendleton Heights (2-3, 1-2 HHC).
Sectional 23 lookahead: Class 4A, No. 5 East Central (4-1); Class 4A, No. 11 Martinsville (4-1); Silver Creek (3-2), Bedford North Lawrence (2-3), Shelbyville (1-4), Edgewood (1-4), Jennings County (1-4), Greenwood (1-4).