Local Sports

Class 4A, No. 6 Greenfield-Central overpowers Shelbyville for first 5-0 start since 1973

GREENFIELD – Shelbyville needed a near perfect performance to spoil Class 4A, No. 6 Greenfield-Central’s Homecoming.

An early mistake got the Cougars off and running – quite literally – to a 47-0 victory Friday at Clayton Myers Field at Hancock Health Stadium in Greenfield.

Junior quarterback Dallas Freeman threw for two touchdowns and ran for another to get the Cougars off to a 5-0 start for the first time since the program’s 1973 state championship team.

“They’ve got size and they’ve got speed and they are very efficient at what they do,” said Shelbyville head coach Scott Fitzgerald. “Their coaches had them ready to play. They got after us and got that jump on us that we couldn’t allow to happen.

“I’m still proud of our guys. I still feel like we fought and still played hard. Sometimes you just go up against a better opponent and they are a better opponent.”

The G-C win coupled with New Palestine’s 34-14 win over Pendleton Heights Friday sets up a Hoosier Heritage Conference showdown on Sept. 22 in Greenfield. The Cougars (5-0, 3-0) and Dragons (3-2, 3-0 HHC) are the only unbeatens left in the conference standings.



Shelbyville won the coin toss and took the ball immediately with the goal of controlling the time of possession battle and keeping the opponent’s high-powered offense off the field.

That offense didn’t need to be on the field to score the first points of the game. On the third offensive play for Shelbyville, Kirk Knecht stepped in front of an Eli Chappelow pass and returned it 34 yards for the game’s first score.

Shelbyville’s next series ended with Knecht returning a Ben Price punt 69 yards for another touchdown but a G-C penalty negated the score.

That didn’t matter. Freeman executed a 15-play drive that went 60 yards and ate up five minutes, 21 seconds off the clock before it ended with Jacob Hinton rumbling into the end zone from three yards out.

Greenfield-Central’s versatility was on display all game long. By halftime, the Cougars led 34-0, had nearly 200 yards rushing through seven different ball carriers while Freeman had 71 yards passing to five different receivers.

“It is a very efficient offense and they do a fantastic job with it and they have some great kids,” said Fitzgerald. “Their linemen are very physical and they’ve got a little nasty to them.”

Hinton added a second touchdown run in the second quarter and Freeman finished off a third-straight scoring drive with a 10-yard run to make it 28-0.

Cooper Hinton ended G-C’s fourth offensive scoring drive of the first half but the two-point pass conversion failed leaving the score at 34-0 at halftime.

Freeman’s two passing touchdowns came in the third quarter – a 28-yard pass to Willard and a 37-yard catch-and-run by Knecht.

Shelbyville’s offense never got in gear, racking up just 83 yards total and four first downs.

Greenfield-Central had 22 first downs and 450 yards of offense.

Shelbyville now turns its focus to Homecoming week. The Golden Bears (3-2, 1-2 HHC) will host Yorktown (3-2, 1-2 HHC) – a 34-28 winner over New Castle Friday.

“We have to get back to the drawing board and correct the things that we did wrong tonight and have a really good week of practice,” said Fitzgerald. “It’s a fantastic week. We have Homecoming activities all week long. We have Operation Football (WTHR-13) coming Friday night. I think we will have a fantastic crowd.

“With a game like (tonight), you just have to wipe it off and move on. We can’t carry it over with us. If we carry it over with us, we continue to make mistakes. We will try and move on and correct this.”

Steve Bush photos

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