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Monday, June 27, 2016

Eagles take aim at Wildcats

Friday, October 12, 2012

T-G Photos by Gary Johnson Shelbyville Central's Golden Eagles host rival Tullahoma in a huge District 8-AAA match up tonight at 7. [Order this photo]
In a rival that dates back to the early 1920's, Shelbyville Central hosts Tullahoma in a key District 8-AAA matchup tonight at 7.

Both teams enter the game off a bye week with the Golden Eagles (3-4, 1-2 8-AAA) claiming a 49-42 victory at Lawrence County in their last outing while Tullahoma (4-3, 2-1 8-AAA) edged Franklin County 28-20.

'Great rivalry'

"This is just a great rivalry that goes back a long way. We've got an assistant coach that's a former coach at Tullahoma (Marcus McDonald) on our staff and we've got several other coaches that have played in this rival game over the years and we've talked to out players about this game and what it means, other than playoff implications," Central coach Jason Hardy said.

"These two communities are just several miles apart and it's always a big game when Shelbyville and Tullahoma play one another, no matter what sport it is."

Shelbyville's Tunde Onakoya picks up some tough yards for the Eagles.
(T-G Photo by Gary Johnson)
Hard week

The Eagles took advantage of their week off, trying to get better in all phases of the game.

"We didn't take a day off during our bye week. We've been working hard to get better and prepare for Tullahoma," Hardy said. "The bye week is always welcomed as far as getting some injuries healed and it helped us a little but unfortunately we've suffered a number of season ending injuries already this year."

Senior Marquis Morton will be called upon to help the Golden Eagles mover the ball on offense against Tullahoma tonight.
(T-G Photo by Gary Johnson)
Shelbyville enters the game averaging 32.1 points per game while the Eagle defense allows 31.7 points an outing.

Middle Tennessee State University commitment Marquis Morton has rushed for 607 yards on 101 carries while junior quarterback Brayden Ward has connected on 62-of-116 passes for 1,026 yards with 11 touchdowns and six interceptions.

Wildcat numbers

The Wildcat offense scores an average of 21 points a game with their defense giving up 23.

Tullahoma's offense features senior Trey Burkes, who has rushed for 497 yards and six touchdowns on 93 carries to go along with 15 catches totaling 274 yards, including four touchdowns.

A wide receiver last year, Justin Brown took over the quarterback duties his senior year for the Wildcats. He's completed 94-of-164 passes for 1,273 yards with 10 touchdowns and seven picks. He's also a threat on the ground, rushing for 99 yards on 47 touches.

"Tullahoma is a well coached team that play extremely hard," Hardy said. "They have the ability to put some points om the board and their defense flies to the football."

Injuries hurt

Shelbyville has lost five starters due to season-ending injuries and the Eagles have not had two complete games with the same starting linemen.

"Injuries have really taken a toll on us this year but with that said, it gives another player or players a chance to step up and help make a difference," Hardy said. "Hopefully we'll see that happen the last three regular season games."

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