Eagle win was worth long wait
TULLAHOMA — Instead of “Friday Night Lights” it could have been called “Thursday Late-Night Lights”.
Shelbyville Central cruised to an impressive 31-13 win over Tullahoma in the opening game of the season on Thursday night.
The game did not end until 10:55 p.m. due to an approximate 1 hour and 20 minute lightning delay during halftime.
“I thought we played well in all three phases of the game, but the biggest thing was how we came back out and played after sitting so long at halftime,” Shelbyville Central coach Justin Palmer said.
“Our goal this year is to play ‘Maximum energy and effort every single game’ and there’s no doubt we did that, even after staying in the locker room for so long at halftime. I’m super proud of this team for being able to overcome that.”
In what looked to be an offensive shootout early, the game turned out to be a physical, hard-hitting affair with only seven points scored in the second half.
“We played physical on both sides of the ball and I think that is a big difference in this team and some of the teams we had in the past. The physicality is there and they’ve got to bring it every game,” Palmer said.
Defense turns it up
“We were kind of sluggish on defense at the start and we didn’t do a very good job of getting to our spots the way we needed to, but once we settled down and got a stop, our defense took over the game.”
Shelbyville Central got on the board first with a 24-yard field goal by Dalton Corley.
The Wildcats responded with a drive capped off one-yard touchdown pass to Briasen Corn from Ben Fulton. The kick after gave Tullahoma a 7-3 lead.
The Eagles followed with another nice drive and regained the lead when Airius Trice hauled in a four-yard TD pass from Grayson Tramel. Corley connected on the kick after to put Shelbyville Central up 10-7 at the end of the first quarter.
Tullahoma added a touchdown in the second quarter off a 13-yard run by Corn. The point after was no good leaving the Wildcats up 13-10.
Eagles take charge
The Eagles took over the game from that point, scoring a pair of touchdowns before the end of the half.
Trice recovered a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown, then Malachi Burns caught an eight-yard pass from Tramel. Corley was perfect on the kicks after as Shelbyville Central posted a 24-13 halftime advantage.
After a scoreless third quarter, the Eagles added a touchdown early in the fourth when Tramel connected with Cale Swing on a 43-yard pass play down the sidelines. The kick after increased the lead to 31-13.
“Our offense had great balance and that’s something we have really worked on. We were able to be productive in both the pass and run game,” Palmer said.
Tramel connected on 19-of-28 passes for 258 yards and three TDs.
Trice caught 10 passes for 131 yards. Burns followed with five receptions totaling 82 yards, while Swing added a pair of grabs for 47 yards.
Marsh rushed for 214 yards on 22 carries.
Burns also had a big night on defense with a pair of interceptions.
“We finally got some turnovers in the second half after letting a number of interceptions fall out of our hands in the first half,” Palmer said.
The Eagles (1-0) host Marshall County in another non-region clash at home on Friday evening at 7 at the Eagles Nest.
Shelbyville 10 14 0 7 — 31
Tullahoma 7 6 0 0 — 13
SC — Dalton Corley 24-yard field goal 8:51.
T — Briasen Corn 1 pass from Ben Fulton (Race Marin kick) 6:35.
SC — Airius Trice 4 pass from Grayson Tramel (Corley kick) 2:26.
T — Corn 13 run (kick failed) 11:54.
SC — Trice fumble recovery TD (Corley kick) 9:05.
SC — Malachi Burns 8 pass from Tramel (Corley kick) 3:15.
SC — Cale Swing 43 pass from Tramel (Corley kick) 11:49.
THE YARD STICK
Rushing Yards 213 94
Passing Yards 258 193
Total Yards 471 287
First Downs 21 18
Penalties/Yards 9/95 7/45
Turnovers 1 2
Return Yards 3/50 3/52
3rd Down Conv. 5-of-9 4-of-11
4th Down Conv. 1-of-1 1-of-2
Time of Poss. 24:28 23:32