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By: Anthony Perkins


Shelby – Shelby’s Golden Lions hosted the South Point Red Raiders on Friday night with the conference title and a better seeding for the state playoffs at stake.  The Golden Lions got the last “ROAR” and proved that they were the better team on this night with a 41-25 victory. 


South Point jumped out to a 12-0 lead after a five-yard touchdown run by Jamani Leeper in the first quarter and an eight-yard run by Ray Grier early in the second quarter but it was short lived. 


Shelby answered on their next two drives with wide receiver Santana Eaves scoring first on a 45-yard pass play. Quarterback Isaiah Bess followed up on a 14-yard run to push Shelby out to a 13-12 advantage that they would never surrender.  Not only was the Shelby offense clicking but the Lions defense held the Red Raiders to two, three and outs during the same sequence.


The Golden Lions wasted one more opportunity to score before the half ended with a first down at the South Point 12 but two costly Shelby penalties assisted the Red Raiders in halting the drive to keep the score at 13-12.


Shelby added to their lead in the third quarter when Bess connected with fullback Donye Fuller on a 58-yard catch and run that pushed the lead to 20-12 before South Point responded with a 58-yard run by quarterback Keaton Hale.  A two-point try on the conversion that would have tied the game at 20-20 came up a little short when Ray Grier was stopped just short of the goal line. 


That play seemed to be a microcosm of the entire game for the Red Raiders; every time South Point needed to make a play, they came up a little short and Shelby made plays when they had to. 


Shelby extended the lead once again just before the third quarter ended when Bess hooked up with Diavonni Daley on a fourteen-yard pass to the right side of the endzone to give the Golden Lions a 27-18 edge going into the last quarter.


South Point answered on their next drive when Naseem Jones scored on a one -yard run to cap off a 76-yard drive and give the Red Raiders renewed hope.  Shelby snuffed out any momentum the Red Raiders had when Fabian Pettis gathered in the ensuing kickoff at the four-yard line and took it to the house for a 34-25 Golden Lion lead.  Shelby’s Zandre Cherry posted the final score on a ten-yard run with just over a minute remaining on the clock for the 41-25 final score. 


Shelby’s aerial attack was very impressive thanks to an offensive line that gave Bess all the time he needed to find his receivers and the Lions defense did an excellent job of stopping the fullback dive play of South Point’s Red Bone offense.  Shelby’s success through the air also opened up running lanes for fullback Donye Fuller who likely had one of his best nights on the season with 91 yards on just 13 carries.


Both teams await the results of the seeding process to find out who their first round playoff opponents will be on November 16.

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