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Passing Attack Too Much for North Lincoln

By: Anthony Perkins

Shelby – The Golden Lions hosted the North Lincoln Knights for the third round of the 2AA playoffs on Friday night and overwhelmed the visiting Knight with a stifling defense and an impressive air attack for a 35-14 victory to advance to the western finals for the sixth consecutive year.

Shelby quarterback Isaiah Bess helped the Golden Lions to get on the board first with touchdown pass to give the Golden Lions an early lead that would never be challenged.  The score came on a 20-yard toss that was gathered in by Santana Eaves that capped off Shelby’s opening 80-yard drive.  The next score was set up when Johntavious Kee picked off a Knights pass at the North Lincoln fifteen.  Two plays later fullback Donye Fuller crossed the goal line from nine yards out pushing the Golden Lion lead to 14-0 and Shelby never looked back.

In the meantime, the Shelby defense had thrown a blanket over what had been a very productive North Lincoln offense.  The Shelby defense held the Knights to only three first downs in the first half and forced the Knights to punt three times.  Fuller added another score on a 30-yard run about mid-way through the second quarter to finish up the first half scoring and a 21-0 Shelby lead.  

Shelby padded their lead in the third quarter when Fuller scored his third touchdown of the game on a one-yard run and they added their final points of the game at the mid-way point of the fourth quarter when Bess hooked up with Timothy Ruff on a fifteen-yard pass.

The Knights did manage to get on the board in the final quarter when Landon Beard scored on a quarterback keeper from two yards out. 

After the game Shelby head coach Lance Ware said, “We played very physical and very hard.  I thought we did a great job defensively to stop them from being able to run the ball, we did a good job of limiting their fullback and I’m proud of that.  We ran the ball and passed the ball well tonight too and I’m proud of that.”  When asked what he thought was the turning point of the season after an uncharacteristic start he replied, “We had some new faces in new places and there was a big attitude adjustment after those early losses and our senior leadership took a while to kick in.”

Shelby totaled 451 yards with 184 yards rushing and 267 yards passing.  Donye Fuller carried the load for the ground attack with 101 yards rushing on 19 carries.   Quarterback Isaiah Bess completed 13 of 33 passes and Diavonni Daley was his favorite target with five catches for 91 yards.

Next week the Golden Lions will travel to Lenoir to take on the number two seed Hibriten Panthers for a rematch of last years western finals and to the victor goes the right to play for the state championship.

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