November 11, 2010

Cardinals Crush SCR-I Playoff Hopes to Close 2010 Football Season

South Shelby wasted little time putting its standout offensive line on display Wednesday night in Shelbina. The Cardinals dominated the trenches from the very first play of the contest en route to a 67-22 victory over Scotland County to end the Tigers 2010 football season in the playoff opener.

Shawn Bertrand took the first handoff of the contest and ran through a huge hole on his way to a 74-yard touchdown run to put the home team on top 7-0 just 15 seconds into the contest.

Scotland County went three and out on offense and punted.

South Shelby quickly made it 13-0 when Austin Hall broke a 57-yard touchdown run with 8:49 left to play in the first period.

Things looked bleak for SCR-I after another three and out on offense. But the Cardinals fumbled the punt and Rod Sears pounced on the loose ball at the 35-yard line.

Sabe Sears took the handoff on a counter on first down and sped through the middle of the Cardinals defense for a 35-yard TD to cut the deficit to 13-6 with 6:52 left in the first period.

South Shelby took the momentum right back with its third drive of the first period. Bertrand capped it off with a 37-yard TD run with 3:54 left on the clock. Michael Patterson made the PAT kick to push the lead to 20-6.

Scotland County gave the faithful something to cheer about with a fake punt play that picked up big yards when Brock Bondurant pitched to Sabe Sears who nearly broke the touchdown before being knocked out of bounds at the 19-yard line.

But that was as close as SCR-I would get, turning the ball over on downs in the red zone.

South Shelby went the length of the field with Hall ultimately scoring from 28-yards out with 10:00 left in the second period to make the score 27-6.

The Cardinals tacked on two more scores before the intermission. Alex O'Laughlin connected with Will Mefford for a screen pass that went 49-yards for a score with 7:41 on the clock to make it 33-6.

After another three and out by SCR-I, Bertrand capped off another scoring driving with a three-yard TD with 2:27 to go in the first half making it 39-6 at the break.

The #5 ranked Cardinals continued the scoring onslaught in the second half.

Hall scored on a 15-yard run with 4:30 to go in the third period to insure a running clock the remainder of the contest as the lead grew to 46-6.

After the Tigers went three and out on offense, the lead grew again as Alex Blackford returned the punt 66 yards for a TD to make the score 53-6 after the PAT by Patterson.

Blackford got on the scoreboard again when he broke a 46-yard touchdown run with 8:37 left in the game.

Sabe Sears found the end zone one final time in his high school career, breaking a 51-yard TD with 7:17 left in the contest. Rod Sears ran in the two-point conversion to make it 60-14.

The South Shelby reserves found pay dirt one final time as Blackford, the backup tailback broke a 44-yard TD run with 5:37 left to play to make the score 67-14.

Rod Sears returned the ensuing kickoff 89 yards for a TD that made the final margin 67-22.

South Shelby advances to take on District 10 champs Schuyler County, who beat Paris 53-14 in their playoff opener.

The loss ended the year for the Tigers with a 5-6 mark.

Sabe Sears closed out his career with 13 carries for 128 yards and two scores. Rodney Sears was held to -1 yards on five attempts but did have the 83-yard TD on the kickoff return. The SCR-I faithful bid farewell to the duo along with fellow senior linemen Will See and Andy Garrett.

Brock Bondurant completed six of 17 passes for 37 yards under constant pressure from the South Shelby defensive line.

Bertrand finished with 192 yards on 15 carries for the Cardinals. Hall had 108 yards on seven attempts. Blackford had 109 yards on two carries. O'Laughlin completed seven of 11 passes for 174 yards.

Harley Stone led the Tigers defense with 11 tackles. Rod and Sabe Sears each made nine stops, as did Bondurant.

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