Raiders Victorious in Season Opener
By Troy Treasure
North Shelby’s first snap of the 2020 football season resulted in a lost fumble. Turnover margin is considered by some a telling statistic in the sport.
The Raiders were quickly minus-1.
North Shelby’s next snap, from its own 1 yard line, went for a touchdown.
Quarterback Cale Stoneburner’s 79-yard burst on the eight-man 80-yard field gave NS a lead it never relinquished. The Raiders enjoyed a 60-6 home win Friday, Aug. 28 versus Santa Fe High School from Alma, Mo.
Stoneburner went green-to-go after the NS defense stuffed the Chiefs on fourth and goal.
“They dug in when they needed to. That could have been a pivotal moment with the fumble,” North Shelby head coach Seth Bass said. “Once we moved our D-front just a little bit, they really didn’t move the ball on us hardly at all even against our J.V. kids.”
NS held Santa Fe to 121 yards.
Later in the first quarter, Justin Lunsford dashed for a 70-yard score.
The Raiders scored 30 unanswered second-quarter points to lead 46-0 at halftime.
Stoneburner scored from 23 yards out 42 seconds into the quarter. Landon Bender’s interception set up a 3-yard Stoneburner TD. Two minutes later, the QB threw a 12-yard scoring pass to Lunsford. Stoneburner added a 5-yard touchdown with 13 seconds left in the half.
The Raiders were 5-of-6 on first half two-point conversion attempts.
Stoneburner finished the game with 139 yards on 15 carries and four touchdowns while passing for two more. Lunsford rushed for 92 yards. He scored two TDs.
“They are a well-coached football team, plain and simple. We weren’t expecting anything other than a tough night, tonight. That’s what we got,” Santa Fe first-year head coach Danny Capps said. “But, I don’t feel like we completely took care of business the way that we should have.”
It did not help the Chiefs’ cause that one of team’s best players, Hunter Ballenger, was injured early in the game and did not return.
This week, North Shelby travels to Northwest-Sacred Heart (Hughesville). Last season, the Raiders won in an 84-2 rout. The half-time score was 78-0.
In Week One, however, the Mustangs trounced Braymer 66-14.
“They return pretty much everybody. They’ve got a lot of talent coming back. I expect a pretty big fight from them,” Bass said. “We’ve watched them in their jamboree against Schuyler (County). They did some good things. They’ve got a different coach and they are doing some different things defensively that better fits their personnel.
“We can’t go in there and think they’re just going to lay down for us like they have a couple of other times in the past,” Bass added.