Raiders pull away from Northwest-Sacred Heart

By Troy Treasure

HUGHESVILLE – Northwest-Sacred Heart head coach Caleb Crooker had a plan of attack on defense for North Shelby’s high-powered offense going into their Friday, Sept. 4 Week Two tilt.

It worked … for a while.

“They were submarining our offensive linemen early-on so we couldn’t get our hands on them,” Raiders head coach Seth Bass said.

NS made adjustments en route to a 58-14 win.

Justin Lunsford and Cale Stoneburner each scored three rushing touchdowns for the Raiders. Lunsford ran for 155 yards on 18 carries; Stoneburner 95 on 16 carries. Stoneburner was 5 of 8 passing for 76 yards and one TD.

With the victory, North Shelby remained No. 2 behind defending state champion Mound City in this week’s eight-member state media poll. Mound City (2-0) received seven first-place votes; the Raiders (2-0) picked up one.

Leading 14-0 at the end of the first quarter, North Shelby led 30-8 at the half-time break.

“We had a messy series of mistakes late in the first quarter and second quarter with a lot of penalties,” Bass said. “Late in the second quarter and early in the second half, we imposed our will.”

Last season, NS crushed the Mustangs 84-2. Bass indicated N-SH program is making strides in the right direction.

“I’ll give them credit. They dug in, offensively, and did some good things,” Bass said. “We were better upfront but hats off to them, they’re so much better.”

N-SH’s Mason Locke rushed 16 times for 104 yards. Quarterback Tanner Danlo was 5 of 17 passing for 76 yards and a TD for the Mustangs (1-1). He was intercepted twice.

The Raiders are scheduled to host rival Norborne Hardin- Central Friday at 7 p.m.

1-1 NH-C lost 35-26 last week to Orrick.

Bass indicated it has been an especially emotional past few months for the Aggies family. Head coach Kirk Thacker and wife Lisa’s 15-year-old son, Dalton, died unexpectedly May 14. Dalton was a member of the football team. The couple’s other child, a daughter, recently began college.

“They became empty nesters too soon,” Bass said.

The football team has had to take precautions due to, at least, three COVID-19 instances. At one point, the Thacker family’s residence became the Aggies weight room.

The squad currently has less than 20 players.

NOTES: The remainder of the media poll is as follows … 3. Southwest Livingston (2-0), 4. Pattonsburg (2-0), 5. Stanberry (2-0), 6. Drexel (2- 0), 7. North Andrew (2-0), 8. SHNH (1-1), 9. Archie (2-0), 10. Albany (0-1) … Worth County and Jasper also received votes.