Raiders Eye Cardinals Following Rout of Rams

North Shelby’s Luke Schwanke returns his punt block for a touchdown during the first quarter of Friday’s 80-8 victory against Schuyler County. (Click photo to enlarge) Photograph by Marlana Smith

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story was originally released at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020.

By Troy Treasure

  North Shelby has out-scored opponents 250-36.

  Last week, NS clobbered Schuyler County 80-8.

  It’s probably time for a difficult test.

  The Raiders (4-0) will get one Friday at Rosendale against the North Andrew Cardinals (4-0) in a No. 2 vs No. 4 match-up.

  NS remained second in this week’s Missouri eight-man media poll released Monday morning.

  Two-time defending state champion Mound City stayed No. 1 after holding off third-ranked Southwest Livingston last week 40-36.

  North Andrew defeated Stewartsville 60-18.

  Last season, NS upset the Cardinals 46-36.

  “It’s always good to play the bluebloods. Last year, beating North Andrew really kind of put us on the map with the bluebloods and showed we could play with them,” Raiders head coach Seth Bass said.

  “I’m sure they will be looking for revenge,” Bass continued. “We’re going to have to see how we handle the hostile environment, long travel and a good, very physical football team.”

  Cardinals head coach Dwyane Williams was asked Monday what about North Shelby stood out.

  “It’s up front and it all begins with No. 54 (Jackson Lunsford),” Williams said. “He gave us problems the entire game last year. He’s a dominating player.”

  Williams indicated coaching against Bass is a challenge.

  “He does such a great job of setting up the formations he wants and forcing you to adjust,” Williams said.

  NA graduated fleet-footed quarterback Jaden Baker. He’s been replaced by senior Carson Thomas.

  “He was our fullback last year and was injured when we played there. He gave it a go in the first quarter, but had to come out,” Williams said. “He’s a fantastic downhill runner and he’s tough.”

  Bass stated the two teams are cut from the same cloth.

  “They don’t have the team speed they did last year but they are still really good,” Bass said. “They run option, just like us. There’s no fooling you, they’re going to try to out-execute you and out-physical you.”

  Lunsford cited the advantage of having played the Cardinals previously.

  “Oh, it is huge. It gives us an idea of what they’re coming with, what they’ve got,” Lunsford said. “Yeah, they’ve lost a little bit of speed, but they’ve got power behind it now. It will definitely be an interesting game.”

    Against Schuyler County, the Raiders overwhelmed the Rams (1-3) on both sides of the ball.

    Following Carson Orr and Justin Lunsford touchdown runs, Luke Schwanke blocked a first-quarter SCHS punt and returned it for a TD.

  “Before I knew it, I was at the kicker,” Schwanke said. “I jumped as high as I could, caught the ball right on my bicep, picked it up off the ground and ran it in.”

  In addition to the punt block, Schwanke had eight tackles, four tackles for loss and two sacks.

  Justin Lunsford added touchdown runs of eight and 18 yards in the second quarter, the latter score set up by Cale Stoneburner’s 37-yard punt return.

  Stoneburner threw a 21-yard TD pass to Rob Uhlmeyer four minutes later.

  The Raiders led 48-0 at halftime.

  Noah Greenwell, Kyle Smith and Uhlmeyer scored third-quarter touchdowns. J.D. Rich punched in two more in the fourth.

  Schuyler County is in its first year of eight-man play after departing the Lewis and Clark Conference in football. The Raiders and Rams played annually as members of the now defunct Tri-Rivers Conference.

  “I had a lot of alumni and various people throughout the week talk to me about the game and how much it meant to them; to play an old, familiar foe,” Bass said. “They really wanted us to get after them, so I’m hoping they walked away happy.

  “I thought we played a very consistent game, very clean, very few penalties, very few mistakes,” he added.

***

  After the game, Bass was asked about Knox County’s announcement last week it intends to begin eight-man play in 2021.

  Bass said he had talked with Eagles head coach Bruce Vannoy frequently since basketball season last school year.

  “I kind of figured it was coming. I really think from talking to a couple of people tonight that it’s going to push a couple of other dominos locally, too,” Bass said.

  “If it does, hopefully we can start talking about a conference again,” he added. “Any road trip that’s under two hours is a great thing for us.”

***

  The Missouri State High School Activities Association released district assignments Monday morning. North Shelby is in District 2. The other schools are, in alphabetical order: Braymer, Concordia, Keytesville-Northwestern, Norborne Hardin-Central, Santa Fe (Alma), Schuyler County, Southwest Livingston and St. Paul Lutheran (Concordia).

  NOTES: North Shelby rushed for 338 yards and nine touchdowns against Schuyler County … Jackson Lunsford recorded 10 tackles and four tackles for loss … Kyle Smith had 10 tackles and three tackles for loss … Week 5 eight-man media poll released Monday morning: 1. Mound City, 2. North Shelby, 3. Southwest Livingston, 4. North Andrew, 5. Stanberry, 6. Drexel, 7. Archie, 8. SHNH, 9. Pattonsburg, 10. Worth County. Also receiving votes: Rock Port.