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By Mary Schwanke
The Raiders took on Knox County for Homecoming on Friday, September 24.
“It’s Knox County. It’s a rivalry all the way,” said North Shelby Coach David Stuckey. Back in 11-man days, NS and the Eagles were rivals on the football field. Knox had held the Raiders to a 10-game losing streak. The Raiders went on to dominate the Eagles 52-14.
Neither side scored during the first quarter. The Raiders (5-0) came close after Justin Lunsford rushed for 20 yards to achieve a first down near the line. On the fourth down of the possession, the team attempted to push Cale Stoneburner across the goal line, but it was no good.
“Defense was really solid. That’s what kept us in that first quarter. We didn’t let them in the end zone as we were finding our way on offense. Hats off to the defensive efforts there,” said Stuckey.
Into the second quarter, the Eagles had possession of the ball. On their third down, Robert Uhlmeyer knocked the ball away from Braydon Miller’s hands in the end zone, preventing a touchdown. Luke Schwanke and Carson Orr proceeded to force Knox to turn over on downs.
Lunsford and Stoneburner took turns running the ball down the field for several yards. Stoneburner juked his way into the end zone.
KC couldn’t get through the Raiders’ defense. Play resumed at the 15-yard line. Stoneburner went on to rush 65 yards, achieving three first downs. He took the ball just inside the pylon for a touchdown. Lunsford was good for two, making it 14-0.
The rain appeared to have no effect on the Raiders. Less than 20 seconds into the second half, Stoneburner rushed 50 yards for a touchdown. The conversion was no good, setting the score at 20-0.
A deep pass to Braxton McCurren resulted in a Knox County touchdown. Greenwell prevented the conversion, and the score became 20-6.
Back on offense, Lunsford responded with an immediate 46-yard run, followed by a touchdown the next play. NS led 28-6 advantage.
Several tackles by Schwanke, Greenwell, Landon Bender, and Riley Greening prevented the Eagles from advancing.
Lunsford pulled out two more first downs. Stoneburner waded through the defense, remaining on his feet for a quarterback keeper and touchdown with under five minutes left in the quarter. NS led 36-6.
Miller threw for a Eagle first down. Schwanke then sacked Miller in the backfield, pushing the line of scrimmage back 15 yards. At 3rd+20, Brendyn McDaniel intercepted the ball and took it 40 yards closer to North Shelby’s end zone. However, Eagle defense held up and the Raiders couldn’t get the rest of the way across the field.
Stoneburner intercepted Miller’s pass and outmaneuvered the Eagles for 30 yards, bringing the Raiders one yard from their goal line. Stoneburner completed his move by hurdling an Eagle, landing in the end zone. The score was 44-6.
Knox County fumbled the ball all the way to the one-yard line. The Raiders dove on it for a safety at 3rd+20. The Raiders led 46-6.
North Shelby’s JV played the rest of the game, only allowing one touchdown to be scored. Quarterback JD Rich scored with 4:47 left in the game. Freshman Jade Daniel had several tackles.
Stoneburner had 177 rushing yards and Lunsford had 169.
“I’m so proud of the guys and the way they came out in the second half, put their foot down, and made things happen,” said Stuckey.
They are scheduled to play at Keytesville on Friday.