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By Mary Schwanke
The Raiders have continued their winning streak by beating the #8 ranked Orrick Bearcats on October 15. With a final score of 52-12. The Raiders are now ranked #2 in the state.
“For one, Orrick knocked [North Shelby] off a couple years ago after they’d had a big win against Pattonsburg.
“Two, if we lose to Orrick and they win out, they win conference. So, there’s a combination of revenge from a couple years ago, conference on the line, and they’re state ranked. We’ve got a bullseye on us. We know they’re gonna come in and try to take their shot,” said NS head coach David Stuckey.
The Raiders started out tough on defense, not allowing the Bearcats to gain any yards.
On offense, with a combination of efforts from Cale Stoneburner, Justin Lunsford, and Carson Orr, the Raiders advanced to the one-yard line. On 3rd and goal at 5:40, Stoneburner found a hole and ran for a touchdown. Orr’s conversion was good, making the score 8-0.
Orrick’s Zander Stevinson rushed 30 yards before being forced out of bounds on the kick return, giving the Bearcats a 1st and goal from the 9. Chandler Woods scored for the Bearcats. NS led 8-6.
The Raiders struggled with penalties in their next possession, forcing them to punt the ball 15 yards from a 1st down. They placed the line of scrimmage at the eight-yard line for the Bearcats before the end of the first quarter.
A second into the second quarter, the Raiders scored a safety, adding two extra points to their tally.
Lunsford received the kickoff at the 20-yard line and rushed for 36. On the 1st down, Stoneburner ran 16 yards for the quarterback keeper, reaching the goal line. The Raiders led 16-6.
The Bearcats advanced the ball, eventually setting up at the six-yard line. However, several incomplete passes broken up by Raider defense caused Orrick to turn over on downs.
The Raiders started on offense 74 yards from their end zone. However, after about five minutes of Lunsford and Stoneburner taking the ball down the field, the Raiders set up on their own 4. Landon Bender slid to catch a touchdown pass. With Stoneburner’s conversion, the Raiders were up 22-6.
At 2:30, Stoneburner intercepted Blake Buchanan’s pass at the 25 yardline and charged ahead for 19 yards.
At the 34, the Raiders suffered a false start. Stoneburner was sacked. At 2nd and 16, a block in the back penalty pushed the Raiders a long way from the sticks. However, Stoneburner rushed 12 yards and then threw 40 yards to Orr. From the 10-yard line, Robert Uhlmeyer scored for the Raiders. Lunsford had the conversion. It was now 30-6.
The Bearcats only had 47 seconds left in the first half to score. However, penalties and sacks in the backfield plagued them and they were pushed backwards 16 yards before the buzzer announced halftime.
North Shelby returned on offense after a superb halftime performance by the North Shelby Marching Raiders. NS was required to punt. Orrick resumed possession from the five-yard line.
Raider defense was tough on the Bearcats, pushing them back 28 yards before they punted. However, a penalty gave the Bearcats possession once again with a 1st down at the 37. Several more flags and whistles later, Woods scored for Orrick, making the score 30-12.
Stoneburner went on to score another touchdown for NS at 1:20. It was 38-12 to end the third quarter.
The Bearcats then turned over on downs after attempting several unsuccessful passes. On the Raider’s 1st down, Noah Greenwell rushed 60 yards to the end zone. NS had a 46-12 advantage.
Orrick had to punt the ball on their turn, placing it at the 16. Stoneburner rushed 35 yards. A personal foul called on Orrick gave the Raiders even more yardage. At 2nd and goal, Lunsford scored again for NS. The score read 52-12.
“It was a really tough contest. They gave us a nice match there through the 1st half. We started locking in and pulled away from them, but they continued to fight. That’s why we’re in this conference: for good challenges like this,” said Stuckey after the game.
This week’s matchup will be Thursday at 6 p.m. at home instead of Friday due to scheduling and referee conflicts. The Raiders will play Braymer.
“Braymers got one of the top quarterbacks in the state. We have to really be disciplined on our rush contain lanes. We also have to maintain our pass coverage,” said Coach Stuckey.
This will be the last game of the regular season before moving on to the post season bracket.