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By Mary Schwanke
The North Shelby Raiders beat the Northwest Hughesville Mustangs on September 2nd, the final score being 84-30. Junior running back, Amos Fredrickson, ran 226 yards and scored four touchdowns. Quarterback JD Rich had 167 passing yards, throwing five touchdown passes and four two-point conversions to Brendyn McDaniel. Also scoring for the Raiders were sophomore Jade Daniel, freshman Cole Browning, and Gabe Orr who had four conversions. There were also three safeties in this game.
“We spread the ball around,” said Head Coach David Stuckey.
“That’s the nice thing. We’ve got great balance. We’re showing that it doesn’t matter who’s got the ball: Casey, Gabe, Amos, Brendyn, JD, Jade, Cole. Everybody’s making plays. That balance makes us tough to defend. Once you overload the runners, our passing game opens wide up. When they went back to defending the pass, our running game with the JV opened right back up.”
The Raiders began on defense, not giving their opponent much slack. The Mustangs turned over on downs. Then Rich pitched the ball to Fredrickson for a 62 yard run to the endzone. Rich found McDaniel in the endzone during their next possession.
With 1:27 left in the first quarter, a Mustang broke loose for a fifty yard touchdown, and the score was 14-6, North Shelby on top.
McDaniel punted the ball to the Mustang’s 5 yard line at the start of the second quarter.
Raider defense attacked, and achieved the first safety of the game. After that, every time the Raiders were on offense for the rest of the quarter, each possession ended in a touchdown by McDaniel or Fredrickson.
When asked about his role on the team this year, Fredrickson said his job is supporting and encouraging other people. “We lost all our seniors last year and kind of had to restart, but we all work hard, condition like crazy, and do our best, which is worth a ton.”
McDaniel is a captain this year.
“When you’re a captain, you lead stretches and other things. People listen to you, and that’s a job I take pride in.” When asked about the large numbers he put on the board in this game, he said, “It was awesome, but I gotta give all the props to our line and quarterback. Without the line holding the blocks and the quarterback, JD, to pass you the ball, none of that happens.”
The score was 48-14 at half time and climbed quickly after that, NS defense forcing the Mustangs into turnovers and two more safeties. Fourth quarter began with the scoreboard reading 76-14. With the clock running, it only lasted 15 minutes. Raider JV got some action. Jade Daniel had a total of 60 running yards. Cole Browning got his touchdown, and the crowd and sideline went nuts when sophomore Louis Launius stopped the ball on defense. The final score was 84-30.
“We always talk about playing better and executing better each and every play, so that was our focus: do what we do and do it better,” said Stuckey after the game.
“We were a little flat at first, but we recovered and bounced back. After a couple possessions, we started playing our style of football and taking control of the game. It was about us just doing what we do as well as we can. With that, we know good things will happen. We knew they (Mustangs) would come out fired up, and of course, they played right there with us for a little bit, but when we started making our blocks, good things happened.”
The Raiders will take on the Norborne/Hardin-Central Aggies this week, September 9 for their first home game of the season.