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By Mark Requet
The South Shelby Cardinals opened Clarence Cannon Conference play on the road at Brookfield on Friday, September 8, 2023, with a 51-6 win.
The Cardinals received the opening kickoff of the game and in two plays, both runs by Cameron Wiseman, South Shelby was on the scoreboard. Wiseman ran 49 yards on the second play for a touchdown. The extra point failed, and the Cardinals led 6-0 at the 11:12 mark of the first quarter.
Brookfield’s first possession ended in five plays when South Shelby’s Eli Hatcher intercepted the pass.
South Shelby fumbled the ball back and then Brookfield threw its second interception of the first quarter, as Owen Stueve picked off the pass.
Three plays into the drive, Kendal Hammond broke loose for a 45-yard touchdown run. The two-point conversion pass from Chase Moellering to Jaaron Durbin was good and the Cardinals led 14-0.
Brookfield moved the ball down the field in its next possession, but for the third time in the first quarter, an interception ended the drive. South Shelby’s Preston Elsen picked off the pass as the Cardinals took over possession on its own 39-yard line.
“Our defense again showed up in a big way, especially at the defensive back position. Three Junior defensive backs with interceptions in the first half was great,” said Cardinals Head Coach Adam Gunterman. “Owen Stueve, Eli Hatcher, and Preston Elsen all had big plays.”
On the second play from scrimmage, after an incompletion, Moellering kept the ball and ran 61 yards for a touchdown. The two-point conversion failed, and the Cardinals led 20-0 with 1:11 left in the first quarter.
“Every week Chase (Moellering) is getting more and more comfortable. He played extremely well, especially making some audibles that are turning into big plays,” stated Gunterman. “Changing the direction of a play call is a dangerous weapon and he will keep getting better at the mental part of the game. He is becoming more and more of a threat.”
The Cardinals’ defense forced a turnover on downs against the Bulldogs and took over midfield.
Preston Elsen had a 23-yard run, and two plays later, Moellering completed a pass to
Wiseman for 23 yards, putting the ball at the Brookfield one-yard line. Two plays later, Moellering scored on a one-yard run. Hammond’s extra point kick was good, and the Cardinals led 28-0 with 8:01 left in the second quarter.
The Bulldogs were forced to punt, and it didn’t take long for South Shelby find the endzone again. On the sixth play of the drive, Hammond scored on a 20-yard touchdown run. The two-point conversion was good by Wiseman and the lead for South Shelby was 36-0 with 2:55 left in the first half.
Another turnover by the Bulldogs gave the ball back to the Cardinals with less than a minute to go.
With four seconds left, the snap to Moellering bounced off his hands into the air. Moellering secured the ball, scrambled in the backfield to avoid several defenders, then on the run, completed a pass to Hammond. Hammond followed his blocks and went 72-yards for the touchdown as time expired in the half. The two-point conversion pass from Moellering to Hammond was good and the Cardinals led 44-0 at the half.
Brookfield opened the second half with the ball and turned it over on downs.
On South Shelby’s fourth play, the Cardinals scored on a 32-yard touchdown run by Wiseman. The extra point kick by Hammond was good and the Cardinals led 51-0 with 3:08 left in the third quarter.
Brookfield finally reached the endzone late in the fourth quarter. The extra point was no good and the lead was 51-6, which was the final.
The Cardinals were led by Moellering in rushing with 114 yards on four carries. Hammond added 112 yards on eight carries. Wiseman finished with 109 yards on four carries. South Shelby rushed for 429 yards on the ground.
“A great job by the five guys up front this week. Every week from now on gets tougher and I feel this group is getting better and better,” said Gunterman, referring to the offensive line.
Moellering completed 4-of-6 passes for 110 yards, including one touchdown.
Hammond had one catch for 72 yards and a touchdown. Wiseman caught two passes for 38 yards.
The Cardinals, 3-0 overall and 1-0 in the CCC, will host Monroe City on Friday, September 15, beginning at 7 p.m.