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By Mark Requet
The South Shelby Cardinals scored its first three touchdowns of the game on four offensive plays, rolling to a 69-6 win over Highland on Homecoming Night at South Shelby.
The Cardinals took the opening kickoff and Preston Elsen returned it 52 yards to the Highland 17-yard line. The first play from scrimmage was a 17-yard touchdown run by Cameron Wiseman. The two-point conversion run by Kendal Hammond was good and only 18 seconds into the game, the Cardinals led 8-0 with 11:42 left in the first quarter.
Highland’s first possession resulted in a punt to the 50-yard line.
Wiseman took the ball on the first play and went 50 yards for a touchdown. The two-point conversion failed, and the Cardinals led 14-0 with 9:32 left in the first quarter.
The Cougars took to the air on its next possession and completed a 50-yard touchdown pass. The two-point conversion failed, and the Cardinals led 14-6 with 7:40 left in the first quarter.
South Shelby opened its next drive on the Cardinal 39-yard line. After being stopped for a three-yard loss on his first carry of the game, Hammond took the ball on the next play and exploded through the defense and went 64 yards for a touchdown. The two-point conversion run was good by Chase Moellering and the South Shelby led was 22-6 with 6:47 left in the quarter.
Highland punted on its next possession and the Cardinals were facing a three and out, but a fake punt run by Chance Rainey went for 32 yards to keep the drive going for South Shelby. Two plays later, Hammond ran it in from 15 yards out for a touchdown. Wiseman scored on the two-point conversion and the Cardinals led 30-6 with two minutes left in the first quarter.
Highland punted on its next possession and the Cardinals moved the ball down field but fumbled the ball at the Highland six-yard line. The Cougars recovered the fumble.
The Cardinals defense made a tackle behind the line of scrimmage for a four-yard loss, which was followed by a safety as Highland hiked the ball over the quarterback’s head out of the back of the endzone. The Cardinals led 32-6 at the 10:21 mark of the second quarter.
Highland kicked off to South Shelby and the Cardinals used only two plays to strike again. Moellering completed a 32-yard pass to Jaaron Durbin for a touchdown. The two-point conversion was good, and the Cardinals led 40-6 with 9:31 left in the second quarter.
Highland punted on its next possession and the Cardinals started its next drive on its own 30-yard line. A short pass from Moellering to Wiseman resulted in a 70-yard touchdown pass on the first play of the series. The two-point conversion was good, and the lead was 48-6 with 7:26 left in the first half.
On South Shelby’s next possession, the Cardinals ran five plays, culminating in a Hammond 12-yard touchdown run. The extra-point kick by Hammond was good and South Shelby led 55-6 with 1:49 left in the half.
The Cardinals’ JV team played the whole second half and had the same results as the varsity sqaud. The first possession of the second half saw Payton Hetheriton run 97 yards for a touchdown on the first play. The extra point was good, and the Cardinals led 62-6 with 5:15 left in the quarter.
Highland’s possessions continued to result in a punt and the Cardinals continued to score at ease on offense.
After a flag for holding, Pryce Eagan took the handoff and went 64 yards for a touchdown. The extra-point kick by Hammond was good and the lead was 69-6 with 10:48 left in the game, which was the final.
Unofficially, Hammond led the Cardinals offense with 112 yards on eight carries and three touchdowns. Wiseman finished with 99 yards on five carries and two touchdowns. Hetheriton had one carry for 97 yards and a touchdown and Eagan had one carry for 64 yards and a touchdown.
Moellering completed 3-of-5 passes for 139 yards and two touchdown passes.
Durbin caught two passes for 69 yards and one touchdown, while Wiseman caught one pass for 70 yards and one touchdown.
South Shelby, 6-0 overall and 4-0 in the Clarence Cannon Conference, travels to Macon on Friday, October 6, 2023. The game begins at 7 p.m.