By Gary Johnson
SHELBYVILLE — Behind a more balanced offensive attack, Shelbyville Central’s Golden Eagles (2-1) rolled past visiting Coffee County 38-17 in a non-region matchup at the Eagles Nest.
Over the years, Shelbyville Central coaches have said that preparing for a game during the week when school is out for the Tennessee Walking Horse Celebration can be challenging.
“We have not been able to get into our weekly routine yet and we’ve played three games already. We had two Thursday night games to start the season with and were out this week for the horse show,” Shelbyville Central coach Jud Dryden said.
“Through it all this team has found ways to remain focused. We had a rough practice on Tuesday, cleaned it up a bit on Wednesday then had a pretty solid practice on Thursday. Hats off to Coffee County, with all that they have gone through with their coach resigning, they came and played hard and well.
The Golden Eagles (2-1) had been a more run-oriented offense over the first two games, but added a few more passes to the offensive scheme in this game and it proved to be successful.
Quarterback Nathan Delaughter connected on 5-of-14 passes for 148 yards and a touchdown.
Senior wide receiver Micah Threatt hauled in three passes totaling 122 yards
and a TD.
Shelbyville Central’s running game was still the focus of the offense, racking up 174 yards on the ground.
Sophomore Robert Bailey collected 70 yards on 15 touches and Rocky Chandler followed with 52 yards and a touchdown on seven carries while Ray’Daun Crenshaw cashed in on 40 yards with a TD on eight attempts.
“We were a little more balanced on offense and we will continue to work on that. The more success we have running the football, the more teams will load the box in an attempt to stop the run,” Dryden said.
“We have some quality receivers and we will need them to make plays for us.”
The Golden Eagles struck first, taking advantage of a 35-yard kick-off return by Bron Ransom.
Six plays later Ray’Daun Crenshaw found the end zone on a 3-yard run.
Maddox carried for the 2-point conversion and the 8-0 lead.
Coffee County recovered a Shelbyville Central fumble and turned it into points when Manny Gonzales connected on a 31-yard field in the closing seconds quarter of the first quarter making the score 8-3.
The Golden Eagles scored a pair of touchdowns in the second stanza, the first on a Rocky Chandler 29-yard run with an un
successful 2-point try.
Coffee County’s next score was aided by a miscue on a Shelbyville Central punt, giving the Red Raiders the ball on the 15-yard line.
One play later Calden Martin rushed 15 yards for the score and the kick after cut the lead to 14-10 with 6:40 left in the half.
Micah Threatt then hauled in a 31-yard TD pass from Delaughter and Betzelberger’s kick put Shelbyville Central up 21-10 at the intermission.
The Red Raiders scored on a Jayden Carter 5-yard run and with the kick after cut the lead to 21-17.
Betzelberger drilled a 25-yarder late in the third quarter to make the score 24-17.
Shelbyville Central took over the game in the fourth, scoring two unanswered touchdowns to secure the victory.
Bailey scored on a 5-yard run followed by a 2-yard run by Delaughter.
Betzelberger was good on both extra-points for the 21-point margin of victory.
“A good night for us. Coffee County may be the best defensive line we will face in the regular season,” Dryden said.
“We still missed a few tackles, but overall the defense played well.”
Shelbyville Central allowed 130 yards rushing and 83 yards passing for 213 yards of total offense.
Now the Golden Eagles travel to Columbia for a region matchup on Friday night at 7.
“Columbia looked pretty good against Marshall County in the first game of the season. We need to have a great week of practice,” Dryden said.
Coffee County 3 7 7 0 — 17
Shelbyville Central 8 13 3 14 — 38
SC — Ray’Daun Crenshaw 3 run, (Maddox Wright run) 10:02.
CC — Manny Gonzales 31 field goal, 0:06.
SC — Rocky Chandler 29 run, (pass failed), 10:33.
CC — Calden Martin 15 run, (Gonzales kick), 6:40.
SC — Micah Threatt 37 pass from Nathan Delaughter, (Ben Betzelberger kick), 2:48.
CC — Jayden Carter 5 run, (Gonzales kick), 704.
SC — Betzelberger 25 field goal, 0:27.
SC — Bailey 5 run, (Betzelberger kick), 8:06.
SC — Delaughter 2 run, (Betzelberger kick), 2:53.