By Gary Johnson
SHELBYVILLE — Shelbyville Central’s magical season came to an end.
The Golden Eagles took a 10-game win-streak into the second round Class 5A TSSAA State Playoff game against Centennial at home on Friday night and despite having a halftime lead, fell 20-14 to the Cougars.
“What a great season we had and even though it didn’t end the way we wanted tonight, this was a great year for our senior class,” Shelbyville Central coach Jud Dryden said.
“To see the disappointment on their faces after the game is hard to see. These seniors have set an incredibly high standard for other senior classes to follow. The bar is now set high and we have to work hard to set it even higher year in and year out.”
The first half was a low-scoring affair with Shelbyville Central (10-2) scoring the loan touchdown in the second after a hard-fought scoreless opening quarter.
The Golden Eagles entered into Cougar territory on all four offensive possessions in the first half but struggled to put points on the board.
Senior quarterback Nathan Delaughter found the end zone on a 5-yard run that capped off a 5-play drive that started at their own 37-yard line.
Ben Betzelberger connected on the kick after for the 7-0 advantage.
“We didn’t capitalize on then good field position we had and had some drives end too early because of miscues or mistakes,” Dryden said. “In a game like this, you really have to make the most of the scoring opportunities you have.”
Those missed scoring chances proved to be costly in second half.
After only collecting 48 yards of total offense in the first half, Centennial’s offense was much more productive in the third quarter, scoring a pair of touchdowns.
Dominic Reed scored on a 2-yard run, then Jayden George added a 10-yard touchdown run in third stanza. Jamerson Shannon was good on both extra-points for the 14-7 lead.
The Cougars increased the lead to 20-7 on a 22-yard run by Reed with just over five minutes left to play.
Shelbyville Central wasn’t done, scoring on a 34-yard pass play from Delaughter to William Bobo.
The kick after cut then lead to 20-14 with 1:36 left on the clock.
The Golden Eagles got the ball back after freshman Steven Bobo recovered the ensuing on-side kick.
Shelbyville Central moved the ball down to the Centennial 36-yard line before turning the ball over on downs.
Delaughter was 13-for-26 totaling 113 yards in the air.
“We’ve got a lot of talent coming back and we feel like we are definitely trending upwards,” Dryden said. “We will continue to work and build off the success we had this year.”
Centennial 0 0 14 6 — 20
Shelbyville Central 0 7 0 7 — 14
SC — RayDaun Crenshaw 5 run (Ben Betzelberger kick), 11:19.
C — Dominic Reed 2 run (Jamerson Shannon kick), 4:26
C — Jayden George 10 run (Shannon kick), 0:02.
C — Reed 22 run (kick failed), 5:02.
SC — William Bobo 34 pass from Nathan Delaughter (Betzelberger kick ), 1:36.