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Saturday, November 11th, 2017

Shelby's speed too much for Roughriders

By Gary R. Rasberry
MARION - A whippet is a medium-sized dog that's similar to at greyhound.
And just like their mascot, Shelby used speed to pull away from St. Marys.
Quarterback Brennan Armstrong rushed for 173 yards and four touchdowns and running back Devon Brooks had 210 yards on 15 carries as the Whippets ended the Roughriders' season with a 47-7 defeat in the Division IV Region 14 semifinals at Harding Stadium in Marion.
Shelby (12-0), which has had a running clock in each of its games this season, takes on Bellevue next week at a site to be announced on Sunday. Bellvue defeated Clear Fork 21-13 at Mansfield's Arlin Field in the other regional semifinal.
St. Marys had its 10-game winning streak snapped and the reigning WBL champions ended a fine season at 10-2.
"We just ran into the best football team I've seen in a long time, top to bottom," St. Marys coach Doug Frye said postgame. "Well-coached, big linemen, solid defense. These guys have been in 12 games with 12 running clocks. I don't think I've ever seen that in high school football. They are very talented football team."
St. Marys shut down Shelby on its first offensive possession, forcing a punt. On the second series, Devon Brooks just needed one play to run 38 yards for the opening score with 7 1/2 minutes left in the first quarter.
The Whippets defense took away much of the Roughriders' ability to break free on runs out of the Wing-T. St. Marys punted on its three possessions and Gabe Vandever fell just short of connecting on a 47-yard field goal after a long-sustained drive.
"They definitely exploited every weakness that we had," Frye said.
Armstrong was just 3-of-11 passing for 46 yards with two interceptions. Braeden Dunlap and Bo Kuenning each had interceptions, but two of Armstrong's completions went for touchdowns. The first was on a 16-yard strike to Brady Hill to give the Whippets a 14-0 lead late in the first quarter. The second went to Devon Brooks on a 17-yard pass play to make the score 20-0 with 6:43 left in the first half.
After Kuenning picked off Armstrong and returned the pick to the Shelby 11, St. Marys had a chance to gain some ground. After three straight Ty Schlosser runs got the Riders to the Shelby 1, Colin Clements followed his line into the end zone to make it 20-7. The next Shelby drive ended with Dunlap getting the pick at the St Marys 10, allowing the Roughriders to take the final 1:18 off the clock to go to the half.
Shelby got the ball to start the second half and quickly put the game away. A good kick return put the ball on the St. Marys 36. After a Brooks' four-yard run, Armstrong broke free for a 32-yard run to make the score 28-7.
After a St. Marys three-and-out and a punt to the Rider 30, Armstrong ended a five-play drive with a two-yard run to make the score 33-7.
"Every time we thought we had a chance to claw back in, they did enough not to allow us," said Frye.
St. Marys turned over the ball via a fumble and an interception on its next two drives. Armstrong triggered the running clock with 10:21 left in the game with a three-yard run and then after another turnover, scored on a 36-yard run to complete the scoring.
"I was proud of our kids' effort," Frye said. "We're a good football team, but have a ways to go to be a great football team."
Perry wrapped up his fine season with an 80-yard night to go over the 1,200-rushing yard mark. Schlosser added 46 yards.
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