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Shelby County football coach Todd Shipley said he remembers last year’s game at Anderson County well.
The Bearcats, eventual runners-up in Class 5A, rolled up 555 yards of total offense on their way to a 58-20 rout of the Rockets in Lawrenceburg.
“They were running a track meet on us,” Shipley recalled earlier this week. “They just had big play after big play after big play.”
Shelby County (1-0) is hoping to eliminate Anderson’s big plays tonight when the two teams square off at 7:30 at Robert Doyle Stadium. One of Shipley’s solutions to that lies on offense.
“We have to control the football,” he said. “One of the things we didn’t do last year was control the football. It was three plays and punt, three plays and punt; we couldn’t stop them. If we can keep the ball out of their hands we can keep them from scoring.”
The Rockets scored four touchdowns in their season-opening, 28-0 victory over LaRue County last Friday night, but Shipley believes they could have and should have had more.
“We had two more touchdowns that we left out there because of penalties and turnovers,” he said.
Shelby scored three touchdowns, two in the second half, in last year’s loss to the Bearcats.
“They’re still bigger than us, but I think we match-up, speed wise, very well with them,” Shipley said.
Anderson County graduated several seniors off that squad, including quarterback Seth Carmichael (3,262 passing yards, 39 TDs) and running back Ethan Kelly (1,499 yards, 14 TDs), which lost 55-3 to Bowling Green in the state championship game.
“They’re not as good as they were last year, but they’re still very good,” Shipley said. “The thing they’ve added this year that they didn’t do last year is running the option.”
The Bearcats (1-1) have split their first two games of this season. They were beaten by Bryan Station 41-34 in their season-opener, but bounced back to top Garrard County 24-16 last Saturday in a bowl game at Danville.
Sophomore quarterback Zach Carmichael passed for 199 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for 78 yards and another TD in the loss to the Defenders. He followed that up by throwing for 202 yards and two touchdowns in Anderson’s victory over the Golden Lions.
“Their passing worries me,” Shipley said. “I think Anderson is going to come out and try to establish the pass on us.”
The Rockets are coming off a game in which they gave up just 1 passing yard to the Hawks in posting their first shutout in nearly three years.
“We have a lot of kids back, I think we’re more sound this year on defense,” Shipley said.
Anderson County at Shelby County, 7:30 p.m.
Records: Anderson County 1-1; Shelby County 1-0.
Coaches: AC – Mark Peach (8th year, 56-29); SC – Todd Shipley (13th year, 57-76.
SCHS stat leaders: QB Zach Shipley 4-12-1 67 yards, 1 TD; 12 rushes for 53 yards, 2 TDs; RB Justin Stewart 12-76, 1 TD; LB Nick Waurio 10 tackles; LB Deric Hyman 9 tackles.
AC key players: QB/DB Zach Carmichael (No. 7); RB/DB Granville Hayes (No. 4); WR/DB Ross Cox (No. 25).