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Despite last week’s disappointing, 35-34 loss to Anderson County, there were plenty of positives for Shelby County football coach Todd Shipley.
Among those were his team’s ability to pass the ball (his son, senior quarterback Zach Shipley, threw for 415 yards and four touchdowns) – “Most triple-option teams are pretty one dimensional, but we were able to throw the football when they stacked the box, putting eight and nine in there, against us,” Coach Shipley said – its ability to bounce back after the Bearcats took the lead and then mount a formidable, fourth-quarter drive and his team’s overall improvement after losing to Anderson by 38 points in 2011.
The Rockets (1-1) will try to build on the momentum from that near-miss, and continue their turnaround tonight, when they play at Jeffersontown. Kickoff is set for 7:30.
The Chargers routed the Rockets, 41-7, last year behind an incredible one-man-wrecking-crew performance by then-senior DeMichael Jackson, who rushed for 247 yards and four touchdowns and also returned a kickoff for a score.
However Jackson and several others from that squad (including coach Gary Weiter), which finished 10-3, are gone. The cupboard isn’t bare for new coach Nathan Jones, though.
The Chargers (2-0) have won their first two games, beating Bullitt East, 28-27, and Moore, 47-26. In the victory over Bullitt East, J-town rallied from a 27-7 deficit despite losing four fumbles. Richard Deloney, a transfer from Fairdale, ran for 112 yards and two touchdowns to lead that comeback.
Then last Friday, the Chargers scored 28 first-period points on their way to a lopsided victory over the Mustangs. Junior quarterback Kendrick Gardner had a 54-yard TD run and a 44-yard touchdown pass. Meanwhile senior running back/linebacker Charvez Strickland had a trio of touchdown runs (of 9, 47 and 65 yards) and finished with 169 yards on seven carries.
Shipley said Gardner is the primary quarterback, but Deloney will line up at quarterback (in J’town’s Wildcat formation), running back, fullback or wide receiver in the Chargers’ Spread attack.
“They’re a Spread team, but they will run the ball,” Shipley said. “They’ve got big linemen, and they want to create lanes.”
That’s why during Wednesday afternoon’s tornado warning in Shelby County, Shipley took his team inside and went over defensive assignments for tonight.
“Because they are a multi-formation team, you have to know who you are playing, and you have to go to the right spots,” he said. “They can make something out of nothing because of their speed, so we have to be sure to be in our assigned areas.”
“And we can’t have any stupid penalties,” added Shipley, whose team was flagged three times for blocks in the back against Anderson County. “Special teams may be a big factor, too, this week because of their explosiveness.”
Meanwhile the Rockets, who have employed a no-huddle offense this season in an effort to take advantage of their conditioning, will try to get back to their triple-option attack after being “a one-option team last week,” Shipley said.
Shelby County at Jeffersontown, 7:30 p.m.
Records:Shelby County 1-1, Jeffersontown 2-0.
Coaches:SC – Todd Shipley (13th year, 57-77); J – Nathan Jones (1st year, 2-0).
SCHS stat leaders: QB/S Zach Shipley 30-56-1-482 5 TDs; WR/DB Michael Barry 11-211, 3 TDs; RB/LB Chase Manica 9 rushes for 81 yards, 1 TD & 5-80, 1 TD; LB Nick Waurio 14.5 tackles; LB Deric Hyman 14.5 tackles; LB Jacob Hudgens 9 tackles.
JHS key players:QB Kendrick Gardner (No. 7); RB/DB Richard Deloney (No. 2); RB/LB Charvez Strickland (No. 1).