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Rockets manhandle Southern, 55-0

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Shelby earns No. 2 spot in district, will host playoff game

By Todd Martin

The SCHS football team’s victory over Southern on Friday night was a lot like a train ride: The start was slow, but once the Rockets’ started rolling, there was not stopping them.

Shelby County (7-2, 2-1 in District 4) fumbled on its first two possessions and then scored on its next eight that spanned halftime and into the third quarter en route to a 55-0 win.

The Trojans (1-8, 0-3) had no answer on offense or defense against the Rockets.

The SCHS defense stymied Southern all night, limiting them to a meager 78 yards of total offense.

The Rockets’ offense, however, was the complete opposite.

SCHS quarterback Branden Cresap was unflappable in the pocket, hitting 16 of 18 passes for an even 300 yards and six TDs.

“It was good to get back in the swing of things,” he said. “The run game has been great the past two weeks, but our passing game has struggled, so it was good to bounce back.”

The state only keeps passing efficiency records for seasons and careers, but if one was kept for individual games Cresap’s 88.9 percent likely would have approached the record.

Cresap was right on the heels of Arizona Cardinal Kurt Warner’s NFL record of 92.3 percent (24-of-26) set earlier this season.

Cresap hit Ben Axline on a 15-yard touchdown pass late in the first quarter, then hit Matt Page and Edwin Thomas on 5-yard scores in the second quarter.

He opened the second half with a 61-yard TD pass to Page just 19 seconds into the quarter and added a 21-yarder to Tavis Elzy with 6:49 to go in the third.

Cresap capped his evening with another bomb to Page, this one for 65 yards.

“The O-line did a heck of a job, and the receivers made some nice catches,” Cresap said. “The field was just wide open tonight and there were holes everywhere.

“And when you have all day to throw like that, it just makes it tons easier.”

Shelby’s romp kept Southern scoreless in district play. The Trojans lost three games by a combined score of 145-0.

Male (7-2, 3-0) hammered Fern Creek (6-3, 1-2), 55-13, in the other District 4 game, setting the final standings with the Bulldogs seeded No.1, Shelby No. 2, Fern Creek No. 3 and Southern No. 4.

That means the Rockets will host a home playoff game for the first time in 13 years.

“We started out slow [at practice this week], but Coach [Todd] Shipley got on us,” Cresap said. “After that we stayed pretty focused because we all want to host a playoff game. It’s been a long time.”