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One trick turned into a big treat for the Rockets on Halloween, as Shelby County abandoned the passing game completely in a 62-7 whipping of visiting South Oldham.
The Rockets have lived on the arms of their quarterbacks the last few years, but they threw just one pass (an incompletion) while compiling 487 yards and nine touchdowns in the team's first victory of the season on Homecoming night Friday.
"We had joked on Wednesday that we may not throw a pass at all," SCHS Coach Todd Shipley said. "But really, we liked our chances with the power offense. It just kept working, and we were getting yards in big chunks. I was actually kind of shocked that we only threw one pass, and only called two."
It didn't seem to matter who carried the ball for the Rockets. Seven different players averaged five yards or more per carry. Quinten Cottrell's 167 yards and three TDs on nine carries led way, and Ty Barnett added 124 yards and two TDs on just 12 carries. Rico Maahes and Nigel Beach both scored twice while paving the way with the offensive line for the rest of the backs all night.
"If you couldn't see the holes, then you needed to get some glasses," Shipley said. "We were opening huge holes all night. The offensive line played very, very well, and Nigel was laying out some devastating blocks.
"There were two or three straight plays near the beginning of the game where he was just pancaking guys, and laying them out."
While the offense was scoring at will, the defense was just as impressive.
South Oldham put together one drive, a nine-play 73-yard scoring drive in the second quarter that cut the Rockets' lead to 28-7, but it never mounted a threat before or after that. The Dragons had just 8 yards in the first quarter, a total of 100 in the first half and just 26 in the third quarter. During the fourth quarter -- with a running clock because the Rockets' lead had swelled to more than 45 -- South Oldham had run just one play, a fumble, in the first 8 minutes.
The Dragons finished with fewer than 150 yards for the game.
"The impressive thing, I thought, is we told the kids that we thought they were better, and this was a game they could win and dominate, and they did just that," Shipley said. "A lot of times you might have a better team, but you struggle for a win. But these guys haven't been down all season, and they showed that they have what it takes."
Even more than providing the first victory of the season, the game gave Shelby County some confidence.
"The guys have worked so hard with their time and effort, and we've come up short for eight weeks, so it was nice for them to see the fruits of their labor," Shipley said. "It was like a big B-12 vitamin shot."
American Founders Bank is selling tickets for Friday's home football game against Oldham County. The game is the last regular-season game for Shelby County. The bank will have tickets available from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. today through Friday.