Rain Soaked Football Game Plays On To Another Day
By David Sharp
Knox County’s defense stepped up and stopped North Shelby twice in the red zone during September 10 varsity football action at North Shelby.
The elements wound up putting a halt to the contest. The teams played nearly three quarters of football before the game was called due to lightning at the 1:35 mark of the third period.
Davin York intercepted an Alex Thrasher pass and returned the ball to the Raider 13 yard line when play was halted.
The game was scheduled to be resumed on Monday, September 13 at 7PM. Knox County will have the football on the Raider 13 when play resumes.
Due to publication deadlines, The Edina Sentinel will publish the final score and fourth quarter accounts in the September 22 edition.
North Shelby (0-2) did a better job of moving the football in the first half and through most of the third period. The Eagle defense showed improvement, holding on two goal line stands so far in the contest.
The Eagles (0-2) put pressure on the North Shelby quarterback. Damon Hemmerling sacked Alex Thrasher, stalling a first quarter drive that took the football near the Eagle 20 yard line.
Cody Simmons blocked a punt, giving Knox County possession on the Raider 15 yard line. Heavy rains began pelting the participants. Brady Morton ran the football in from three yards out with 2:09 to play in the first quarter.
The two point run failed and the Eagles led by six points. The first lightning delay was called before play could resume. The delay lasted about an hour.
The Eagle defense stalled North Shelby forcing a punt. The ball was mishandled and North Shelby gained possession on the Knox County 25 yard line with 11:10 remaining in the first half.
North Shelby had the better of field position from that point until the end of the half. North Shelby was assessed a holding penalty. The Raiders turned the ball over on downs.
The Raiders found Dalton Mettes open near the Knox County 15 yard line. The play was called back on a penalty. Knox County did not move the football well offensively. North Shelby held a 65-34 first half lead in total yards from scrimmage.
The Eagles wrested the ball back at their nine yard line. A fumble gave the Raiders back the ball on the Eagle one. Colton Danger sacked Alex Thrasher after the Eagle line held on a couple of running plays.
Alex Thrasher found Dalton Mettes on a fourth down and ten out route with 4:45 remaining in the first half. The kick failed leaving the game tied at six all.
After another Knox County punt, Leighton McCabe intercepted a pass and returned the ball to the Raider ten yard line with 39 seconds to play in the half. A blocking in the back penalty put the football back on the Eagle 48 yard line.
Leighton McCabe cracked off a 15 yard run. Cory Cooper sacked the Eagle quarterback to end the first half. Alex Thrasher was 4-11 for 37 yards passing with a touchdown and an interception in the first half.
Knox County did not complete a pass and was 16-34 rushing unofficially in the first half. The Raiders rushed for 28 yards in 12 carries. North Shelby held a 9-3 first down advantage.
North Shelby drove to the Eagle goal line on their first second half possession. The Raiders converted a fourth down and ten pass, but were turned back on downs. The Eagles could not move the football and punted from their one yard line.
John Stoneburner returned the football to the Eagle 14. Alex Thrasher found John Arnett on a four yard touchdown pass with 4:14 showing on the third quarter clock. The kick failed and North Shelby led 12-6.
Knox County took the football on their own 22 yard line. Coach Alex VanDelft inserted Kellen Gillaspy at quarterback. Gillaspy ran through a huge hole in the middle of the Raider defense 73 yards for a Knox County touchdown.
“Kellen runs like a deer. He always seems to get faster when people hit him,” Knox County coach Alex VanDelft said. “He ran through arm tackles. He made a couple of great cut backs on that play. It’s just a designed quarterback run. Straight up the middle.”
“He did what he had to do to get to the end zone.”
The extra point kick was blocked, leaving the game tied at 12. Brent Cowan made big defensive play, taking a pass from between the hands of a Raider receiver around the Eagle 25 yard line.
Knox County mounted a fierce pass rush. Damon Hemmerling, Colton Danger, Cody Simmons and Jon Harder recorded quarterback sacks to the stopping point.
“They had their backs to the wall multiple times,” Knox County coach Alex VanDelft said of the Eagle defensive effort. “We had two goal line stands. One was on the half yard line.”
“They stepped up and made a play. We tackled at the point of attack. They didn’t get the extra yards teams had been getting in those first two games of the year.”
Defensive adjustments put Brady Morton and Damon Hemmerling along the front four at defensive end. “Brady Morton and Damon Hemmerling are doing a great job getting to the quarterback. If we are not getting to him, we are at least getting a hand up.”
“We were making (Alex Thrasher) uncomfortable back there,” Coach VanDelft said. “We were making him hurry his throws. Then we started bringing pressure with Cameron Morford and Damon York. We did a great job bringing pressure on the quarterback.”
Alex VanDelft talked about the final play of the first portion of the day. “There were three great plays on (Davin York’s interception.) The front four brought great pressure on the quarterback. Nathan Goodwin hit their receiver as hard as he could.”
“Davin York took the tipped ball and got to the 13 yard line. Three great plays in one. It was just our defense executing and making plays. They were flying around just like we talked about since day one when I walked into this place.”
As of the point of suspension, Knox County rushed 20 times for 113 yards. The Eagles had four penalties for 25 yards. Knox County fumbled five times losing two. Kellen Gillaspy had three runs for 71 yards and a touchdown.
Leighton McCabe had seven attempts for 41 yards. North Shelby held an 11-5 advantage in first downs. The Raiders had 17 carries for 55 yards. Alex Thrasher was 12-27 for 100 yards including a touchdown and two interceptions against.
John Stoneburner was leading North Shelby with seven receptions for 67 yards. Dalton Mettes had two catches for 24 yards and a score.