Offense, defense, special teams chip in for victory over North Bullitt
Don’t look now, but Shelby County is 4-0 following their dominating 56-7 victory at North Bullitt on Friday.
When asked when the last time the Rockets had this many wins with a zero on the right side of their ledger, coach Todd Shipley had to think on it a bit.
“Probably 2004 or 2005,” he said. “We started 7-0 one of those years.”
Indeed, Shelby County began 2007 with a 7-0 record before it dropped each of its next four games.
It has been a rough go for Shelby County since crosstown rival Martha Layne Collins came into existence in 2010. The talent pool was instantly cut in half. When Collins won a state title in 2014, things intensified on the eastern side of town.
But so far this year the Rockets are operating at maximum efficiency. With the speed of Michael Perry and the ballhawking skills of Malik Manica, it’s all systems go for Shelby County. Shipley’s team scored five touchdowns on offense, two on defense and one on special teams against the previously unbeaten Eagles.
“It’s all coming together right now,” Shipley said. “We were just clicking tonight. We played well on offense but our defense consistently put us in great position.”
Both halves started with long kickoff returns that set the tone for the Rockets. On the opening kickoff, they allowed a 75-yard return, but Devin Mantilla ran down Logan James from behind, tackling him at the 17-yard line.
“To run him down and give our defense a chance was huge,” said Shipley. “I thought we had a really good game plan coming in, and that saved the momentum for us.”
The Eagles went four and out in the pouring rain, and then it really poured down on them.
Quarterback Tyler Drane faked a handoff and ran 85 yards for the first Shelby County score. Malik Manica scored twice running the football, and two more times running it back on interceptions. Michael Perry scored three times as well, one on the opening kickoff of the second half, and rushed for 160 yards on just seven carries.
“The thing about Michael that he has improved on most is patience,” Shipley said. “Last year he wanted to try to outrun everybody. Tonight he was so patient running the ball, especially on that kickoff return. Tonight that patience paid off for us.”