Shelby Enters Meat Grinder of Their Schedule

By CHUCK RIDENOUR
Daily Globe Sports Editor

There's been some victories, some heartbreak and some very competitive moments for the Shelby varsity football team through the first seven weeks.

The last three contests of the 2014 campaign could be described as a meat grinder for the Whippets, beginning with Friday's Northern Ohio League game with Tiffin Columbian at W.W. Skiles Field at William J. Wilkins Stadium.

Although the defending conference champions are having what could be described as an 'un-Columbian' type season with a record of 2-2 in the NOL and 4-3 overall, the Tornadoes are still a formidable outfit as evidenced by last week's 35-0 thrashing of Willard.

After tangling with TC, dates with undefeated and state-ranked Norwalk (away on Oct. 24) and Loudonville (home on Oct. 31) close out coach Erik Will's second season with the red and gray.

"The three (games) left are not easy," said Will.

Shelby, which is 1-3 in the conference and 2-5 overall, enters the fray on a down note after last Friday's 21-20 loss to Ontario. In that one, the Whippets reached the Warrior five with a minute left, but were unable to punch in the game-winning score.

"The kids are working their butts off and we are getting better, but we're not seeing wins as a result," said Will.

Tiffin Columbian enters the game with the No. 1 receiver as well as the No. 2 rusher and thrower in the league.

Quarterback Stone Simmons has completed 46 percent of his passes and thrown for 1,088 yards. His top target is Cody Kimmel with 31 catches for 401 yards and teammate Derek Dryfuse has hauled in 24 balls for 329 yards. Cliff Miller anchors the ground game with 831 yards on 133 attempts.

The Tornado defense is solid and yielding a NOL-low 258 yards a game. Isaac Theis leads with 51 tackles and Dryfuse is the league-leader in sacks with seven.

For the Whippets, signal caller Brennan Armstrong is 35 yards away from 1,000. He is completing 53 percent of his throws with the bulk of them going to Cody Stine (11 catches) with 384 yards and Tanner Orr (14 receptions) with 301 yards.

Dylan Shaffer leads the SHS ground attack with 434 yards on 115 carries. Armstrong is right behind with 415 on 79 totes.

Shelby's defense is led by Colten Harvey with 82 tackles - second in the NOL. He as well as Derek Rose and Dillon Thornsberry all have 4.5 sacks.

Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

SERIES

This will be the 61st time the two schools have met. The Whippets lead the series with a 30-29-1 mark, but the Tornadoes have had the better of it the last two decades with 17 wins and three losses. TC has won the last five in a row, including last year's 62-20 verdict.

BIG RED

Stung at home and their Firelands Conference title hopes wrecked during a 48-19 loss to Norwalk St. Paul, Plymouth (2-2 in the FC and 5-2 overall) will look to bounce back Friday with a trip to Western Reserve (1-3 in the conference and 1-6 in all games). The setback knocked PHS out of the top 10 in this week's Associated Press football poll and into the No. 11 spot for Division VII.

PLAYOFFS

The loss to the Flyers didn't kill Plymouth's bid for its first-ever postseason berth. The Big Red continued to hold onto the third spot in Region 23 with 8.6643 points. St. Paul is first with 11.2857. Mapleton is fourth and Lucas sixth.

PHS has been assembling a number of points from non-league opponent Cadiz Harrison Central, a Division V school, which is 4-3. Plymouth bested the Huskies 35-34 with a last-second field goal during week No. 3.

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