By CHUCK RIDENOUR
Daily Globe Sports Editor
Brennan Armstrong returned to the controls of the offense and directed seven scoring drives, including six in the opening half, of Shelby’s 46-0 thrashing of Bellevue Friday evening.
Armstrong, who sat out the first three games for breaking a team rule, was sharp out of the starting gate as he guided the Whippets down the field during their first series which covered 59 yards in 2:09.
The senior’s ability to come in and make things happen didn’t surprise SHS coach Erik Will.
“Number 5 (Armstrong) is fine. There’s a reason he’s the No. 1 quarterback in the state. In his first game against a team like Bellevue, he can flat out play,” said Will.
Armstrong completed 11-of-13 passes for 187 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran 16 times for another 117 yards and four scores as state-ranked Shelby improved to 4-0 on the season with the Sandusky Bay Conference crossover game victory.
“It’s nice to get Brennan back,” said Will. He also sung the praises of his offensive line which he was critical of a week earlier against Willard. “I want to credit our offensive line. They played much better. I was disappointed last week with their execution, but they really responded this week.”
Armstrong was glad to be back and also has a better appreciation for the game.
“I’m glad to be back with my friends, the guys I grew up with. Those three games were a long three games for me. I never really appreciated the game of football because it’s always been here for me. I’ve always played it and sitting out those three games truly made me appreciate how special it is,” said Armstrong, who returned to the lineup along with Riley Place and Dane Biglin after three-game suspensions.
Shelby led 14-0 after one quarter, but a defensive stand by the Hungry Hounds inside their own 10 proved to be a turning point just 76 seconds into the second period.
The Redmen (2-2) marched from their own six to the Whippet seven and were faced with fourth-and-two. Riley Renwand’s swing pass to Bryce McMurray was smothered and resulted in a two yard loss.
“That was a huge play because they could have cut it to 14-7. Moments like those are turning points in a game,” said Will.
From there, SHS marched 91 yards in 11 plays. The score with 5:03 remaining in the opening half was a 10-yard run by Armstrong to make it 20-0.
Shelby was not content and the remainder of the half featured some vintage play by Armstrong.
Bellevue would punt three times in the final 4:04 of quarter No. 2 and the Whippets would strike for three more scores.
Their shortest series was one play when Armstrong hit freshman Tyshaundre Hall and he shook off a couple of tacklers and scored from 49 yards out at the 3:45 mark.
The Redmen punted again 66 seconds later and it appeared Brady Hill would not field the ball and then at the last second he scooped up the ball and took off down the left sideline and returned the ball to the BHS 26. Armstrong’s TD run from a yard out with 1:56 remaining was set up by his own 25-yard scamper a play earlier.
Another punt by the visitors gave Shelby the ball at their own 47 with 51 seconds left in the half. A 56-yard bomb from Armstrong to Carter Brooks advanced the ball to the Bellevue three with 10 seconds left. After a Shelby penalty, Armstrong then threaded a bullet to Brooks on a slant in for the score with 0:00.2 left. Uriah Schwemley’s kick - one of four he had on the night - made it 40-0 at the intermission.
Because of the lopsided lead, the second half started with a running clock and the Whippets had the ball first. The red and gray would march 76 yards in 10 plays and Ty Hoffman scored from a yard out with 4:39 remaining. Hoffman carried 11 times for 80 yards.
Bellevue’s only other threat came late. The Redmen reached the 13, but a series of losses was capped by Tristan Starr’s nine-yard sack of the quarterback and the visitors gave up the ball with 2:01 left.
Shelby’s defense limited their opponent to 183 yards, but only 48 came in the second half. The only turnover in the game was by Bellevue as Hill intercepted a pass and set up the red and gray’s second TD.
“Our defense was fantastic,” said Will. “The credit goes to our defensive coaches and our kids who buy into the scheme and execute it.”
Tristan Reed topped Shelby with nine tackles. In all, 22 players recorded at least one stop for the winners. Hoffman had six sticks while Place and Biglin each had five.
The Whippets amassed 431 yards - running for 240 and passing for 191. The home team also enjoyed a 20-7 advantage in first downs. Brooks caught four passes totaling 84 yards, followed by Hall with three catches for 61 and Hill with three receptions for 34.
RETURNING PART II
All-Ohio running back Shorty Brooks returns next week for SHS after sitting out four games for disciplinary reasons.
“We’re getting our biggest weapon back next week,” said Will. A year ago, Brooks ran for 2,251 yards and scored 36 touchdowns.
The last time Shelby blanked the Redmen was 1998 in a 21-0 decision. Friday’s rout represented the most lopsided margin for the Whippets against BHS. Back in 1967, the red and gray won 46-6.
Bellevue leads the all-time series 37-35-2. Redmen coach Ed Nasonti hasn’t lost too many times in his career versus SHS and is 20-7 when going against Shelby. The Whippets have won the last two meetings.
Next Friday will be Homecoming for the Whippets. Norwalk will invade for another SBC crossover game. The Truckers defeated Margaretta last night 38-20.
At W.W. Skiles Field
at William J. Wilkins Stadium
Bellevue 0 0 0 0 -0
Shelby 14 26 6 0 -46
Shelby - Brennan Armstrong 8-yard run (Uriah Schwemley kick)
Shelby - Armstrong 2-yard run (Schwemley kick)
Shelby - Armstrong 10-yard run (kick failed)
Shelby - Tyshaundre Hall 49-yard pass from Armstrong (Schwemley kick)
Shelby - Armstrong 1-yard run (kick failed)
Shelby - Carter Brooks 7-yard pass from Armstrong (Schwemley kick)
Shelby - Ty Hoffman 1-yard run (pass failed)
First downs 7 Bel, 20 She
By rushing 4 Bel, 13 She
By passing 3 Bel, 6 She
By penalty 0 Bel, 1 She
Rushing yards 91Bel, 240 She
Passing yards 92Bel, 191 She
Total yards 183 Bel, 431 She
Pass (comp-att-int) 9-18-1 Bel, 12-14-0 She
Penalties-yards 2-17Bel, 8-56 She
Punts-average 5-29.8 Bel, 0-0 She
Fumbles-lost 2-0 Bel, 2-0 She