Wolverines dominate early, before Shelby takes football opener

Published 4:28 pm Monday, August 26, 2013

A 12-play drive netted Polk a touchdown early in the first quarter, as quarterback Reece Schlabach led his team to within Shelby’s 1-yard line. Schlabach then plunged into the end zone for six points. In all, he completed 10 of 17 passes for 144 yards, and a touchdown, with no interceptions. He also carried the ball for 75 yards.

“I don’t think we could have played any better offensively than we did in the first half,” said  Ollis, who preaches the kind of ball-control play (he calls it “keep away”) that his team exemplified then. After Shelby came back to tie the game at 7, Schlabach guided the Wolverines downfield, this time on 18 plays, and again, took the ball back into the end zone,  with key blocking.

A Shelby field goal later in the second quarter closed the margin, but Polk owned a 14-10 lead at the half.

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After falling behind, 24-14 in the second half, the Wolverines scored again on a long pass play to Anthony Carson, who sprinted into the end zone. Carson caught six passes for 102 yards. Gage Stone made all three PAT kicks. Neither team punted.

That was as close as the Wolverines could get, as they couldn’t capitalize when inside Shelby’s 20. Some missed tackles also hurt the Wolverines.

“We didn’t tackle very well,” admitted Ollis. Shelby, he said, “turned 3 and 4-yard gains into 18-to-20-yard gains.”

In spite of any shortcomings his team may have suffered, “Certainly, I saw lot of positives,” said Ollis.

One of those had to be senior Matt Darden who dashed for more than 60 yards on kickoff returns.

After gathering his players on the field right after the game, Ollis was firm, but supportive.

“I hope you’re disappointed,” he told them. “I want you to be disappointed.” But, he added, “Losing one football game doesn’t mean it’s all over.” Pointing to Shelby players leaving the field, Ollis told his team, “That’s us next week.”