Printed on: September 07, 2013

Balanced Russets blow past Tigers

By GARY HENDERSON
prsports@postregister.com

SHELLEY -- The Shelley Russets picked up their 14th straight win Friday night with a 28-7 nonconference victory over the visiting Jerome Tigers.

The defending 3A state champion Russets combined a balanced offensive attack with a strong defensive showing to defeat the 4A Tigers (1-1).

The weather and a lack of precision by both teams combined for a less than perfect game. Shelley head coach Travis Hobson left feeling like the Russets have work to do.

"I'm not very pleased with our performance and thought that was a pretty sloppy game," Hobson said. "That wasn't our prettiest win, but we'll take a win. Now we have to regroup."

The first half looked like the game would belong to Shelley as the Russets defense held Jerome to a three-and-out and got the ball in excellent field position after the Tigers elected to go for it on fourth and long. Quarterback Zach Thibault was stopped at the line of scrimmage and the Russets found themselves only 33 yards away from a score.

Five plays moved the ball 32 yards, leaving Tyler Bean needing only 1 yard for six points. Bean's offensive line moved the Tigers back enough for him to squeeze through. With eight and one-half minutes to go in the first quarter Shelley led 7-0.

Jerome settled down later in the first quarter and with 2:10 left Zach Thibault threw a perfect strike to his cousin Dan Thibault who rambled into the end zone for a 12-yard TD.

Neither team scored in the second quarter as the Idaho weather took command of the game with a consistent rain and strong southerly wind that altered both team's passing and kicking game.

"The wind was rough and really took us apart," Hobson said. "Both teams played on the same field in the same conditions, but the wind definitely had an affect on the kids."

Late in the third quarter the rain let up and Shelley regrouped, scoring on a four-play drive that culminated with a 26-yard pass from Schmitt to Tyler Bean. The short drive was set up when a Zach Thibault pass was intercepted by the Russets Taylor Lund near midfield.

Shelley's defense continued the fourth quarter domination by allowing Jerome four drives, three four plays long and one drive of seven-plays. In between the Russet offense put together two short scoring drives.

At the 10:25 mark in the fourth, Schmitt completed an 11-yard touchdown toss to Cameron Waite, and seven minutes later a second TD pass of nine yards to Randy Bauer.

Shelley completed the game with 137 yards rushing and 120 passing. The Russets (2-0) travels to Manti, Utah, on Friday to play its third nonconference foe.