If I told you New Castle only threw the football for 25 total yards on Friday, and that Luke Bumbalough had 1 yard receiving, you would think it was bad and NC lost. On a rainy night in Shelbyville, that happened, but NC ran the ball 41 times for 365 yards and 6 TDs and won 41-18.
It was raining steadily as NC kicked off. Skylor Stevenson pooched it over the front line and Dakota Durick recovered giving us the ball on the Shelbyville 35. NC couldn’t score on that and turned it over on downs at the 19. NC’s defense came to play tonight forced Shelbyville to punt. Nicholas Grieser returned the punt 30 yards to the SHS 26 yard line and 4 plays later, Luke Bumbalough ran it in from 11 yards out for the TD. Skylor Stevenson hit the PAT and it was 7-0 NC. SHS got the ball and moved it, but on 4th down, Mason Hardwick flew in and made a tackle to stop them short and give NC the ball. NC couldn’t get a first down and the quarter ended 7-0.
SHS had a good drive to start the 2nd quarter, scoring a TD but missed the extra point and it was 7-6 NC. Dakota Durick returned the kickoff 37 yards and NC was in business. On 4th down, QB Drew Barber fumbled the wet football and Shelbyville recovered. They scored on the next play but missed the PAT and NC was down 12-7. NC took over and on the first play, Bumbalough ran left, stopped, cut back, ran all the way back across the field and out ran everyone for a 54 yard TD run, in which he probably ran 80 yards total on the play. Stevenson hit the pat and it was 14-12. SHS had a good drive but was stopped on 4th down again. NC took over at SHS 48 yard line and on the next play, Bumbalough waited patiently, then darted through a hole for a 48 yard TD run. Stevenson slipped in the mud on the pat and it was 20-12 at half
Starting the 3rd quarter, NC imposed it’s will. Gage Burk took over and pounded the ball on the ground. After an NC punt, the defense took over. Dylan Beck forced a fumble and Trenton Williams recovered at the SHS 20 yard line. Bumbalough ran it, then Burk finished the last 10 yards, carrying defenders on his back to paydirt. Stevenson was good again and it was 27-12. The Trojan D forced another 3 and out, as Trenton Williams tackled both the qb and running back at the same time for a loss. On 4th down SHS went to punt and fumbled it. The punter had to beat one player for the first down, but Chandler Marcum was having none of it, stopping him short. NC ran Bumbalough for 21 yards, then Burk for the final 9 and the TD. Stevenson was good and it was 34-12. After another 3 and out by SHS, Burk ran for 26 yards, Bumbalough 15, Dakota Durick 13 and 14, and Bumbalough completed the final 8 yards of the drive for the TD. Stevenson good again and at the end of 3 it was 41-12.
SHS started the 4th quarter and moved the ball down to the Trojan 1 yard line. On 4th and goal, the Mean Green D stood up and stopped them short and took over. Unfortunately 2 plays later, the Trojans fumbled and SHS scored the final TD of the game to make the 41-18 final.
Offensively for NC, Bumbalough played QB much of the night out of the Wildcat. He finished with 200 yards rushing on 15 carries and 4 TDs. He also completed 1 of 2 passes to Triston Chesher for 24 yards. Gage Burk was again the workhorse between the tackles, punishing Shelbyville to the tune of 119 yards on 19 carries and 2 TDs. Durick ran for 45 yards on 4 carries and had 3 kick returns for 70 yards. Drew Barber completed 2 of 7 passes for 1 yard. Skylor Stevenson was 5-6 on extra points out of the hold of Grieser, which was awesome on a rainy, wet night like tonight.
Defensively, the Trojans had a lot of tackles for loss again. NC was led by Stephen Spears who was everywhere, garnering 18 total tackles, including 3 for loss. Dylan Beck had 13 and a forced fumble. Nicholas Grieser and Trevor Raynor 9 each, with Raynor having 4 tackles for loss. Mason Hardwick had 7 total tackles, Trenton Williams 7, a fumble recovery, and 2 TFL. Brayden Miller had 7 total tackles and 2 TFL, and D Ray Ford had 5.
NC moves to 3-1 on the season and 1-1 in the HHC. The next 2 games are crucial for us. We play both at home, starting next week against Yorktown at Neal Field at 7:30. Thanks to all the fans who made the trip and sat in miserable conditions to cheer on the Trojans. I think we had more fans than SHS did. Come out next Friday to see us compete against Yorktown. You won’t be disappointed.