Shelby improves to 12-1, West Lincoln closes at 10-4 in 2AA battle
SHELBY – Top-seeded Shelby High ended the best football season in West Lincoln history on Friday night, downing the visiting Rebels 42-7 in a third-round state 2AA playoff game.
The Golden Lions (12-1) are at home next Friday at 7:30 p.m. to face league rival Burns (11-3) for the second time this season.
The Burns-Shelby winner advances to the state 2AA title game on Dec. 14 at Wake Forest and will play No. 7 Salisbury (11-2) or No. 1 Randleman (13-0).
West Lincoln, a No. 12 seed, won postseason games for the first time in school history – over Ashe County and South Point – and finished 10-4. The 10 wins are a single-season school record.
Shelby started its scoring against the Rebels with a 7-yard run by Donye Filler.
The Golden Lions extended their lead in the second quarter when Isaiah Bess hit Ja’harie Mitchell on a 20-yard pass on third down about four minutes before halftime.
West Lincoln’s only score came next, a 65-yard run by quarterback Mason Huitt.
Shelby made it 21-7 at the half with a 7-yard TD run by Mitchell in the final two minutes of the opening half.
Another TD run by Mitchell in the third quarter made it 28-7 before Fuller ran 14 yards for another TD and a 35-7 edge.
Shelby’s final score came with six minutes to play on a pass from Bess to Diavonni Daley.
West Lincoln’s 10-win season in head coach Darren Ponder’s first season topped the school record of nine in a season, set by the 2018 team (9-3) coached by Tom Sain.
The Rebels’ 2018 team topped the previous record of eight wins by the 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970 teams coached by the late Brennan Elliott, and the 2010 team coached by Sain.