Russets looking to repeat as champs
The Shelley defense swarms Gooding running back Hank Boeger during last weekends semifinal match-up in Holt Arena. The Russets have allowed their three playoff opponents a combined 13 points.
SHELLEY â€” 3-0.
That is the record the Shelley Russets have against the Fruitland Grizzlies in their last three meeting in the 3A state championship game.
Today in Holt Arena the two teams will meet for the fourth time since 2007 with the Russets looking to make it four straight over the Grizzlies.
Oh , and their is this small factoid, with a win today the Russets will win back-to-back state championships for the first time in school history.
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Think Shelley needs to motivated to play the game? Nope Head coach Travis Hobson and the Russets are ready and focused on the task at hand.
And they need to be as the Grizzlies are playing in the title game for the eighth straight season.
After the win over Gooding last week in the semifinals Shelley head coach Travis Hobson said he could not imagine the season ending up any other way than a rematch between the Russets and Grizzlies, two teams that have been at the top of the 3A media polls all season long.
"It is going to be a dogfight," Hobson said. "We are familiar with each other, we know they are going to try and run the ball, our job is stop them."
In last week's semifinal win over Homedale The Grizzlies run game was shut down so they were forced to take to the air.
It proved to be beneficial as Fruitland earned a 30-29 win. Look to Fruitland to test the Shelley secondary, something none of the Russets last two opponents have been able to do.
Both Snake River and Gooding were run heavy teams and the Shelley defense held them in check.
Hobson has said over and over in the last few weeks that his defense was an unheralded group and they have been all season.
There are not many teams that can say they have played three playoff games and allowed a total of 13 points; Shelley can.
Offensively Shelley is led by dual threat quarterback Kaden Schmitt.
Schmitt has been the offensive spark plug for Shelley all season long, when the Russets hit the playoffs Schmitt got better and harder to stop.
"I don't know what else I can say about him, he is a good player that makes good decisions and we feed off of his energy," Hobson said. "Schmitt and our running game have been a big reason for our success."
Shelley is no stranger to the friendly confines of Holt Arena as the Russets are a perfect 4-0 in the dome this season.
Hobson expects the team to continue its strong play in front of a large crowd of Shelley faithful this afternoon.
The 10-1 Russets and 10-1 Grizzlies kick-off a 2:30 p.m. today in Holt Arena.
Now it's time for my final prediction of the playoffs and it is pretty simple, the Russets have played so well this season and it is tough to see them losing this game sooo...
Shelley 37, Fruitland 17.