Russets shut down Crusaders 27-0
POCATELLO – Shelley head football coach Travis Hobson may have earned himself a new nickname Saturday afternoon; the nickname? Mr. Fourth Down.
Hobson’s Russets converted on five fourth downs in the first half, three of those five into touchdowns as Shelley opened the 2014 season with a 27-0 thrashing of Faith Lutheran High School out of Las Vegas in the Rocky Mountain Rumble inside Holt Arena Saturday.
“Because that’s the kind of team we are to be honest with you,” Hobson answered when asked why he went for it on fourth down beginning early on in the game. “Situations are irrelevant, it’s about offensive confidence.”
The first conversion, inside the Russets own 40 yard line very early in the game, set the tone for things to come.
As a few plays later sophomore quarterback Bryon Leckington found Bracken Nelson in the back of the endzone on a fourth and eight from the eight yard line for a touchdown.
Leckington had quite the afternoon in his first varsity start as he completed 19-of-29 passes for 196 yards and four touchdowns.
“That is exactly what I expected out of him,” Hobson said. “I could not be prouder of him. That is a sophomore making senior plays in a big game on a big stage against a good team and that’s what it comes down to.”
Nelson was Leckington’s favorite target in the game catching seven passes for 91 yards and the one touchdown.
“I think he did pretty good for his first time out,” Nelson said. “We shut them out we scored 27 points, so I think it was pretty good for the first time out.”
Shelley’s fourth down success continued in the second quarter as Leckington found an open Jason Hathaway on a fourth and 10 from the Crusader 11 for a touchdown to extend the Russets lead to 14-0.
With just 23 seconds remaining in the half Leckington found Rollin Sutherin with an 11-yard pass of his own, this time on a fourth and eight from the 11.
Shelley went into the locker room up 20-0.
“I did not encourage coach at all to go for it on fourth down,” Leckington said. “We just went out there and executed the plays they coaches called.”
The Russets offense picked up where it left off on the 3A title game against Fruitland last November as they used a mix or short passes and runs to set up the big play later in the drive.
The normally stingy Russets defense took care of the rest.
Faith Lutheran came into the game with a reputation that is could do whatever it wanted to an opponent.
The Russets beat them at their own game.
The Crusaders completed just seven passes, four in the final drive and had just three runs over 12 yards and the very aggressive and fast Russets took control of the game.
“Coach Hobbs does a fantastic job coaching the defense, that is his baby,” Hobson said. “We are quick and fly around to the ball and it is all thanks to what coach Hobbs does.”
The Russets defense did not allow the Crusaders to get even remotely close to endzone the entire game.
Sutherin led the Russets on the ground with 30 yards on nine carries he had another two catches for 17 yards and a touchdown.
Hathaway hauled in five passes for 52 yards and two touchdowns.
Shelley travels to Teton next week.
Shelley 27, Faith Lutheran 0
Faith Lutheran 0 0 0 0 – 0
Shelley 7 13 7 0 –27
S – Bryon Leckington 8 pass to Bracken Nelson (Tyler Fredrickson kick)
S – Leckington 11 pass to Jason Hathaway (Fredrickson kick)
S – Leckington 11 pass to Rollin Sutherin (kick failed)
S – Leckington 33 pass to Hathaway (Fredrickson kick)
Rushing – Faith Lutheran: Brendan Joyce 9-(-7), Christian Marshall 1-0, Alfred Soboyejo 12-79. Shelley: Jason Hathaway 6-14, Rollin Sutherin 9-30, Tyler Fredrickson 1-2, Tyler Bean 8-14, Dakota Robinson 1-3, Bryon Leckington 2- (-1), Jonathon Carranza 3-19.
Receiving – Faith Lutheran: Christian Marshall 2-30, Alfred Soboyejo 1-(-5), Mark Rubalcaba 4-42, Tyler Mahan 1-9. Shelley: Bracken Nelson 7-91-1, Tyler Bean 2-12, Tyler Fredrickson 2-12, Jason Hathaway 5-52-2, Rollin Sutherin 2-17-1, Jonathon Carranza 1-13.
Passing – Faith Lutheran: Brenden Joyce 7-21-67-0-0. Shelley: Bryon Leckington 19-29-196-4-0.