SHELLEY — The Shelley Russet offense was on the field for a grand total of six plays in the opening quarter of their Mountain Rivers Conference clash with Sugar-Salem on Thursday evening. That proved to be more than enough however as they scored 21 points in the opening frame en route to a 48-8 drubbing of the Diggers.
"Our game plan was to come out fast and get on top early," Shelley head coach Travis Hobson said. "We were able to get out to a good lead and then we were able to work on some things for the upcoming playoffs."
On Shelley's opening offensive possession the Russets went 67 yards on just four plays, the big blow a 36 yard touchdown pass from Chad Leckington to McKay Cannon. Cannon was brilliant on the play as he leapt high in the air on a slant pass, pulling the ball down with one hand and then weaved his way through the Digger defense for the games opening score.
The Shelley defense then got into the act when Tate Brown picked off a fluttering pass from Jessie Cook for a 21 yard pick six and the rout was on.
"I feel like our defense has been a little underrated all year long," Coach Hobson said. "They do a great job of getting a lot of three and outs which puts our offense into a good position which makes them look good."
Indeed, the Russets got one of those three and outs on the next Digger offensive possession and on the Digger punt, Cannon got loose for a 67 yard punt return which set up the Russet offense on the Digger 11 yard line.
Two plays later Chad Leckington called his own number as he skipped through an enormous hole for a 5 yard touchdown run making the score 21-0.
Leckington accounted for five touchdowns on the evening, three through the air and two on the ground as the Russets built a big lead and then turned the reigns over to the underclassmen in mop up duty.
"It was a big night for the seniors and Sugar-Salem are a physical team so it gave us a chance to work on playing physical because we will be seeing more of that in the playoffs," Coach Hobson said. "We're entering the playoffs in good shape. We are pretty healthy and riding a high right now but one thing about these kids is that they will not overlook anyone. They work hard, study film and they will not take anyone lightly."
Shelley (8-0, 3-0) will open their 2012 playoff run in ISU's Holt Arena next Saturday when they play Buhl at 7 p.m.
SHELLEY 48, SUGAR-SALEM 8
Shelley 21 13 7 7 - 48
Sugar-Salem 0 8 0 0 - 8
SH - McKay Cannon 36 pass from Chad Leckington (Matt Scarr kick), 7:24
SH - Tate Brown 21 Interception return (Scarr kick), 6:43
SH - Chad Leckington 5 run (Scarr kick), 0:17
SH - Chad Leckington 6 run (Scarr kick), 6:49
SS - Chase Barber 73 run (Paycen Rasmussen pass from Jason Hawkes), 6:28
SH - Trevin Swensen 13 pass from Chad Leckington (kick fail), 0:55
SH - Dalton Nelson 13 pass from Chad Leckington (Scarr kick), 10:29
SH - Chase Call 5 run (Scarr kick), 10:06
RUSHING - Sugar-Salem: Chase Barber 26-133, Jessie Cook 9-37, Carsen Hartley 5-6, Jared Purser 1-(-2). Shelley: Will Huntsman 2-17, Tyler Bean 4-3, Dakota Robison 2-3, McKay Cannon 1-10, Daniel Forbush 1-1, Randy Bauer 8-36, Chad Leckington 6-30, Jacob Sutherin 1-1, Josh Gutierrez 2-42, Chase Call 2-10.
PASSING - Sugar-Salem: Jason Hawkes 1-4-1 -1, Jessie Cook 0-3-2 0, Paycen Rasmussen 0-1-0 0. Shelley: Chad Leckington 10-13-0 153, Kaden Schmitt 1-1-0 9, Tyler Fredrickson 1-1-0 5, Garrett Nelson 0-1-0 0.
RECEIVING - Sugar-Salem: Paycen Rasmussen 1-(-1). Shelley: McKay Cannon 5-93, Josh Gutierrez 3-37, Trevin Swensen 1-13, Dalton Nelson 1-13, Josh Peterson 1-9.