Quick-strike drive gives Cardinals complete control of momentum in district semifinal victory

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SHELBINA, Mo. — Chase Moellering looked like he’d been there before.

When the Clark County football team turned the ball over on downs st South Shelby’s 34-yard line with 2 minutes, 4 seconds remaining in the first half Friday night, the Cardinals realized there was plenty of time to score.

Moellering’s ability to engineer a quick scoring drive nearly gave South Shelby time to score twice.

The Cardinals went 66 yards in six plays and needed only 53 seconds to produce a 4-yard touchdown run by Kendal Hammond that sent them to the locker room with a 24-0 advantage. However, because Moellering, the sophomore quarterback, didn’t burn a timeout on that drive, South Shelby got the ball back 35 seconds remaining following a Clark County punt.

Another quick strike didn’t materialize, but by then, the Cardinals had the momentum anyway and were rolling toward a 43-6 victory at Charles Rash Memorial Field in the Class 2 District 6 semifinals.

“The poise that (Moellring) had there to keep the thing moving, that was pretty impressive,” South Shelby coach Adam Gunterman said. “He was smart. The thing that has impressed me the most with him is his decision-making skills have been outstanding. Hopefully he keeps growing and keeps doing that.”

Moellering and the Cardinals (10-0) will be put to the test next week. Top-seeded South Shelby will face second-seeded Bowling Green (11-0) for the district championship in a showdown of two state-ranked teams.

“We kind of knew this one was coming for a long time,” Gunterman said. “Gosh, dang, they’re a good football team.”

South Shelby does have the home-field advantage.

“That’s nice,” Gunterman said. “We’ll take that anytime. They always have a big crowd. They’ll bring a lot of people. It’s going to be rocking over here next Friday night.”

Clark County tried to spoil that, keeping South Shelby out of the end zone for nearly the entire first quarter.

“Their defense was salty,” Gunterman said.

South Shelby took the lead on Hammond’s 15-yard touchdown run with 12 seconds left in the quarter. He scored again on a 10-yard run with 5:12 remaining in the second quarter and capped the quick scoring drive with his third touchdown.

Much of the credit for that drive and the gaping holes Hammond enjoyed were the result of the Cardinals’ dominance up front.

“A lot of that goes to the five guys up front,” Gunterman said. “We practice no-huddle situations every week. Those guys know what they’re supposed to do and they executed. They executed all night.”

Hammond finished with 182 yards rushing and four touchdowns on 21 carries, while Cameron Wiseman had 160 total yards and two scores, including a 34-yard run.

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