ELYRIA – Cold weather, a lengthy road-trip and a date with the defending Division IV state champs couldn’t keep the Shelby faithful from packing the stands Friday night in Elyria.
The visitor side stands were filled from top to bottom, as those in attendance witnessed the final game of what has been a historic postseason for the Whippets.
Following the program’s highest-scoring postseason game, a 71-41 victory over Van Wert, the Whippets faced their toughest challenge yet against second-seeded Glenville.
Talented Glenville roster too much to handle
The Tarblooders roster, filled with numerous college recruits, proved too much for Shelby in a 50-14 runaway.
After delivering a postgame speech filled with emotion, Shelby coach Rob Mahaney said he couldn’t be more proud of his team’s effort.
“We could’ve packed it in before the game even started, but that’s not who these guys are,” Mahaney said.
After forcing Shelby to punt on their first possession, the Tarblooders wasted no time lighting up the scoreboard, scoring on their first play from scrimmage.
Tomlinson, Jones lead the way for Glenville offense
Glenville senior quarterback Ruel Tomlinson found 6 -foot-3, 220-pound wide receiver Damarion Witten, who’s committed to Ohio State, for a 37-yard touchdown.
On the ensuing possession, Glenville poked the ball free to force a Shelby fumble, resulting in a scoop-and-score touchdown for senior linebacker Calvet Dessau.
The Tarblooders constructed a 22-0 lead entering the second quarter.
Glenville finished the night with 409 yards of total offense and 17 first downs.
Offensively, the Tarblooders were led by senior running-back D’Shawntae Jones who carried the ball 14 times, accumulating 158 yards and two TDs.
Tasked with trying to move the ball against a fierce Glenville defense, highlighted by Ohio State commit Bryce West, the Whippets struggled to find their rhythm.
GALLERY: No. 2 Glenville vs No. 3 Shelby
Whippets went down with a fight
However, sophomore quarterback Brayden DeVito provided a much-needed spark midway through the second quarter, finding senior Issiah Beck open in the back of the endzone for a score.
DeVito completed 13 passes for 204 yards and 2 TDs, while his innate connection with senior receiver Issaiah Ramsey was displayed one final time.
With four minutes remaining in the Whippets season, DeVito hooked up with his senior receiver for a 75-yard score.
Ramsey, who recently became the first 3,000-yard receiver in program history, brought-in seven receptions for 148 yards and one TD.
Although Shelby’s season came to a close, the program set many new milestones throughout this postseason campaign.
HIGHLIGHT: No. 2 Glenville vs No. 3 Shelby
Whippets represented the city at a high level
Mahaney said he hopes the community can be proud of the way his players represented the city on a big stage.
“We have great kids that have played together their whole lives from Shelby, Ohio and it means a lot to our kids to represent this community,” he said. “I think we continued to do that tonight.”
As the offseason process will slowly begin, Mahaney said he’ll continue to be present and offer support for each of his players.
“I’m going to be there for them not only through this, but for the rest of their lives,” he said. “In whatever they need, in whatever capacity I can try to help.”
Mahaney explained that Friday nights are only a small part of what high school football is all about.
“Friday nights are the reward at the end of it all,” he said. “But, the bonds and the relationships day in and day out, that’s what it’s all about.”
Community investment made this reporting happen. Independent, local news in Shelby and Northern Richland County is brought to you in part by the generous support of Phillips Tube Group, R.S. Hanline, ArcelorMittal, Lloyd Rebar, Hess Industries, and Shelby Printing.