Marshall Shepherd

Shelby quarterback Marshall Shepherd throws a pass while Amareon Russell offers protection during the first half of Friday's 49-19 win over Clear Fork at Shelby's Skiles Field.

SHELBY — Marshall Shepherd is healthy and better than ever.

Shelby’s senior quarterback, Shepherd completed 22 of 35 passes for 344 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 110 yards and four scores as the Whippets claimed their third straight Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference title with a 49-19 win over Clear Fork on Friday at Skiles Field.

Shepherd had been dealing with a shoulder injury for much of the season. 

“My should is 100 percent now. Just in like the last week it got to that point,” Shepherd said. “The last six weeks it has been been really bothering me. In week 4 and 5 it was like 40 or 50 percent and it’s slowly increased as the weeks went on.”

Shepherd did most of his early damage with his legs as Clear Fork sent extra defenders in coverage. He scored on a 2 yard run on Shelby’s opening possession.

“They gave us three-, two- and one-man boxes and we were able to run the ball,” Shelby coach Rob Mahaney said. “He’s a good enough runner and now that he’s healthy and feeling good, he can have games where he rushes for over 100 yards.”

Clear Fork tied it at 7-7 later in the first quarter on Deven Freeman’s 6 yard run before Shelby began to take over. Shepherd scored on a 3 yard run to make it 14-7 with 1:12 remaining in the first quarter and added and scored his third rushing touchdown on a 1 yard keeper early in the second. He then connected with Andre Hill on a 44 yard scoring strike to make it 27-7 with 3:20 remaining in the first half.

Clear Fork answered when quarterback Victor Skoog scored on a 2 yard run with 40 seconds remaining before halftime to make it 27-13 at the break.

Shelby put it out of reach in the third quarter. First, Shepherd hooked up with Blaine Bowman on a 5 yard touchdown pass and then he found Hill for a 16 yard TD to make it 41-13. 

Clear Fork cut it to 41-19 when Skoog and Freeman hooked up on a 47 yard touchdown pass with 1:33 remaining in the third quarter. It would stay that way until Shepherd scored on a 1 yard run with 8:29 to play.

“That offense is danged if you do and danged if you don’t,” Clear Fork coach Dave Carroll said “We had the luxury of it being Week 10 and watching nine opponents to see what everybody tried to do. It didn’t work out for those guys either.

“They’re a machine. They have a lot of answers for what you do.”

Shelby (8-2, 6-0) has only lost one conference game since entering the MOAC in 2019. The Whippets are 16-1 in three years with three outright championships.

“I am so fortunate and so lucky to be the head coach here,” Mahaney said. “We’ve had such great kids the last three years who understand what it means to be a championship football team.” 

Both the Whippets and Colts (6-4, 4-2) will be in action next week in the opening round of the Division IV, Region 14 playoffs. The Ohio High School Athletic Association will release official pairings Sunday.

“We got a game next week. We’ve got a game to prepare for,” Carroll said. “I’m very excited to see who we’re playing against.”

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