Marshall Shepherd

Shelby quarterback Marshall Shepherd runs for a big gain against West Holmes.

SHELBY — It lost a little of its luster last week, but it is still the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference championship game.

Clear Fork will invade Skiles Field on Friday, attempting to capture a share of the MOAC title. The Whippets already have secured a piece of the crown, but would like nothing more than to win it outright.

The teams were on a winner-take-all collision course for the first eight weeks of the season before Marion Harding crashed the party last week, beating Clear Fork, 23-21. The Colts led 21-10 late in the fourth quarter only to give up a pair of touchdowns in the final four minutes.

“Harding is a good football team,” Clear Fork coach Dave Carroll said at the time, “but we did so much to hurt ourselves.”

Shelby has won 12 straight MOAC games. The Whippets have only one MOAC loss since joining the conference in the fall of 2019.

Clear Fork, meanwhile, is in search of its first conference crown since 2018.

Clear Fork (6-3, 4-1) at Shelby (7-2, 5-0): The Colts will try to rebound from last week’s disappointing loss to Marion Harding behind the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference’s most balanced offense. Clear Fork averages 180.1 yards rushing and 158.6 yards passing per game. Quarterback Victor Skoog has completed 103 of 192 passes for 1,383 yards and 17 touchdowns. The junior is also Clear Fork’s leading rusher, running for 455 yards and six TDs on 99 carries. Junior Trystyn Robison has rushed for 305 yards and two scores on 66 carries. Senior receiver Deven Freeman has 32 catches for 416 yards and four touchdowns, while emerging freshman Jay Jackson has 15 grabs for 291 yards and six TDs. Senior linebacker Kaleb Hollar leads the defense with 70 tackles. Defensive lineman Kaden Riddle has 58 stops and four sacks.

Shelby rebounded from a disappointing Week 8 loss to West Holmes with a resounding 47-20 win over River Valley last week. Quarterback Marshall Shepherd leads the MOAC with 3,312 passing yards and 40 touchdowns while completing 201 of 301 passes. The senior also has rushed for 213 yards and five TDs on 45 carries. Receivers Andrew Hill and Blaine Bowman both have gone over 1,000 yards for the season. Hill has a conference-high 69 catches for 1,143 yards while Bowman has 64 grabs for a conference-best 1,152 yards and 15 TDs. Linebacker David Ray has a team-high 89 tackles and Garrett Baker has 75 stops. Defensive end Caleb Baker has eight sacks while Hill leads the MOAC with five interceptions.

Madison (0-7, 0-4) at Mansfield Senior (4-1): The Rams would like nothing more than to beat their crosstown rival for a second straight season, but doing so won’t be easy. Madison is coming off a 43-0 loss to Lexington and is averaging just 8.7 points a game. The Rams managed just 126 yards of total offense last week, while surrendering 249 yards on the ground.

Senior High’s defense gave up just 35 yards in last week’s 26-6 win at Mount Vernon. The Yellow Jackets’ only score came on a 53 yard kickoff return. The Tygers had a pair of 100-yard rushers in quarterback Brock Hill (14 carries, 116 yards) and running back 17 carries, 108 yards). Hill scored a pair of rushing touchdowns, while Aveon Grose had an 8 yard TD run. For the season, Hill has completed 120 of 195 passes for 1,548 yards and 11 touchdowns and rushed for a team-high 538 yards and nine TDs on 122 carries. Grose leads the team with 38 catches for 341 yards. Amarr Davis has 35 receptions for 428 yards, while Myles Bradley has 32 grabs for a team-high 576 yards and five TDs. Defensively, Mansfield Senior has a stunning 17 interceptions as a team. Bradley and Ja’ontay O’Bryant each have four, while Davis and LaLa Owens have three apiece. Mekhi Bradley has a team-high 84 tackles and 6.5 sacks, while Grose has 68 stops

Lucas (7-1) at Mogadore (7-2): The Cubs returned to action last week with an impressive 31-8 win over Fort Loramie. Andrew Fanello returned from an ankle injury in a big way, rushing for 82 yards on 10 carries and catching six passes for 95 yards. Quarterback Andrew Smollen completed 8 of 9 passes for 143 yards and two touchdowns, including a 37 yarder to Fanello. Grant Barrett rushed for 83 yards on 13 carries.

Mogadore beat Rootstown 29-12 last week. Ezekiel Cameron threw for a pair of touchdowns, while William Butler rumbled for 181 yards and a score on 23 carries. The Wildcats limit opponents to 15.8 points a game.

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I have covered high school sports in Richland County since 2000. Email him at curt@richlandsource.com or follow him on Twitter: Follow @curtjconrad on twitter.

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