Behind four Duke Shelley touchdowns – two on kickoff returns, one on an interception and another on a 43-yard reception – Class AAAAA No. 1 Tucker defeated M.L. King 60-34.
Shelley’s four touchdowns covered a total of 219 yards, as he made an impact on all facets of the game. And he wasted no time in starting the onslaught.
On the game’s first play from scrimmage, Shelley grabbed an errant Roland Rivers pass and scampered 30 yards into the end zone to put Tucker (9-0, 8-0 in Region 6-AAAAA) out in front.
That was the launch of quite a night for the junior, in a game where the two teams traded big plays and key turnovers, though only Tucker could seem to take advantage of those.
The biggest example of that came late in the third quarter, with the Lions (6-3, 6-2) down 39-28. Tucker’s Elijah Sullivan fumbled near the 50-yard line, and MLK’s Chaka Diarrassouba returned it to the Tucker 11 to give the Lions a chance to get back to within striking distance.
But, without a reliable field-goal kicker, MLK ran four plays, going backward to the 13 and got no points out of the great field position. That was the last of three Tucker turnovers, and the Lions didn’t score on any of them.
On the other side, Tucker forced four MLK turnovers – all Rivers interceptions, and all in the first half – and turned those into 14 points that could have proven the difference in the fourth quarter.
For Tucker, Shelley’s big night overshadowed a very efficient, impressive night for quarterback Joseph Farrar.
He only had four completions, but three of them were 43-, 27- and 22-yard touchdown passes, and he had a number of savvy run plays to post a game-high 124 rushing yards and another score.
His counterpart was almost the exact opposite, throwing the ball 50 times to Farrar’s 9, while throwing 4 touchdowns but matching that with 4 interceptions. He finished 22 of 50 for 444 yards, but he also finished with just 6 rushing yards in the face of a relentless Tucker pass rush.
Rivers usually did well when he had time to stand in the pocket and throw, but the almost complete lack of a running game – MLK finished with a total of 7 rushing yards – allowed a fast, talented Tucker defense to key on the pass.
Rivers completed passes to 10 different receivers, and had five completions of more than 40 yards. Shumake led all receivers with 156 yards and a touchdown on 5 catches.
MLK 6 14 8 6 – 34
Tucker 7 23 9 21 – 60
T – Duke Shelley 30 INT return (Eric Webber kick)
M – Romello Shumake 63 pass from Roland Rivers (pass failed)
T – Shelley 43 pass from Joseph Farrar (Webber kick)
M – Jamel Smith 6 run (pass failed)
T – Shelley 78 kickoff return (Webber kick)
T – Raquan Rush 27 pass from Farrar (pass failed)
M – Raylan Elzy 14 pass from Rivers (Smith run)
T – Webber 33 FG
T – Safety on punt snap through end zone
T – Shelley 68 kickoff return (Webber kick)
M – Dwayne Taylor 14 pass from Rivers (Smith run)
M – Robert Pritchett 54 pass from Rivers (pass failed)
T – Nekyle Lundie 22 pass from Farrar (Webber kick)
T – Farrar 26 run (Webber kick)