Hendersonville Holds on Late; Beats Shelbyville Central
By: MTN Sports Reporter Noah Maddox
The Hendersonville Commandos earned a hard-fought non-region win on the road Friday night, getting a fourth down stop late in the fourth quarter to beat Shelbyville Central 14-12.
This game was a sloppy, penalty ridden, defensive battle throughout as a third quarter pick-six by senior two-way star Ellis Ellis proved to be the difference on the scoreboard.
Central started out strong, taking the opening kick and driving down inside the Hendersonville 20-yard line. However, the drive stalled, and the ensuing field goal attempt was blocked, which was a sign of things to come.
Hendersonville took over at their own 20, but on third down their senior quarterback, Luke Manning, was sacked and fumbled the ball at his own eight yard line where Shelbyville recovered. The Commandos’ defense held strong, however, and forced a turnover on downs.
Later in the first quarter, Hendersonville quickly drove down the field, aided by three personal fouls on the Golden Eagles, and senior Torin Baker finished the drive with a 16 yard TD scamper to put the Commandos on the scoreboard first.
On the ensuing drive, Central started to find their groove on offense. Starting at their own 30-yard line they quickly march into Hendersonville territory before a 36-yard TD pass from senior quarterback Kade Cunningham to senior star wideout Gavin Donegan put Shelbyville on the board. The extra point was blocked, keeping the Commandos in front by one point less than two minutes into the second quarter.
The two teams traded possessions for most of the rest of the first half until Hendersonville had the ball on their own 43-yard line with about 20 seconds left. Then as Manning dropped back to pass, the Central pass rush got to him quickly, causing a strip sack. Amir Ross picked up the loose ball for the Golden Eagles and took off 43-yards down the field for the touchdown to give Central the 12-7 lead at halftime.
Hendersonville got the ball to start the second half, and after a short drive that ate up almost six minutes of clock, the Golden Eagles forced a punt.
Central took over and quickly got to midfield before a deep shot intended for Donegan was intercepted by the aforementioned Ellis. Ellis swerved his way around what seemed like the entire Central offense for an incredible near-70-yard pick-six to put Hendersonville back in front 14-12.
The teams traded multiple possessions, and as the fourth quarter rolled on, Hendersonville slowly drove down into the Golden Eagles red zone. Hendersonville eventually found themselves facing a fourth and goal at the 16-yard line after a holding penalty, and the fade route to Ellis fell incomplete.
Central took over on downs at their own 16-yard line with 3:43 left in the fourth quarter, trailing 14-12. Cunningham quickly drove the Golden Eagles near midfield, and found himself facing a 4th and 4 on the 48 yard line with about a minute to go. Cunningham took the snap, fired to an open Kendall Trice for what would have been a first down, but it was dropped.
Hendersonville took over and since Central had only one timeout left, the Commandos were able to kneel the clock out and escape Shelbyville with a win.
MTN’s full game broadcast can be found on-demand on their YouTube page here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQejfwQspAQ
MTN’s next broadcast will be at Eagleville this coming Friday as the Eagles host the Huntland Hornets in the MTN Game of the Week.