Michael Shaw Injured, Matt Shaw Takes Over as Edmonson County Wins 45-18
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
The Wildcats ended the Green County Dragons' season tonight in Brownsville as Edmonson claimed the win in the first round of the playoffs, led by a 200-plus yard performance from sophomore running back Matt Shaw.
It was the first playoff win for the Wildcats since 2011, when their 11-1 team defeated Heath 62-7.
Edmonson County took the first possession of the game and made a run into Dragon territory as Clay Walden kicked a 24 yard field goal for a 3-0 lead with 5:17 to go in the first quarter.
The Wildcats quickly got the ball back and it was Walden again, this time on a 55 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jon Smith for a touchdown, and it was Walden once more with an extra point for a 10-0 lead.
Green County got on the board with a 9 yard touchdown run on their next possession but their two-point conversion attempt was no good for a 10-6 Wildcat lead with 4:37 left in the half.
On the Wildcats next possession, some swapping took place as Jon Smith caught a 10 yard pass from Isaiah Johnson for another touchdown. Walden's extra point was good and EC led 17-6 with 2:15 left in the half, which would be the score at the break.
The Dragons came out hungry in the third and struck with a 36 yard touchdown run, but their two-point attempt was no good again as they cut Edmonson's lead to 17-13 with 9:25 to go in the quarter.
A scary moment came for the Wildcats early in the third when Michael Shaw went down with an unknown leg injury. He had to be taken off the field on a stretcher and exited via Edmonson EMS ambulance. The Cats were shaken up a bit and the Dragons took advantage with a shift in momentum as they put another good run together and added another touchdown to take their first lead of the game, 18-17. For the third straight try, Green County's two-point conversion attempt was stopped by the Wildcat defense.
For the remainder of the third, it was the "Matt Shaw Show," "The Shaw-Tank Redemption," and "Mr. Shawesome," as Michael's brother began running the ball all over the field, which put a new charge into the Wildcats. Shaw put up back-to-back touchdown runs; first, a 29-yarder, then later with a 24-yard touchdown. Jon Smith completed a two-point conversion on the first Shaw TD and Walden's extra point was good on the second as the Wildcats took a 32-18 lead as the third came to an end.
It didn't end there. With a new charge in the Wildcat defense, Green County was hit hard on their next possession and Matt Shaw continued to lead the way. His 34 yard touchdown run put the Cats up 38-18. Extra point was no good with 9:49 left in the game.
Fans wanted more so the Cats "Shaw-nuff" decided to go "Shaw-Night Long," (that's the last one, I promise) as Matt Shaw took another 38 yard run to the house for another touchdown. The extra point was good and Edmonson County led 45-18, which would be the final score of the game.
Shaw finished with 4 touchdowns and 219 total yards.
"Matt just took the ball and he took us all the way home," said Assistant Coach Ben Grey. "We definitely hope we can take this into next week's game against Clinton County. Our boys have shown they can persevere. Early in the season, we fell down and couldn't really get up but tonight we worked hard and pushed through."
Coach Grey talked about the shift in momentum.
"Momentum plays such a big part in football," he said. "Our sideline can really influence our players on the field, and on a cold night, it would've been real easy for them to sit there, but they got into the game and everybody got fired up, and we couldn't be more proud of them."
The Wildcats are now 5-6 on the season and will host Clinton County (7-3) next Friday night at home for the district finals. Edmonson County defeated Clinton two weeks ago in the road 13-0.