The Shelby Whippets spotted the Pleasant Spartans a 13-point lead, but recovered to outscore the visitors 54-20 the rest of the way for a 54-33 statement victory on Friday night at W. W. Skiles Field.
The Spartans (3-2) forced a Shelby 3 & out on its opening drive and proceeded to march down the field culminating in a Austin Shaffer to Noah McGinniss 22-yard touchdown pass play making it 7-0.
Pleasant then recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff and scored on the very next play as Shaffer ran 23 yards to the endzone for a 13-0 lead four minutes into the game.
Shelby (4-1) would answer later in the quarter as McGwire Albert ran in from 12 yards out cutting the lead to 13-7. The Whippets then scored on its next two possessions on long Albert touchdown passes to Owen Fisher and Blaine Bowman making it 21-13 midway through the second quarter.
The Spartans then answered with back-to-back scores of its own to take the lead back at 27-21, but once again the Whippets had an answer as Albert scored his second rushing touchdown of the night from a yard out to make it 28-27 at the break.
Pleasant opened up the second half with a scoring drive that ended with a Shaffer to Patrick Blubaugh 8-yard pass giving them the lead back at 33-28. The 2-point attempt failed, however, keeping the defecit at 5 points.
The Spartans defense forced a punt and drove into Whippet territory, but could not convert on 4th down at the Shelby 18 yard line. The Whippets took advantage of the momentum as Fisher scored his second touchdown of the night with a 10-yard run giving Shelby the lead back at 35-33.
The Whippet defense then stopped Pleasant on 4th down again at its 26 yard line and turned it into another scoring drive as Albert ran in from a yard out. The extra point was blocked keeping the lead to one possession.
The Shelby defense continued to remain strong forcing a 3 & out and on its first offensive play Fisher put the game on ice weaving his way through the Pleasant defense for a 60-yard score to make it 48-33.
Fisher then finished the scoring with a 32-yard touchdown run with just over a minute remaining ending his night with 211 yards on 19 carries with 3 touchdowns and 2 catches for 84 yards and another touchdown.
Albert finished the evening 12-of-22 passing for 238 yards and 2 touchdowns while rushing 12 times for 82 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Pleasant was led by WR Alex Joachim, who caught 6 passes for 176 yards and a touchdown while Shaffer was 12-of-23 for 259 yards and 2 touchdowns while carrying the ball 22 times for 64 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Shelby remains undefeated in MOAC play and heads to Harding on Friday night while Pleasant hosts KIPP Columbus.