The triple option offense is still new for the Urbana High School football team.
Even with a half-season under their belts, the Hillclimbers are still learning the ins-and-outs of the system, Urbana coach Carleton Cotner said.
On Friday, it worked to perfection. Urbana outscored Shawnee 34-6 in the second half en route to a 47-12 victory at Climber Stadium.
“It’s a hard offense because no one else runs it, plus we run unbalanced out of it,” Cotner said. “It’s brand new. We just put it in this year and we’ve gotten better and better and better at it each week. Tonight was kind of the coming out party. (Senior quarter Preston Shields) orchestrates it all and he made the right reads and the right checks. He just did a great job. I’m really proud of them.”
Shields ran for three touchdowns and threw for another, while teammates Nic Dorsey and Isaiah Fonseca each had two TDs for the Hillclimbers (2-5), who snapped a four-game losing streak.
The Hillclimbers wracked up 579 yards of total offense, including 487 rushing yards.
“Our offensive line certainly wore them down in the fourth quarter,” Cotner said. “It’s not something I expected. I thought it would be a dog fight, but our guys came out and just got after it. They got off the ball with flat backs and drove. It was fun to watch.”
Shields ran 18 times for 127 yards and completed 8-of-11 passes for 92 yards and a touchdown. The Braves struggled all night to bring down the stout Hillclimbers quarterback, whose listed at 6-foot-1, 235 pounds.
“It was something we needed,” Shields said. “We were obviously on a losing streak. It’s something we all needed.”
Shields gave all the credit to his offensive line and the skill players around him.
“I don’t do anything without them,” he said.
When Shields wasn’t carrying the ball, he was putting it in the hands of Dorsey, who rushed for 234 yards on 27 carries, including a 69-yard TD run late in the fourth quarter.
Urbana took a 19-6 lead midway through the third quarter on a 13-yard TD run by Shields.
Shawnee pulled to within one score just a few plays later when junior quarterback Robie Glass hit Pete Mueller for a 18-yard TD pass with four minutes remaining in the third quarter.
From that point forward, it was all Urbana.
Fonseca scored on a 27-yard TD run and then Dorsey followed with a 2-yard TD run to make it 33-12. Shields and Dorsey each added a TD run in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.
Glass had a rushing TD and a passing TD for the Braves (4-3), who dropped their second straight game. The Braves also had three turnovers.
“Our youth really showed tonight,” Shawnee coach Rick Meeks said. “We were just physically overpowered. You look at their guys and you look at our guys and they just physically overpowered us. Some of that is youth. Urbana has a big senior class.”