ARABIANS TAKE ON SHELBYVILLE IN SEASON FINALE
By Sam Sherman
For the last regular season game of the season, the Pendleton Heights Arabians traveled to Shelbyville to take on the Golden Bears for an inner-conference showdown. Last week, the Arabians lost an Overtime nail-biter to Yorktown and fell to (2-6) on the season. The Shelbyville Golden Bears went into this matchup (6-2). The Arabians were ready to go out of the regular season with a bang before gearing up for Sectionals.
The beginning of the game was surely one to remember. The Golden Bears received the ball first, but fumbled on their first play. The fumble was recovered by Pendleton Heights sophomore Tremor Bynum. The first play for the Arabian offense couldn’t have gone any better. Sophomore quarterback Christian Conkling tossed a lateral pass to senior Bryce Riggs, who proceeded to throw the ball 27 yards straight into the end zone to senior Jordan Kirkpatrick for an Arabian touchdown. Pendleton Heights led 7-0 on just the second play of the game. However, Shelbyville would respond instantly with a 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. The game was tied 7-7 just 35 seconds in. The rest of the opening quarter slowed down quite a bit. Eventually, the Shelbyville Golden Bears drove down the field and capped of the drive with a 10-yard touchdown run, putting them up 14-7. The Golden Bears defense held up the Arabian offense and kept the 14-7 lead till the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter was dominated by Shelbyville. The Golden Bears began the quarter with a 27-yard touchdown pass. However, Pendleton Heights’ special team’s leader Jarrod Miller blocked the PAT, making Shelbyville’s lead 20-7. On the first play of the next Pendleton Heights offensive set, quarterback Christian Conkling threw an interception. Shelbyville drove down the field again and again capped off the drive with a touchdown pass. The Golden Bears attempted, but failed, a 2-point conversion. This made Shelbyville’s lead 26-7 Over Pendleton Heights. Next, Pendleton Heights fumbled the ball out of their own end zone, resulting in a safety for Shelbyville, extending their lead to 28-7. On the next drive for the Golden Bears, they completed a 44-yard touchdown pass after a short outing to extend their lead to 35-7. The Golden Bears ended the first half with a field goal, making their lead 38-7.
Neither offense could make any moves at the start of the second half or throughout the whole third quarter. The Shelbyville Golden Bears led the Pendleton Heights Arabians 38-7 at the end of three.
The fourth quarter provided a momentum shift in favor of Pendleton Heights. After giving up an early field goal, the Arabains had to work with a 41-7 deficit. The Arabians started their minor comeback with a lengthy drive ending in a 5-yard touchdown run by senior Payton Huth. The Arabians received the ball after a defensive stance and scored another touchdown quickly. This cut Shelbyville’s lead to 41-21. Junior Thomas Quiroga then succeeded an onside kick attempt recovered by senior Ben Avey. The Arabians quickly drove down the field to score again, making the deficit 41-28. Thomas Quiroga then succeeded another onside kick attempt, this time recovered by senior Matt Vetor. However, Conkling threw an interception on a deep pass and the game ended. The Shelbyville Golden Bears defeated the Pendleton Heights Arabians 41-28.
The Arabians finish the 2016 regular season (2-7), but will be hoping for a complete turnaround and come back during the playoffs. The Arabians face off against the Connersville Spartans next week in the first round of Sectionals.