Local Sports Journal

The Shelby Tigers continue their trek through unfamiliar territory.

The Tigers used  a defensive stand to halt a final drive by Negaunee in the final seconds and captured a 26-22 Division 6 regional final. The Tigers (10-2) advance to next Saturday’s state semifinals.

“Our defense came through in the end, ” Shelby coach Lorenzo Rodriguez said. “They hurt us with the option, but our defense came through.”

The game was played in muddy conditions at Negaunee High School.

In the final minute, the hosts drove to the 18 yard line of Shelby. On a fourth down and 8 yards to go, they opted for an option play, which the Tigers stopped.

Negaunee running back Tyler LaJoie rushed 33 times for 204 yards and also scored all three touchdowns.

But in the end, it was the Tigers who are advancing.

Devin Mussell scored on a 12-yard touchdown pass from Spencer Peters, who completed 7-of-18 passes for 148 yards and two touchdowns.

Shelby also received touchdowns from Forrest Courtright on a 7-yard run, Mussell on a 66-yard run and Shawn Kajtazi scored on a 50-yard touchdown pass.

Mussell finished with five carries for 76 yards.

Shelby had never won a district title until this year and now the Tigers are heading to the semifinals.

“It still hasn’t sunk in yet,” Rodriguez said.