SHELBYVILLE — Turnovers and a subpar running attack for the New Palestine Dragons proved to be too much as the Shelbyville Golden Bears scored the game’s final 14 points to win 17-13 at J.M. McKeand Stadium.
During the first quarter, both teams proved this was going to be a defensive battle as each team forced two punts from the opposing offense.
NP struggled early and often in the first half with turnovers.
After both teams produced two punts each during the first quarter, a fumble on their final first quarter possession started a string of three turnovers in as many drives for the Dragons.
“It’s just to the point where it is ridiculous anymore,” NP coach Charlie Hill said. “We can’t turn it over in the beginning like that and put ourselves in the hole.”
The third was a fumble by Matt Siergiej that led to Shelbyville taking a 3-0 lead on a 20-yard field goal.
Siergiej and the rest of the NP rushing attack were shut down by the defense as the Golden Bears held them to a season-low 53 yards rushing.
“In my opinion it was on our running backs,” Siergiej said. “Our line gave us big holes…it was just the running backs tonight, the line did a great job.”
Hill agreed with Siergiej’s analysis of the ground game.
“I don’t think we ran hard enough,” Hill said. “We didn’t consistently run the ball, we didn’t break any long runs.”
The Dragon offense battled back to close the half to take a three-point lead.