The Shelby Coyotes defeated the Circle Wildcats 59-42 to advance to the State 8-man semi-finals, where they will host the Flint Creek Titans, Saturday at 1 p.m.
Shelby opened up the game a little flat, and found themselves down 14-0 with eight minutes to play. The Coyotes evened the scoring with two quick touchdowns by Wyatt Brusven. His first score came on a 35-yard pass from Damon Irvin. The second came in pure Brusven style. It was a 43-yard punt return, set up by great blocking, and elusive running. Circle jumped back to another two-score lead finishing the first quarter leading the Coyotes 30-16.
The Wildcats would not find the end zone again until late in the third quarter, with the Coyotes taking control of the game.
Brusven finished the scoring in the first half with an 18-yard pass from Irvin, who followed that score with a nine-yard pass to Dillon Luly. The teams would go into the locker room tied at 30 apiece.
Shelby opened the half with Irvin connecting with Brusven for a 36-yard score. Brusven followed that with a 22-yard run to push the score to 44-30. Circle scored late in the quarter to close the gap to one score.
Circle had no answer for Brusven, and he scored twice more on runs of 45 and 40 yards in the fourth quarter, to put the game out of reach.
Coach Mike White felt the team responded well to being down two scores on two different occasions in the first quarter. White said, “We have to have a better start next week against Flint Creek.”
Coach White said Irvin had his best game to date, and thought he threw the ball well and ran with authority.”
Brusven who scored seven touchdowns, and kicked three extra points, has proven to be a tough match-up for opponents.
Next week the Coyotes will face last year’s eight-man champ, Flint Creek, who is currently riding a two-year undefeated streak. Flint Creek is a tough, physical team that likes to run option. They have talented players all over the field. They are a co-op team with players from Drummond and Philipsburg.