The Golden Lions traveled to Morganton and defeated the Freedom Patriots 41-13 to begin the 2019 season and give Mike Wilbanks his first win as Head Coach. On Shelby’s second possession of the first quarter, Omar Phillips broke free for a 45 yard touchdown run and after an extra point kick by Caden Sheely, the Golden Lions led 7-0. Later in the quarter, Dashaun Christopher blocked a Freedom punt and the ball was recovered in the end zone by Jimmy Whisnant and Caden Sheely again converted the extra point and the Golden Lions led 14-0. Freedom would add a touchdown in the 2nd quarter to cut the lead to 14-7 but Shelby would answer with a 61 yard pass from Isaiah Bess to Ja’hari Mitchell and after Sheely kicked the extra point, Shelby would lead at the half 21-7.
The Golden Lions took control in the 3rd quarter adding 3 more touchdowns from senior QB Bess, 41 yard to Mitchell, a 26 yard & a 15 yard pass to Diavonni Daley to increase the lead to 41-7 after 3 quarters. Freedom added a touchdown in the 4th quarter but the 2-pt conversion failed.
The Golden Lions had 335 total yards of offense (102 yards rushing/233 yards passing) and 16 first downs. Omar Phillips had 15 rushing attempts for 120 yards and 1 TD. Isaiah Bess completed 12 of 23 passes for 192 yards and 4 TD’s. Diavonni Daley had 6 receptions for 73 yards and 2 TD’s. Ja’hari Mitchell had 2 receptions for 102 yards and 2 TD’s.
The Golden Lions defense held Freedom to 95 total yards (60 yards rushing/35 yards passing). Dashaun Christopher led the way with 10 total tackles including 1 tackle for loss and 2 blocked punts. Nick Stites had 7 total tackles including 1 tackle for loss. Jack Hollifield had 9 total tackles. The Golden Lions will be at home next Friday for their home opener vs AC Reynolds.