The Page Patriots and Shelbyville Golden Eagles battled to determine the Region 5-5A champion on Friday night. Winning a title is always a huge deal but the winner would also be guaranteed at least two home playoff games. The teams knew the stakes beforehand and both sides fought all night long in an instant classic that would require overtime to determine a winner.
Page received the opening kickoff and quickly moved the ball down the field. Miles Bonn and Sam Cramer had long receptions for the Patriots to move the ball into Shelbyville territory before Page was forced to settle for 37 yard field goal from Chase Tidmore and the 3-0 lead. Shelbyville has put up impressive offensive numbers all year and they responded to the Page score immediately. QB Grayson Tramel has been one of the most prolific passers in the state during his career but Shelbyville relied on the ground game of RB Caleb Marsh early. Marsh had a long run down to the Page 5 yard line before OT/DT Gary Smith III took a handoff from the fullback position and powered into the endzone to put Shelbyville up 7-3. Unfortunately for Shelbyville, their lead would only last a single play. Page QB Cade Walker hit his receiver Michael Burdick on a go route down the right sideline for an 80 yard touchdown strike on the first play after the kickoff. Burdick showed great speed in beating his defender and Walker dropped a perfect pass into the opening. An exciting first quarter came to a close with Page leading 10-7.
The Golden Eagles moved the ball well all evening but committed four turnovers that would prove too costly to overcome. The first turnover came on a fumble after a long drive to the Page 19 yard line. After recovering the turnover, the Patriots once again drove the length of the field before Walker ran in for a touchdown from six yards out on a well-designed run/pass option. The Golden Eagles were now down 17-7 and in need of a play before half to get back into the game. It came in the form of a 45 yard touchdown pass from Grayson Tramel to Airius Trice to close the gap to 17-14 Page at the break.
Both defenses settled into the game in the 2nd half and the third quarter passed without any points scored. Page was unable to take advantage of the multiple Shelbyville turnovers and the Golden Eagles moved the ball but couldn’t put any points on the board until midway through the 4th quarter. Shelbyville used a penalty assisted 90 yard drive that ended with a 34 yard field goal to tie the game at 17-17 with 7:02 left to play. Seven minutes turned out to be long enough for both squads to attempt plus 45 yard field goals to win the game but neither attempt rang true and regulation ended with the score tied at 17-17.
The Golden Eagles went on offense first in the overtime period but were forced to attempt a 32 yard field goal after a false start penalty pushed the offense back. The attempt missed just wide left and left Page with a golden opportunity to secure the victory. Page played for the field goal on their offensive possession by running the ball twice up the middle before attempting the field goal on third down. Junior kicker Chase Tidmore ignored the pressure packed situation and won the game and Region 5-5A for Page by nailing the 23 yard field goal to put the final at 20-17. Page is now guaranteed home field advantage for the first two rounds of the playoffs while Shelbyville can secure the second seed and a home playoff game by defeating Franklin County next week.
-Page kicker Chase Tidmore on the game winning kick: “I just had to do my job. I missed a 48 yarder but what makes a good kicker is missing one and being able to come back from it and I did that. I just have to thank my team for staying behind my back and supporting me through the whole thing.”