CERRO GORDO -- Who the heck is Kentrell Beck?
The Shelbyville freshman phenom burned Cerro Gordo-Bement with a couple of spectacular touchdowns in a 26-14 victory Friday night -- not just catching but also passing.
Beck first broke free for an 83-yard TD catch on the Rams' first drive of the game and later heaved a 17-yard TD pass to junior teammate Quinn Martz on a trick play just before the halftime buzzer.
He led the Rams (1-1) to their first victory of the season with four catches for 134 yards and one TD.
The 6-foot, 180-pound receiver previously caught four balls for 72 yards in Shelbyville's 33-20 season-opening loss to Pawnee.
"I'm really confident right now," Beck said. "It's probably one of the greatest games I've had."
He still passed the credit to senior backup quarterback Lyle Jefson, who filled in for starter Turner Pullen for the second straight week.
Jefson completed 12 of 25 passing attempts for 258 yards and two TDs and ran for another score.
"Starting as a freshman, it's kind of weird going up against guys way bigger than you," Beck said. "But I give props to Lyle for stepping up and doing what he did."
After Cerro Gordo (0-2 overall) fumbled the ball away on the game's opening drive, Jefson rolled out to his left side and hit Beck with a short pass.
Beck did the rest.
He somehow outmaneuvered several defenders near the sideline and sprinted for his first high school TD and a 6-0 lead.
"Some of it's skill and some of it's luck," Beck said. "It depends. It was kind of fun -- just as a high school freshman."
His other touchdown was just as unlikely.
Shelbyville dialed up a reverse throw on 3rd-and-15 with under 30 seconds left until halftime.
Beck sparkled again, finding Martz wide open in the back of the end zone for a 12-0 lead at the break.
"I give most of the credit to the line up front blocking for me," Beck said.
Shelbyville led by as much as 18-0 at the start of the third quarter.
"We've been practicing it a little bit," Shelbyville head coach Bill Duckett said of the trick play. "It worked out well. We needed that. It was a big momentum shift before the end of the first half."
Duckett was doused by a water bath for his first win at the helm, but the Rams dedicated this game to former player Tucker Schwengel.
Cerro Gordo held a moment of silence before kickoff for Schwengel, who tragically died in a car accident the previous weekend.
After clinching the win, the Rams broke out of their celebratory huddle with, '1,2,3 -- for Tuck!'
"These guys grew up with him as their hero," Duckett said of Schwengel. "Before the game, we talked in the locker room what this game meant. Then at the end of the game, knowing he was watching us was a big win for us. It was a lot of emotion for a lot of guys."
That was just part of the adversity. The Rams missed five starters, including Pullen and receivers Drake Manship and Cade Watson.
They will all return next week.
"It's been a trying week, but it's a lot of adversity that we overcame," Duckett said.
You have free articles remaining.
Jefson and Beck more than filled the void on Friday.
"It's great," Jefson said. "I couldn't ask for a better team to play for. We just had it all tonight. That's what's awesome about this team is depth."
Cerro Gordo again contested but fell short.
Self-inflicted turnovers certainly sidetracked the Broncos.
On three occasions in the first half, Cerro Gordo senior quarterback Tim Winters fumbled the ball during handoff exchanges, including on the Broncos' first possession.
Everything seemed to be going right for the Broncos, driving down into the red zone.
However, Winters lost the ball trying to get the ball to the senior running back Dalton Grohler at the 15-yard line, and it was recovered by Shelbyville's Dillon Birch.
It happened again on their next drive, this time recovered by Shelbyville's Cade Helton.
Fortunately, the Broncos defense kept it tight in the first half.
Cerro Gordo coach Andy Kerley said fullback JR Menezes twice ran into Winters to cause the fumbles.
"It's honestly been our season up to this point," said Kerley, whose team lost to Warrensburg-Latham 28-22 in Week 1. "It's kind of a preseason deal. Conference-wise, this means nothing. In the past, we've come back from 0-3 to win the conference. Everything's still on the table."
Grohler led Cerro Gordo with 29 carries for 123 yards and surprisingly no TDs.
Back to running back
Jefson may have thrown two INTs, but he made up for it.
He opened the third quarter with a 27-yard TD scamper for the 18-0 advantage.
Jefson felt like he was just settling in at QB, but now he will move back to RB with Pullen returning.
"It's been different, but it's something I've played in the past," Jefson said. "As soon as I started taking reps, it all started coming back. I'm glad I could step up and play for my team."
Cerro Gordo did have some luck on its side.
Facing 3rd-and-goal at the 27-yard line, Winters lobbed a pass intended for receiver Matt Guffey down the right sideline.
Shelbyville's Brett Spears had the coverage and batted the ball away--except it went to Cerro Gordo's Wes McDermith for the Broncos' second TD with 5:47 left in the fourth quarter.
"We just needed to get over last week and get a little confidence. We needed this win because we have a lot of tough teams coming up." -- Duckett