[By Anthony Hawthorne, Special to ETSN.fm]

NEW LONDON -- Not since 1994 had the Ore City Rebels recorded a playoff victory.

That all changed in a big way Friday night at Bradshaw Stadium as the Rebels forced eight turnovers in a 46-0 victory over Shelbyville in a Class 2A Division I Region III bi-district matchup.

The Rebels (9-2) advanced to the area round to face unbeaten Alto next Friday back at Bradshaw Stadium.

Junior quarterback Colton Allshouse led the way for the Rebels, scoring four times -- three of those coming on the ground where he racked up 46 yards on just 12 carries. He added 98 yards and a TD through the air on 8 of 16 passing.

Shelbyville's Terrell Cartwright is brought down by Ore City's Zack McGuire during their Class 2A Division I bi-district playoff Friday night in New London. (Ray Jackson, ETSN.fm)

Sophomore Cartea Douglas played the majority of the second half at QB, throwing for a TD and rushing for 83 yards and a score.

The game was sloppy at times for both teams, with the cold weather causing problems for ball carriers.

The Dragons (8-2) struggled the most and couldn’t get anything going, with drive after drive killed by turnovers throughout the first half, fumbling it away four times.

A ground-attack offense, Shelbyville didn’t complete any passes and averaged just three yards per carry. The Dragons fumbled the ball eight times on the night, losing seven of those.

“We had a great week defensively,” said Ore City coach Tracy Blankenship. “The schemes fit. We used to run that offense so we knew some things that we liked that would give it some trouble. It really showed up tonight.”

Leading 24-0 at the break, the Rebels effectively put the game away with a pair of Demontrae Neal scores. Neal, who finished the night with 67 yards on the ground, added 31 yards receiving on three catches and two touchdowns.

Ore City's Colton Allshouse hands the ball of Demontrae Neal during the Rebels' 46-0 win over Shelbyville in their Class 2A Division I bi-district playoff Friday night in New London. (Ray Jackson, ETSN.fm)

His 6-yard TD catch from Douglas on a fourth-and-goal late in the third gave the Rebels a 34-0 lead, while the Rebels' next possession ended with Neal finding the end zone again from 2 yards away on another fourth-and-goal play.

Douglas closed out the scoring with a 7-yard score of his own, giving the Rebels their long-awaited playoff victory.

“You can tell by the excitement in the community what it really means,” Blankenship said of the Rebels success. “To me personally it means an awful lot. I coached in Ore City in the late 80’s as a young coach and came back as the head coach and the community hasn’t changed much but they have been hungry for this type of success for quite some time.”

Up next is a dominant Alto squad.

“I know one thing about Alto, I know they’re good,” said Blankenship. “I haven’t seen them on video but I’ve heard how good they are and how physical and fast they are. We’re certainly glad for the opportunity.”

The Rebels gained that opportunity thanks in part to a dominant first half.

After both teams traded unsuccessful first possessions, the ball and game began to slip away from the Dragons, with Shelbyville’s first turnover setting the Rebels up near midfield.

An Ore City fumble led to a loss of 19 yards on first down, however the Rebels bounced back with Allshouse hitting Neal on a screen for 18, then finding Dustin Ritter on fourth-and-11 for 22 yards with a Dragons personal foul putting the Rebels in the red zone.

Allshouse hit Matthew Casey on fourth-and-3, then found the end zone on the next play from 9 yards away for a 7-0 Rebels lead.

Shelbyville's Terrell Cartwright stiff-arms an Ore City defender during their Class 2A Division I bi-district playoff Friday night in New London. (Ray Jackson, ETSN.fm)

An Ore CIty fumble wasn’t costly as the Dragons coughed the ball up on their next two possessions with Zach McGuire forcing one and then recovering the next at the Dragons' 16-yard line.

It didn’t take Allshouse long as the QB kept the ball on a second-and-16, finding the end zone for his second TD of the night. Neal tacked on the two-point conversion, pushing the lead to 15-0.

The Rebels' next score came following Ore City's stuff of a Dragon run on fourth-and-4, setting the offense up once again near midfield.

Allshouse hit Darren Bowens for a 31-yard gain inside the Dragon 5-yard line, where the QB hit the end zone on the next play from 3 yards out.

The Rebels' defensive front kept the Dragons behind the eight-ball throughout the first half, forcing five turnovers.

The Dragons took over with just 34 seconds until the break, looking to get on the scoreboard. However, Dustin Ritter had other plans. The sophomore DB picked off Kent Vaughn’s first-down pass and returned it 38 yards to the 6-yard line.

Allshouse scrambled on third-and-goal, finding Neal open across the middle for a 7-yard TD with just six seconds left before half, giving the Rebels a 28-0 lead at the break.

Ore City's Darren Bowens makes a leaping catch during the Rebels' 46-0 win over Shelbyville in their Class 2A Division I bi-district playoff Friday night in New London. (Ray Jackson, ETSN.fm)

Ore City 46, Shelbyville 0

Class 2A Division I
Region III Bi-District Playoff
At Bruce Bradshaw Stadium, New London

Shelbyville            0     0     0     0    --     0
Ore City                7   21    6    12    --   46

First Quarter
OC--Colton Allshouse 9 run (Darren Bowens kick), 4:13.
Second Quarter
OC--Allshouse 16 run (Demontrae Neal run), 8:44.
OC--Allshouse 3 run (two-point failed), 6:11.
OC--Neal 7 pass from Allshouse (Bowens kick), :06.
Third Quarter
OC--Neal 6 pass from Allshouse (two-point failed), 3:04.
Fourth Quarter
OC--Neal 2 run (two-point failed), 6:19.
OC--Cartea Douglas 7 run (two-point failed), 2:36.

                                        SHE              OC
First Downs                           6               13
Total Yards                        132             288
Rushes-Yards              44-132        52-184
Passing Yards                       0             104
Comp.-Att.-Int.               0-2-1        9-20-0
Punts-Avg.                    1-18.0        4-25.0
Fumbles-Lost                     8-7             3-2
Penalties-Yards                8-75           3-35

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS
RUSHING--Shelbyville, Terrell Cartwright 9-32, Trey Cartwright 11-23, Isaiah Stanberry 5-0, Riheam Jenkins 5-30, Kent Vaughn 3-13, Malik Cartwright 1-0, Octavian Burrell 8-21, Dee Osby 2-9, JD Land 1-4. Ore City, Demontrae Neal 16-67, Colton Allshouse 12-46, Nick Hughes 3-8, Dustin Ritter 3-3, Cartea Douglas 12-83, Dalton Hasler 1-(-3), Jalen Taylor 3-(-2), Dustin Coleman 2-1.
PASSING--Shelbyville, Vaughn 0-2-1--0. Ore City, Allshouse 8-16-0--98, Douglass 1-4-0--6.
RECEIVING--Ore City, Hughes 2-8, Neal 3-31, Matthew Casey 3-34, Darren Bowens 1-31.