SHELBYVILLE (WCIA) — Losing their first game of the season in week 9 lit a spark for Shelbyville heading into the playoffs. Now the Rams are looking to make it to the quarterfinals for the first time since 2017 with a trip to Vandalia this weekend.

“Losing to Nashville hurt us, but it also gave us momentum,” Shelbyville senior linebacker Brody Hancock said. “Showed us that we can lose too. I think it was a good thing to get it out of our head.”

“Coming back that first round last week really helps,” Shelbyville head coach Bill Duckett said. “To be able to get some confidence back that’s what we needed. We kind of got humbled a little bit in Week 9, and in some cases you say maybe that’s good, maybe get that out of the way, but we’re hopefully now ready to get back on a roll and make some steps forward.”

The Rams (9-1) responded to the loss at Nashville by shutting out Wesclin 48-0 last weekend.

“They’ve had two first round exits the last two years and so they’ve been hungry for the opportunity to get that win,” Duckett said. “They’ve done it now, hopefully that continues and that builds on some of the hunger and drive to move even further.”

“This is our first time ever making it to the second round of playoffs, so hopefully we can just keep making it further and further,” Shelbyville senior quarterback Brody Boehm said.

“A bunch of us been together since 4th grade and working together through nine years of football is a big thing,” added Hancock. “I don’t want to lose. I want to continue on. I want to win a state championship.”

The next step in that journey for Shelbyville is a Saturday second round date at Vandalia.