Before the start of the high school football season a handful of teams were perceived as being the clear-cut favorites to win the Narrows League 3A.
Shelton wasn’t one of the teams in the discussion – credit last year’s 2-8 campaign for that.
Three games in, however and few squads look as championship-worthy as the Highclimbers.
Behind a powerful ground game, led by Ralph Kinne’s 359 yards and Deshon Bell’s three touchdown performance, Shelton stayed perfect on the season, defeating visiting Wilson, 35-25, in the league opener for both schools on Friday.
“This is basically the same group of players we had last year,” Shelton coach Matt Hinkle said. “They fought and scrapped all last year and worked hard in the off-season to get to this point. I’m very proud of them.”
Shelton improved to 3-0 for the first time since 2004 when the Highclimbers went a perfect 9-0 during the regular season before losing their only game on the year in the state preliminary round.
There has yet to be a defense to slow Kinne down this season with this being the senior’s top total so far, which he gained on a hefty 42 carries.
The senior tallied 328 yards in an opening week 42-21 victory over Tumwater and 209 yards on limited carries in last week’s 54-24 triumph over North Mason.
It was more of the same against the Rams as Kinne ripped off large chucks of yardage in the third quarter, helping the Highclimbers erase an 11-point deficit.