By JOSH RIZZO
Herald-Whig Sports Writer
EWING, Mo. -- Trace Windsor could see everything snap into place.
During the first few weeks of the season, Windsor struggled with injuries, forcing South Shelby football coach Rob Wilt to play the part of mad scientist.
Wilt rotated his backfield and offensive line several times before he found a lineup he liked. Windsor, a junior, and senior running back Kenny Smithey took advantage of the newfound chemistry Friday night, helping the Cardinals roll up 348 yards rushing to beat Highland 46-6 in a Clarence Cannon Conference game in Ewing, Mo.
"He's putting in the people he thinks that can win us the game," Windsor said. "I respect that about him. I don't care about stats. I just want everyone to work as hard as they can, and I want to win games."
South Shelby (3-4, 3-4 CCC) also added a new wrinkle.
By bringing Smithey in motion and using misdirection, the Cardinals were able to fool the Cougars. After Windsor, who finished with 172 yards rushing and two touchdowns, carried the ball six of the first seven plays, Smithey scored on a 12-yard sweep.
Smithey also scored on a similar play with 1 minute, 41 seconds remaining in the first quarter to put South Shelby ahead 13-0.
"The line has stepped up the last few weeks," said Smithey, who finished with 95 yards rushing and three touchdowns. "I give all my yards and credit to them. ... It's getting toward the end of season and we're getting ready for districts. We're thinking about moving on to bigger and better things."
Highland (1-6, 1-6) never mustered much of an attack. The Cougars didn't pick up a first down until 10:20 remained in the third quarter and finished with 127 yards of offense.
Austin Fisher led Highland with 24 yards rushing and scored on a 4-yard run with 1:35 remaining.
Smithey scored his third TD on a 9-yard run with 7:07 left in the half. South Shelby cleared a lot of room for Smithey on the sweeps.
"We finally have a healthy offensive line, and that makes a difference," Wilt said. "... I told them, ‘You guys have to start being meaner and tougher up front.' That opened up a lot of lanes."
Before halftime, South Shelby scored 13 quick points to make sure there was no hope going into halftime.
Cardinals quarterback Brett Threlkeld scored on a 25-yard run, and Adam Ellyson followed with an interception he returned to the Highland 19-yard line.
The Cougars sacked Threlkeld on the next play, but South Shelby took a 40-0 halftime lead when Windsor threw a 30-yard halfback option pass to Austin Durbin for a score.
"I feel like tonight was our clicking game," Windsor said. "Coach kept saying, ‘Let's click, let's click.' It's like the 2011 run (when South Shelby reached the Class 1 state title game), there was a point you could see us running with it and we just hit our point."