Montgomery's Shull ties state record

Posted by Staff Writer Eric Branch:
Montgomery senior Austin Shull tied a state record Friday night by returning three punts for touchdowns in the Vikings’ 51-12 win over Elsie Allen.
Shull, a 6-foot, 195-pound all-league safety, returned punts of 24, 31 and 60 yards for scores. He tied the state record held by Trinity’s Ray Fullerton, who set the record against Yreka in 1966, and Nevada Union’s Cole Stanford, who matched Fullerton’s mark in a 77-7 win against Franklin last year. The national record of six was set in 1950 by Jack Golson of Hayneville (Ala.).
Shull hadn’t returned punts on the varsity until this season and hadn’t returned a punt for a score until Friday night. His first two touchdowns came on short punts after Elsie Allen was pinned deep in its own territory. He broke several tackles on his final score, in the third quarter, and was met by looks of mild disbelief on the sidelines.
“The coaches were all looking at me and smiling,” Shull said. “No one really said anything. One coach did say ‘That might be a state record.’”
Shull, the Vikings’ leading tackler, is attracting interest from Sacramento State as a linebacker. He’s used to being in the middle of collisions, which explains his aversion to fair catches as a punt returner. Montgomery coach Jason Franci said Shull’s willingness to catch a punt while would-be tacklers are barreling down on him is part of what makes him effective.
“He’s fearless,” Franci said. “When he gets the ball, he gets upfield and gets to where he wants to go. He doesn’t dance around. The guys who dance around get caught.”