October 17, 2002
Tigers Humble Highland In Huge Homecoming Triumph
The score may not be indicative of how well the Scotland County football team played Friday night in front of the Homecoming crowd at Tigers Field in Memphis. Of course a 19-7 victory is not too shabby against Highland, a team that was picked to beat SCR-I by the entire Quincy Herald-Whig sports department in their weekly high school football predictions.
Scotland County won the contest by two touchdowns but easily could have made it more in a game dominated by the Tigers.
But the outcome was not so clear early on. Highland's standout Jerrill Humphrey (#21) opened the game with a long kickoff return that gave the Cougars the ball past midfield to start the game.
Humphrey then took over as tailback and took his team quickly down field. The Highland defense bogged down a bit inside the 20 but on fourth down and goal from the one quarterback Tyler Martin ran the ball in for the score. The point after attempt kick was good to put Highland on top 7-0 with 8:04 left in the first quarter.
Scotland County did not let the early score steal any of the emotion from the big homecoming contest. Instead the team responded with a solid drive of its own behind the running of tailback Joel Myers.
Faced with a third down and long the team went to the air. Quarterback Curtis Cochran hit Joe Talbert across the middle to pick up a key first down. But just three plays later the drive appeared to be in extreme trouble. An SCR-I penalty followed by a sack had the Tigers facing third down and 30 yards to go for the first down.
That didn't phase the home team as Cochran threw the long ball to Chase Moore who took the ball on down the right sideline and went all the way to the three yard line before being forced out of bounds.
Two plays later Myers punched the ball in for one yard out for the touchdown. Tim Robinson made the PAT kick to tie the game at 7-7 with 4:07 left in the first period.
Joel Myers turns on the speed as he tries to elude a Highland defender during the Tigers 19-7 victory over the Cougars October 18.
Highland was able to move the ball behind Humphrey on the second possession but it was all for not as Cochran intercepted a Highland pass attempt and returned it to the 45-yard line.
The Tigers however could not take advantage of the turnover and gave the ball back just four plays later on a punt. A good kick by Robinson pinned the Cougars inside the 15-yard line.
Highland could not get the offense rolling on the team's third possession and quickly punted the ball back to SCR-I.
SCR-I got the ball back in good field position. Pass play from Cochran to Moore set up a good run by Eric Long to put the team in scoring position. But Highland defensive back Adam Wardlow intercepted the next SCR-I pass to end the scoring chance for the Tigers.
The Scotland County defense appeared to have found the answer for Humphrey by this point in the game. After the junior running back racked up 57 yards on his first 10 attempts, the Tigers defense held him to minus one yard combined on the next four carries.
Michael Lodewegen chases down the Highland running back during the Tigers Homecoming victory over the Cougars. The SCR-I defense held Highland in check for most of the game.
That led to another Highland punt once again putting SCR-I in good field position.
This time SCR-I took advantage. Solid runs by Myers and Shelley moved the ball down field. The team went to the air and Cochran hit Moore with a short pass across the middle. The senior receiver broke a tackle and went all the way across the field before racing 47-yards down the near sideline for the touchdown. The PAT kick failed leaving the Tigers ahead 13-7 with 2:57 left in the first half.
But the Tigers weren't satisfied yet. The defense gave the team not one, but two more chances to score before the half. Danny Roach made a diving interception to give the Tigers the ball back at the 45 yard line with more than two minutes in the half.
Coach Brent Bondurant immediately tried to capitalize on the turnover calling Moore's number again. The senior hauled in a 32-yard pass from Cochran to put the ball at the 13 yard line.
But a penalty on SCR-I followed by a quarterback sack backed the team up and ultimately saw SCR-I turn the ball over on downs.
The defense did not let Highland out of the hole. A sack by Myers forced Highland to punt the ball back to SCR-I. A poor kick gave the Tigers a shot from the 28-yard line with 45 ticks left on the clock.
A key penalty on Scotland County nullified a big gain on the old hook-and-ladder pass play and that was all the time left in the half.
The Tigers scored twice in the first half and missed out on several other chances but it was not for lack of passing game. Cochran threw for 160 yards in the first half with the largest portion going to Moore.
Scotland County started the second half on offense. Coach Bondurant showed confidence in his team going for it on fourth and one early in the half. The move worked and the drive stayed alive long enough for another deep pass play. This time it was Roach on the other end of the bomb. The junior receiver made an amazing catch for a 36-yard gain.
But the team's struggles in scoring position continued and SCR-I turned the ball over on downs with 7:34 left in the third period.
Highland ate up most of the remainder of the third quarter before the Tigers defense held deep in its own territory preventing the score. The Cougars turned the ball over on downs with 2:22 left in the quarter.
The offense stayed on the ground as Myers continued to eat up the real estate. Long had a 13-yard run to set up the team's final score of the contest. Myers took the handoff around the left end and dashed 16-yards to pay dirt for his second TD of the contest. The two point attempt failed making the score 19-7 with 10:49 to play in the fourth period.
The game was now in the hands of the Scotland County defense. Defensive coordinator Ken Cross implemented the bend but don't break mentality, allowing Highland to pick up short yardage while forcing the visitors to eat up valuable time.
That found the Cougars knocking on the doorstep. Highland had the ball first and goal at the one yard line but with only 2:20 remaining in the game.
The Tigers stuffed four consecutive attempts by Highland to get into the endzone and with only 55 seconds to play the Tigers took over on downs.
SCR-I ran out the clock on the huge 19-7 win picking up some big momentum heading into district play starting October 25.
The Tigers got big games from several players. The defensive effort was led by Long with 14 tackles. Travis Onken and Jared Shelley had 10 stops each while Roach finished with 10 tackles to go along with an interception.
Myers had his best game of the season on offense. He wrapped up the game with 111 yards and two TDs on 25 carries. Long had 27 yards on five attempts.
Cochran also had his top performance of the year picking up 196 yards by completing seven of 19 passes. Moore was his favorite target. He hit #35 four times for 141 yards and a score. Roach, Talbert and Aaron Dale also had catches in the game.
Scotland County improved to 3-4 on the season with the non-conference victory. The team will wind down the regular season with three district games against conference opponents North Shelby, Schuyler County and Knox County.