September 18, 2003

Six Turnovers Pave Way For Week Two Blowout Of Tigers

Turnovers were the tale of the game in week two of the Scotland County football season as the Tigers were dismantled 47-6 by Marceline thanks in large part to six SCR-I turnovers.

Youre not going to beat anyone when you give the ball away six times, let alone a quality team like Marceline, said Coach Brent Bondurant on the disappointing performance. We had juniors and seniors out there making freshmen mistakes and that simply wont cut it. The sad thing is we played a much better game this week, blocking, tackling and making plays we just kept giving them the ball.

Marceline scored on two of the turnovers and overall put points on the board on three other possessions started by SCR-I turnovers.

The problems started almost immediately for Scotland County. After B.J. Houghton gave the team good field position with a strong kick return, SCR-I turned the ball over just two plays later when quarterback Danny Roach and center Michael Garnett could not get together on the snap.

The Tigers defense answered the challenge and stopped Marceline on four plays. Marceline turned the ball over on downs at the 40-yard line.

Scotland County moved the chains a couple times and looked poised to mount a scoring drive before a key holding penalty nullified a long run by Aaron Dale and stalled the Tigers drive. SCR-I punted the ball to Marceline who took over at the 20-yard line.

This time the home team was not to be denied. Marceline moved the ball on the ground behind the bullish running of big fullback Zack Neblock. But it was a pass play that put the first points on the board. Junior quarterback Jerret Fisher hit Reese Switzer on an inside screen pass. The senior back took the play the distance for a 17-yard touchdown with 1:41 left in the first period.

Scotland County stole a bit of the momentum back when Carl Wittstock streaked in the point after attempt. Wittstock broke around the outside of the line and dove to block the PAT kick to keep the deficit at 6-0.

Unfortunately the momentum did not last another play as the Tigers Tim Robinson coughed up the teams second fumble on the ensuing kickoff return.

Marceline quickly capitalized on the excellent field position at the 36-yard line. They pushed the ball down field with Neblock capping off the drive with a one-yard TD run. The Tigers defense stopped the two-point attempt making the score 12-0.

The two teams traded defensive stops and punts to burn up much of the remainder of the second period.

The Tigers took over with seven minutes left in the first half and mounted a solid drive. Dale picked up a first down as he broke a strong run up the middle. But then the Tigers turned the ball over with fumble number three. Roach hit Jared Shelley out of the backfield. The junior running back tried to turn the ball back into the middle of the field but he was wrapped up by a Marceline defender before a big hit knocked the ball free.

Marcelines Abe VanDyke scooped up the fumble and rambled down the visitors sideline on his way to a 45-yard touchdown. The PAT was good to make the score 19-0 with 5:46 left in the second period.

Scotland County tried to get back into the contest with one final march down the field. Dale picked up another first down on the ground before Roach connected with Clint Cottrell for a nice pass play across midfield.

But the broken record came around again and SCR-I fumbled for the fourth time in the first half as Dale turned the ball over on the 25-yard line with 2:48 left in the half.

That left the door open for one final scoring drive. Fisher hooked up with Switzer for a 50-yard pass play that quickly got the team into scoring position. The Tigers defense held on three straight running plays before Fisher broke into the endzone on a one-yard quarterback sneak on fourth down. The PAT kick made the score 26-0 with 36 seconds left in the first half.

The lone bright spot of the night for SCR-I came to start the second half. The Tigers kicked off to Marceline and stuffed the home team on three plays forcing a punt. A low snap allowed Travis Onken to get a good rush on the kicker and tackled him at the nine-yard line to give SCR-I the ball first and goal.

It took just one play to get onto the scoreboard as Roach hit Cottrell in the corner of the endzone for six points. The two-point conversion failed leaving the score at 26-6.

The Tigers may have had a shot to get back into the contest as the defense once again held and forced a Marceline punt.

But the turnover bug bit again as Dale tried to pick up the bouncing kick and fumbled the ball back to Marceline.

The turnover did not turn into points however as the Tigers defense buckled down and held. Marceline turned the ball over on downs at the 12-yard line.

The Tigers could not mount a drive however and were forced to punt the ball back to Marceline with just two minutes left in the third period.

Marceline once again looked stymied by the SCR-I defense but on third and long the home team exposed the Tigers defensive backfield for the second long pass play of the game, this time a 30-yard touchdown pass to Jake Cordray. The PAT kick was good and Marceline led 33-6 with 57.4 seconds remaining in the third period.

Marcelines Aaron Christman quickly added to his teams blowout just three plays later when he picked off a pass from Roach and returned it 61-yards for a touchdown. The kick after was good putting Marceline on top 40-6 just 12 seconds into the fourth period.

Both coaches turned the game over to the second teams for the remainder of the contest. Marceline added a score late as Dustin Stuart scored on a one-yard run with just 30 ticks left on the clock. The PAT made the final score 47-6.

Marceline racked up 17 first downs on the evening compared to just seven on the night for SCR-I. In defense of the SCR-I defense, they were on the field against Marcelines offense for nearly three fourths of the game thanks to the numerous turnovers.

I dont want to take anything away from Marceline but we gave them the game, coach Bondurant said. Now we have to regroup, shore up some things in our pass defense as we get ready to take on Putnam County this weekend.

The Midgets fell to 0-2 on the year also with a loss to Clark County on Friday night.

Scotland County was held below 200 yards of total offense. Roach completed seven of 16 pass attempts for 62 yards. He threw one TD and one interception. Cottrell caught three passes for 34 yards and a TD. Dale caught two passes while Shelley and Wittstock each had one catch.

The Tigers ground game never really got a chance to get rolling. The team carried the ball 20 times for just 71 yards. Dale had the most success, gaining 31 yards on seven attempts. Joel Myers was held to 19 yards on nine carries.

Marceline had a balanced attack. Fisher completed seven of 12 passes for 145 yards and two TDs. Switzer was the main target with four grabs for 93 yards.

The ground game also got the job done. Neblock had 63 yards and a TD on 14 attempts. Fisher also scored a TD on the ground, totaling 53 yards on 13 carries. Switzer had 14 attempts for 48 yards. Overall Marceline had 193 yards rushing.

Dale led the Scotland County defense with 15 tackles. Kiel Fogle and Shelley each had 12 stops on the night while Myers and Onken each finished up with eight stops.

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