October 2, 2003

Tigers Improve To 2-0 In Conference With 16-6 Homecoming Win Over Milan

A huge Homecoming crowd at Tiger Stadium got a bit of a scare early on before Scotland County battled back from a 6-3 halftime deficit to defeat Milan 16-6.

Not only did the win cap off the week long celebration it also improved SCR-I to 2-0 in Tri-Rivers Conference play heading into a key league match-up against Clark County next week.

Early on it looked like the Tigers may have already been looking past the Wildcats as the Tigers could not mount a sustained drive of any sort.

The Tigers turned the ball over on downs on their first possession and then gave the ball to Milan on a fumble. Fortunately the defense did its job and did not let the Wildcats convert the turnover.

The lone score of the first half for Scotland County came on a 37-yard field goal by Tim Robinson with 9:57 left in the second period.

The momentum of the big kick did not last long as Milan marched down the field., With 3:31 left in the first half Josh McCabe scored on fourth and goal from the three to put Milan on top. The Tigers blocked the point after attempt to leave the score at 6-3 in favor of Milan.

The Tigers managed just three first downs the entire first half. The defense allowed Milan to move the chains just six times in a first half dominated by both teamsí defenses.

Scotland County came out of the locker room a changed team in the second half.

ďI really canít say in the newspaper what I told these guys at halftime, but letís just say they got the message,Ē said Coach Brent Bondurant.

The halftime pep talk paid immediate dividends as B.J Houghton took the Milan kickoff to start the third period and ran it back nearly 40 yards all the way to the 37-yard line of Milan. Joel Myers did the rest of the work from there. On his fourth carry of the drive he broke through the Milan defense for a 12-yard touchdown. Robinson added the kick and SCR-I led 10-6 with 9:44 left in the third quarter.

The Tigers defense did some bending but did not break for the rest of the game. The Wildcats mounted a solid march down the field on the next possession before Carl Wittstock came up with an interception of fourth and long.

The Tigers did little with the turnover as they went three and out, punting the ball back to Milan with just under two minutes left in period number three.

A key holding penalty on the Wildcats stopped them before they really got started. Joe Talbert made a big play, knocking down a Milan pass attempt to get SCR-I the ball back.

But once again the offense could not widen the gap on the Wildcats and punted the ball back to Milan with plenty of time remaining.

The SCR-I defense came up big with a stop on this possession. Faced with fourth and long Milan lined up to punt. The Wildcats appeared to attempt a fake punt play but the up back fumbled the snap and Travis Onken was there for the Tigers to scoop the ball up.

Scotland County turned the ball over on downs deep in Milan territory missing another chance to put points on the board.

Jared Shelley made a huge tackle for a loss on third down to prevent Milan from getting anything going. This time the Wildcats did punt and with 6:41 SCR-I took over.

Coach Bondurant changed the look for Milan by inserting Tim Robinson at tailback. The speedy Robinson was a study in contrast from the first three periods where SCR-I pounded the ball up the middle with Myers. Robinson picked up three first downs running the ball outside.

The Tigers ate up much of the clock but still appeared to be ready to settle for no points when faced with a fourth down and five at the 15-yard line.

The coaching staff pulled one out of the bag and ran a naked bootleg pass that sprinted quarterback Danny Roach out to the opposite side of the field where he found a wide open Jared Shelley for a 15-yard touchdown. The Tigers had a bad exchange on the PAT attempt and the kick failed.

Trailing 16-6 Milan tried to air the ball out with just under two minutes to play. Kiel Fogle intercepted a McCabe pass with 30 seconds left and returned it all the way to the 10 yard line where SCR-I ran out the clock on the win.

Milan dropped to 1-3 on the year. SCR-I improved to 2-2 and 2-0 in league play.

Myers rushed the ball 17 times for 82 yards and a score. Aaron Dale had six carries for 26 yards and Robinson gained 23 yards on seven attempts.

Roach completed seven of 15 passses for 79 yards and a TD. Shelley was the leading receiver, making three grabs for 52 yards and the touchdown.

The SCR-I defense had a big night with key contributions from a number of players. Dale led the attack with 14 tackles, Travis Onken had another solid outing making 11 tackles, including four for losses. The senior defensive end also recovered a fumble. Shelley finished the night with 12 stops while Myers contributed 11 tackles. Wittstock had nine stops to go with his interception while Fogle made eight tackles and had the one pick.

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