October 16, 2003

Tigers Come Up Short In Upset Bid Aginst Brookfield

Perennial conference champ Brookfield is the least favorite stop on the Scotland County football schedule and it’s not only because of the three-hour bus ride. The team has maintained a mastery over SCR-I in past years that has often turned the game into a junior varsity contest by halftime.

But that was not the case for the October 10 visit by SCR-I to Brookfield as the Tigers actually were ahead of the league powerhouse 7-6 at the break before ultimately losing the game 35-13.

“We played with them pretty much step for step and definitely were as physical as they were in a very hard-hitting game,” said Coach Brent Bondurant. “We were a little banged up heading into the game and suffered a couple key injuries during the night. If we were completely healthy who knows what the outcome would have been.”

Scotland County took advantage of a number of Brookfield turnovers to keep the game close. The Tigers recovered three fumbles on the evening and Carl Wittstock intercepted a Brookfield pass for the fourth turnover.

Brookfield got on the board first late in the first period. Quarterback Brent Paalhar scored on a six-yard run to make the score 6-0. The two-point conversion failed.

That score came after the Tigers marched down the field but were unable to punch the ball into the endzone with a number of chances at the goal line.

But the Tigers took advantage of the next scoring opportunity when Danny Roach found Kiel Fogle with an 18-yard touchdown pass. Tim Robinson’s extra point kick gave SCR-I the 7-6 lead with 4:07 left in the second period.

Brookfield regained the lead midway through the third quarter. Brandon White scored on a four-yard run. Paalhar then completed the two-point conversion pass to make the score 14-7.

The host appeared poised to put the game away when the Bulldogs went up by two scores in an eight-yard TD run by Caleb Buckallew. Paalhar caught the two-point conversion pass from Gabe Burris to build the 22-7 advantage with 11:53 remaining in the game.

Scotland County kept the game close with a quick strike on offense. Joel Myers broke lose for a 22-yard touchdown run to cap off the drive that took just over two minutes. The two-point conversion attempt fell incomplete leaving the score at 22-13 with 9:34 left to play.

Brookfield sealed the win with a time consuming drive that was finalized by a two-yard touchdown run by Buckallew with 3:47 left to play.

The home team added a score two plays later when Brock Hicks picked off a Danny Roach pass and returned it 55-yards for the score. That made the final tally 35-13.

“With eight minutes to play it was a really close game,” coach Bondurant said. “I think their running game just finally wore us down on that last drive when they put the game away. Those two late touchdowns make the score a little lopsided so if you weren’t at the game you may not realize how close it really was.”

Brookfield racked up 19 first downs on offense led by Buckallew who had 22 carries for 156 yards and two TDs. He also caught a 50-yard pass from Brock Hicks, one of four different Brookfield players to attempt a pass on the night. Paahler ran 10 times for 65 yards and a TD. He also completed two of six passes for 15 yards and caught one pass. Brandon White had six carries for 24 yards and a score.

Myers led SCR-I with 24 carries for 102 yards. The rest of the team was limited to just 20 yards on 12 combined carries.

Roach completed 11 of 25 passes for 149 yards and one touchdown. He was intercepted twice in the game.

Cottrell caught six balls for 66 yards and also ran once for nine yards. Jared Shelley caught three passes for 59 yards with Fogle grabbing the 18-yard TD and Carl Wittstock adding one catch.

Travis Onken continued his all-conference caliber season with a team-high 12 tackles on defense. Fogle made 11 stops and had a fumble recovery while Shelley contributed 10 tackles.

The Tigers continue to be hampered by injuries. Senior Aaron Dale saw limited action due to leg and knee injuries while Tim Robinson was held out much of the second half with a neck injury. Roach also missed part of the game after re-injuring his knee, forcing freshman backup Marcus Shalley into play before Roach returned late in the contest.

The loss dropped SCR-I to 2-4 on the year and 2-2 in conference play. The Tigers head to Highland for a non-conference game before the district schedule opens October 24 at North Shelby.

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