October 28, 2004

Tigers Rout Raiders 54-14 To Open District #16 Play

As reigning District 16 champions the Scotland County football team wanted to get off to a good start in the three-game series to determine this year’s state playoff berth. You could say that the Tigers did just that, demolishing North Shelby 54-14 to set up a crucial week two showdown with Schuyler County.

Scotland County actually fell behind in the first period as the visiting Raiders stunned the Memphis crowd with a long drive. Quarterback Scott Ratcliff capped off the march with a three-yard touchdown run with 7:58 left in the first quarter. The Tigers assisted the North Shelby drive with a pair of costly penalties to help move the chains.

The problems continued on offense as the Tigers went three and out and were forced to punt.

But a good punt by Greg Neagle backed the Raiders up deep in their own territory. That started the momentum back toward the Tigers.

Scotland County held on defense and forced North Shelby to punt.

It was all Scotland County from there as Jared Shelley broke a long run to set-up a 10-yard touchdown run by Tim Robinson with 3:44 left in the first quarter. The Tigers fullback bulled over a North Shelby defender at the goal line to get the ball into the end zone. The point after kick by Zach McBee was good to put SCR-I ahead 7-6.

The SCR-I defense again forced North Shelby to go three-and-out with a punt.

Jared Shelley dragged one defender who had the misfortune of grabbing onto his shirttail before running through two other would-be-tacklers on his way to a 41-yard touchdown with 54.3 seconds left on the clock in the opening period. McBee’s kick was good to make the score 14-6.

It was the start of a stellar night for the senior back. He scored on a five-yard TD run with 5:34 left in the second period to put his team on top 21-6 after McBee nailed the PAT.

The Tigers blew the game open in the next five minutes. After a North Shelby fumble the Tigers quickly capitalized when Marcus Shalley hit Shelley on a screen pass that turned into a 51-yard touchdown play. McBee’s kick was good to stretch the lead to 28-6 with 3:02 left on the clock.

Minutes later it was McBee who found himself in the end zone as he intercepted a Ratcliff pass and returned it 38 yards for the score. He missed the PAT kick to leave the score at 34-6.

The Tigers tallied one final time in the first half when Shalley and Shelley hooked up again. This time the pass play went 44 yards to the end zone. McBee’s kick pushed the advantage to 41-6 and ensured that the clock would not stop in the second half under the Missouri “mercy rule.”

The onslaught did not stop after the intermission. SCR-I took the ball to start the third period and marched down field behind the running of B.J. Houghton. The junior tailback broke a 35-yard touchdown run with 7:05 left in the quarter. McBee converted the PAT to make the score 48-6.

North Shelby broke through against the Tigers junior varsity defense late in the fourth quarter. Kurt Hubbard scored on a three-yard run. Ratcliff then completed the pass for the two point conversion to cut the deficit to 48-14 with 3:28 left in the game.

The Tigers were not done. Freshman Eric Glass broke a 17-yard touchdown run on the games next-to-last play. The two-point conversion failed with 11.3 ticks left on the clock, making the final score 54-14.

The Tigers offense looked strong compiling another 400-plus yard game. Shelley finished with 109-yards rushing and a touchdown on just 12 carries, all coming in the first half. He also caught three passes for 110 yards and two scores. Tim Robinson had 17 yards and a TD on four carries. Houghton added 81 yards and a TD on nine attempts and Glass racked up nearly 50 yards late in the fourth quarter including his scoring run.

Shalley completed three of six passes for 110 yards and two scores. Bryce Blomme was 2-3 passing for 28 yards, hitting McBee and Colby Brown.

The Tigers defense held Ratcliff to 9-30 passing for 83 yards and an interception. He also was the team’s leading rusher with 16 carries for 86 yards and a TD. Houghton topped the team’s defensive effort with 10 tackles. Jon Keller made six stops and recovered a fumble. McBee had six tackles to go with the interception and Brett Hoskinson also recovered a fumble.

North Shelby dropped to 1-7 on the year and 0-4 in conference play. The Tigers improved to 4-4 and 2-3 in the Tri-Rivers Conference.

The victory sets up a critical week two contest in the district playoffs as the Tigers will travel to Queen City to take on Schuyler County. The Rams (4-4, 2-3) were ranked in the Missouri Class 1 top 10 after starting the year 2-0 before losing four straight contests. Schuyler County has righted the ship with back-to-back wins over Milan and last week’s 18-0 victory over Knox County to open district play.

The winner of District 16 will host a state playoff game November 10 against the winner of District 15, which includes Marceline, Milan, Putnam County and Princeton.

Last year the Tigers won the District 16 title before falling to Princeton in the opening round of the state playoffs.

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