November 11, 2004

Tigers Bound For State Football Playoffs For Third Straight Year

Scotland County extended its winning streak to three games and in the process qualified for the Class 1 state playoffs for the third straight season with a 28-14 victory over Knox County on November 5 in Memphis.

The Tigers closed out the regular season in style, extending the teamís domination over its neighbor to the south, beating the Eagles for the ninth straight time in the Clyde game. The victory insured that the Kyle Peterson memorial traveling trophy would remain in Memphis.

The Tigers wasted little time in jumping on top to the delight of the home crowd. Jared Shelley moved the chains on each of his first three carries, getting double digits on each run to quickly get his team in scoring position.

That set up a 31-yard touchdown pass as Marcus Shalley found Matt Wickert down the sideline for the score. Zach McBee drilled the extra point kick to put the Tigers ahead 7-0 with 10:03 remaining in the first period.

B.J Houghton came up with a key quarterback sack to end Knox Countyís first scoring chance midway through the first period.

The Tigers failed to take advantage of their next scoring opportunity. SCR-I had the ball at the 11-yard line courtesy of a fake punt that saw Shelley pick up 23 yards on a run. But Knox County kept the Tigers out of the end zone.

The momentum didnít last long as the SCR-I defense stuffed Knox County deep in their own territory. When the punter fumbled the snap, Joe Talbert pounced on the loose ball at the one-yard line.

The Tigers capitalized on the turnover when Shelley plunged into the endzone with 7:04 left in the second period. McBee continued his strong performance after taking over for all-state kicker Tim Robinson. The sophomore made the PAT to put the Tigers on top 14-0.

The Eagles countered on the very next play as Drew Thacher took the kick off 85-yards for a touchdown. The PAT was no good, leaving the score at 14-6.

Houghton intercepted a Caleb Shubert pass late in the first half to stop another Knox County scoring opportunity.

The Tigers limited Knox County to just three first downs in the first half and 77 yards of total offense.

The Tigers defense started the second half right where it left off, quickly forcing a Knox County punt.

Shelley set up the third SCR-I score of the contest with a strong run. The senior back looked like a whirling dervish as he used his spin move to get out of the grasp of three would-be tacklers.

The Eagles stuffed SCR-I on two tries from the five-yard line. The Tigers looked to be in trouble on third down, when there was a mix-up in the backfield. The ball came loose on the broken play but Shalley scooped it up and scrambled into the end zone. McBee split the uprights to make it 21-6 with 5:27 remaining in the third quarter.

McBee got the job done on defense as well. The sophomore linebacker recovered a Knox County fumble on the next possession to stop the Eagles drive.

Scotland County put the game away at the start of the fourth quarter. Shelley broke a 15-yard touchdown run to put the icing on the cake. It also put the runner over a personal milestone as he went over the 1,000-yard mark on the season.

Knox County completed a 73-yard touchdown pass late in the game but Casey Parrish recovered the Eagles on-side kick attempt to close out any chance of a late rally.

The Tigers defense turned in another strong performance, limiting the Eagles to 88 yards rushing on the night. The big pass play late in the game ended the Eagles night with 148 yards through the air.

McBee led a strong team defensive effort. He had eight tackles, two sacks and a fumble recovery. Houghton closed out with 10 stops and an interception. Shelley had a team-high 12 tackles. Talbert, Brett Hoskinson and Devin Mauck each made six stops.

Shelley finished the night with 178 yards rushing and two TDs on 23 attempts. Tim Robinson had 38 yards on five carries. Shalley completed four of 10 passes for 77 yards and a TD. Wickert had two grabs for 44 yards including the opening score.

SCR-I ended the regular season with a 6-4 mark and a 4-3 record in conference play. The win sends the Tigers into the opening round of the state playoffs to take on District #15 champions Marceline (7-3). Scotland County will host the November 10 game, which is set to get underway at 7:00 p.m.

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