September 22, 2005

Tigers Overcome Penalty Problems To Beat Milan 12-7

Should have… Would have… Could have… Scotland County should have scored at least two more touchdowns Friday night but penalties wiped out two TD pass plays. SCR-I would have celebrated in style with a big homecoming victory over Milan but instead had to hold its collective breath late in the game. The Tigers could have folded when things went south, but the team was able to hold on for a 12-7 victory over the Wildcats.

The game started well for SCR-I as B.J. Houghton set the defensive tone on the second play of the game when he made a smashing tackle in the Wildcats backfield.

Milan went three and out, punting to the Tigers who quickly marched downfield behind the rushing of Houghton and Zach McBee. But the drive stalled inside the 10-yard line and SCR-I turned the ball over on downs.

The SCR-I defense continued to clamp down on the Wildcats, allowing just three plays before Milan punted the ball back to the Tigers.

This time the Tigers looked like they would capitalize on the good field position. SCR-I actually did get the ball into the endzone as Grant Blomme hauled in a 16-yard TD pass from Marcus Shalley. But the play was called back on a penalty on SCR-I and the Tigers’ drive stalled, turning the ball over on downs at the 16-yard line.

The Scotland County defense continued to get the job done. Colby Brown made a quick move on the pass rush and disrupted the Milan quarterback’s throw. He knocked down a backward pass, which was recovered by SCR-I’s Jeremy Broomhall as a fumble.

The Tigers took advantage of the excellent field position and Shalley hit Bryce Blomme on a three-yard TD pass. The PAT kick was no good, leaving Scotland County on top 6-0 with 10:40 remaining in the second quarter.

Milan finally got its first first down of the contest with 9:48 left in the first half. The Wildcats drove the ball to midfield before they were bit by another turnover. Grant Blomme recovered the fumble.

The Tigers ate up nearly five minutes of the clock but ultimately converted on the turnover as Shalley scored on a one-yard quarterback sneak. The two-point conversion failed and SCR-I led 12-0 with 4:13 remaining in the first half.

Scotland County looked poised to put the game away when with just three ticks left on the clock Grant Blomme made a diving catch in the endzone on what appeared to be a 32-yard TD pass. But the Tigers were flagged for a holding penalty that took the points off the board and gave Milan the momentum heading into the intermission.

The tide turned in the second half as it was the Milan defense getting the job done. SCR-I took the kick off to start the second half but went three and out and punted.

Milan got the ground game going and mounted a solid drive that ate up most of the third period. The Wildcats’ march ended at the 38-yard line where they turned the ball over on downs.

SCR-I fared little better on its second possession, again giving the ball right back to Milan with a punt.

This time the Wildcats were able to punctuate a long drive. Milan continued to grind down the clock, keeping the ball until the 8:02 mark in the fourth period when quarterback Nick Carter scored on a one-yard TD run. The PAT kick was good, making the score 12-7.

The Tigers finally got their first first down of the second half with 6:23 left in the game courtesy of an offsides penalty on Milan. That was as far as SCR-I would go, again being forced to punt. Kyler Hess pinned Milan inside the five-yard line with a perfect kick.

The Tigers’ defense answered the challenge and did not allow Milan out of the shadows of its own endzone. The Wildcats could not get a first down and turned the ball over on downs at the 14-yard line with just 3:36 left in the game.

The Tigers had a chance to put the nail in the coffin but were unable to punch the ball into the endzone. SCR-I did get a key first down that allowed Scotland County to run out the clock on the 12-7 win.

The bulk of the Tigers’ offensive statistics came in the first half. Shalley completed nine of 22 passes for 93 yards and a TD. Bryce Blomme had three grabs for 42 yards and a score. McBee made three grabs for 26 yards while Grant Blomme, Houghton and Hess accounted for the remaining catches.

Houghton led the Tigers’ ground attack with 61 yards on 2 attempts. McBee gained 34 yards on 13 carries and Shalley accounted for 31 yards on four attempts.

The Tigers managed 15 first downs on the night and were flagged 10 times for 60 yards.

The SCR-I defense was led by Houghton who made 15 tackles from his linebacker position. Casey Parrish made 12 stops while Bryce Blomme was credited for eight tackles.

Milan racked up 139 yards rushing led by Mark Reek with 70 yards on 17 carries. Dustin Magney had 55 yards on 10 attempts. Carter completed just one of five pass attempts for 19 yards.

The win improves Scotland County to 2-2 on the year and 1-1 in Tri-Rivers Conference play. Milan dropped to 1-3.

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