September 21, 2006

Tigers Notch First Win With Rout of Rams

High school football is all about stepping up and answering the challenge. But after a disappointing 0-2 start and minus two of the teamís offensive weapons, the Scotland County R-I football team went well beyond just picking it up a notch. The Tigers roared into Queen City on Friday night and quieted the Rams fans with a dominating performance righting the SCR-I ship with a 34-14 victory.

The Tigers got off to a slow start on offense, going three and out on the gameís opening possession. Schuyler County marched down the field before Kyle Shelley forced a Rams fumble with a hard hit. Bryce Blomme picked up the loose ball and returned it down the sideline before being stopped just short of the end zone.

Marcus Shalley punched the ball in from one-yard out with 7:05 left in the first period to capitalize on the turnover. Minus kicker Zach McBee who was on the sidelines in street clothes due to an injury, SCR-I went for two points. Eric Glass, filling in for McBee at running back, caught the pass from Shalley for the two-point conversion to make the score 8-0.

Andy Cowell recovered the second Schuyler County fumble of the first period but the Tigers were unable to convert on offense and gave the ball back to the Rams on downs.

The SCR-I defense held at the 40-yard line and gave the Tigers the ball back to end the first period.

Scotland County marched downfield behind the running of Shalley, Glass and Bryce Blomme, who filled in at running back in his first full game back after missing the opener with a separated shoulder.

Shalley made the score 14-0 when he broke a 28-yard touchdown run with 10:46 to go in the second quarter. The two-point attempt failed.

The Rams looked ready to cut into the deficit before turning the ball over on the 14-yard line on a botched option pitch that was gobbled up by Shalley.

SCR-I turned the fumble into another touchdown as they marched down the field. The drive appeared to be stalled with SCR-I facing fourth down and long at the 26-yard line. Shalley connected with Justin Williams on a short pass across the middle. Williams danced past several Rams defenders and found his way to the end zone on a demoralizing play for the Schuyler County defense.

Glass punched in the two-point conversion run to put the visitors ahead 22-0 with 2:11 left in the opening half.

The Rams went to the air to try to put some points on the scoreboard before halftime. The plan backfired as Shalley picked off a Tyler Green pass and returned it to midfield.

SCR-I moved the chains on a pair of completions from Shalley to Grant Blomme. Faced with fourth and long and just 15 seconds on the clock, Shalley slithered through the Rams defense and nearly went the distance. He picked up 38 yards before being forced out of bounds at the one-yard line with 1.3 seconds on the clock. The Tigersí quarterback then barreled over a pair of defenders as time expired to get into the end zone a third time in the first half. The two-point conversion was stopped but SCR-I went to the locker room with a commanding 28-0 advantage.

Schuyler County opened the third period with a strong drive that was capped off by a 10-yard run by Green. The Rams QB also scored the two-point conversion to trim the deficit to 28-8.

SCR-I quickly answered as Shalley went to the air. He hit Bryce Blomme to move the chains and followed with a nice gain on pass play to Grant Blomme.

Shalley scored his fourth touchdown of the night with 4:36 left in the third period when he ran the ball in from 11-yards out. The two-point conversion was no good and the Tigers led 34-8.

That was it for Shalley as the coaching staff chose to rest the senior for the final quarter and a half. Shalley had suffered a minor concussion the week before and was held out of much of the game on defense as well.

Schuyler County kept the pressure on with another strong drive. Greg Buckallew scored on a one-yard run with 2:40 left in the third period to make the score 34-14.

Freshman Kyle Shelley took over the reigns of the offense and proved to be a more than capable back-up. He marched SCR-I down the field before the Tigers turned the ball over with a fumble.

The SCR-I defense didnít allow Schuyler County to take advantage of the turnover and held the Rams out of the end zone.

Shelley and the Tigersí ground game ran out the clock in the fourth period to help SCR-I improve to 1-2 on the year and 1-1 in the Tri-Rivers Conference. Schuyler County fell to 1-2 and 1-1 after opening the year with a win over Knox County before losing in week two to Clark County.

SCR-I had its best offensive game of the year, amassing 20 first downs while racking up good yards on the ground and through the air. Shelley carried the ball 16 times for 148 yards and the 4 TDs. He completed eight of 15 passes for 128 yards and a score.

Bryce Blomme carried the ball seven times for 60 yards and Glass had 10 carries for 26 yards.

Grant Blomme caught three passes for 30 yards. Bryce Blomme had three grabs for 59 yards while Williams caught the 25-yard TD pass.

Green ran for 137 yards on 22 carries to lead the Rams. Buckallew ran nine times for 20 yards. Green completed two of 11 passes for 23 yards and one interception.

Bryce Blomme had a strong game on defense as well, finishing with 11 tackles filling in at linebacker. Kolby Peterson made 10 stops while Grant Blomme and Bradley Hamner each made nine tackles.

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