September 28, 2006

Youthful Lady Tigers Softball Team Aiming High In 2001

When the Missouri State High School Activities Association announced redistricting for Class 1 football teams this spring, Scotland County football fans may have felt disturbed to see the Tigers’ state playoff hopes up against what on paper looked like much tougher competition. But after Friday night’s 26-12 loss to North Shelby, SCR-I has to be glad to be rid of the old district rivals.

The Tigers fell to 1-3 on the year, and 1-2 against the old district opponents, Knox County, Schuyler County and North Shelby.

The Raiders visited Memphis on Saturday night and left town with the team’s second straight victory.

North Shelby took the opening kickoff and moved the ball downfield before a Colby Brown sack stalled the drive and forced a punt.

The Tigers’ offense looked impressive on its opening drive. Quarterback Marcus Shalley ran for a first down on the first play. He then connected on pass plays to Andy Cowell and Bryce Blomme to move the chains two more times. Shalley and Blomme connected on a 36-yard pass play down the far sideline to put the ball at the goal line. Shalley punched the ball in on a quarterback keeper. The point after kick was no good, leaving the score at 6-0 with 4:33 left in the first period.

Scotland County got the ball right back when they sacked quarterback Josh McEwen and linebacker Bradley Hamner snatched the fumble out of midair.

But the Tigers were unable to take advantage of the turnover and went four and out on downs at the 38-yard line.

The Raiders marched the ball down field before the Tigers defense held inside the 10-yard line.

Tyler Otton drilled a 23-yard field goal with 10:31 on the clock in the second period to cut the Raiders deficit to 6-3.

The momentum continued to flow to the visitors as SCR-I fumbled on its first play of the next possession.

North Shelby quickly capitalized as Curt Hubbard rumbled through the Tigers defense for a 16-yard touchdown. Otto’s PAT kick made it 10-6 with 8:46 left in the first half.

The Tigers offense was unable to get anything going on the next possession and punted the ball to the 31-yard line with 6:44 left in the first half.

The Raiders pushed into scoring position but the SCR-I defense held and again forced a field goal attempt. A bad snap bounced past the holder and was picked up by Otto. The kicker wheeled away from an SCR-I defender and was able to heave a four-yard touchdown pass to Justin Bevil who had released from the end and was wide open in the end zone. Otto’s PAT kick was no good, but the Raiders led 16-6 with just 12 seconds left on the clock.

The Tigers came out of the locker room determined to find its offense. SCR-I was unable to pick up a first down after the opening drive of the contest.

That changed to start the third period. Shalley picked up a key first down on a fourth down run to start a drive. He then connected with Bryce Blomme to move the chains before the drive stalled.

Bryce Blomme pinned North Shelby at the one-yard line with a perfect punt that went out of bounds just shy of the end zone.

The field position was quickly erased as Mike Pantaleo broke a huge run before being knocked out of bounds near midfield. The drive stalled when Lance Smith sacked McEwen on third and long. The Tigers held on downs and got the ball back with 4:38 remaining in the third period.

The two teams traded punts to close out the third quarter.

After the Raiders picked off a pass in scoring position, the Tigers defense appeared to have held. On fourth down the defenders had Pantaleo stopped in the backfield. But the running back broke a series of tackles on his way to a 21-yard touchdown run. Ott’s kick was good to push the lead to 23-6 with 8:42 left in the game.

Down three scores, Scotland County went with the two minute offense. The move paid near immediate dividends, as Scotland County passed the ball down the field in just over a minute. Shalley hit Bryce Blomme with a 15-yard touchdown pass with 7:26 left in the game. The two-point conversion was stopped, leaving SCR-I trailing 23-12.

North Shelby closed out any hope for the Tigers, eating up the clock with several first downs before Otto hit his second field goal of the evening. The 26-yard kick put the game away for the Raiders with a 26-12 lead and just 1:30 left to play.

“I don’t want to take anything away from North Shelby,” said SCR-I coach Brent Bondurant. “They are a much improved team from last season. This however has got to be one of the lowest points in my 15-year coaching career at Scotland County. To have a team, I consider to be talented, have so little to show for it at this point of the season, is disappointing to say the least. Football is a game meant to be played with heart and desire. Right now we aren’t getting a total team effort in either category. It’s my hope that we can play with some enthusiasm and purpose against Fayette this week.”

Scotland County was held to 11 first downs on the night and managed just 44 yards rushing.

Shalley completed 17-31 passes for 163 yards and two touchdowns. Bryce Blomme caught eight passes for 111 yards and two scores. Grant Blomme had five receptions for 46 yards. Andy Cowell made three grabs for 18 yards.

North Shelby had nearly 300 yards rushing led by Pantaleo. The junior had 175 yards and two TDs on 22 attempts. Hubbard finished with 81 yards and a touchdown on 17 attempts. McEwen ran 10 times for 35 yards. He completed 7-17 passes for 89 yards.

Shalley led the Tigers defense with 14 tackles for his linebacker position. Casey Parrish made 13 tackles and Bryce Blomme made 12 stops. Hamner, Cowell and Kyle Shelley each had nine tackles.

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