October 5, 2006

Defense Secures 8-0 Homecoming Shutout for SCR-I Football Team

Homecoming at Scotland County R-I meant a parade, crowning of the royalty and a football victory for the Tigers. The latter was obviously the most important for 30 some football players who played an emotional up and down contest that ultimately went the way of the home team.

The game got off to an ominous start, as Fayette returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown. Fortunately for the Tigers, a holding penalty on the Falcons negated the score.

The SCR-I defense took advantage of the break. Lance Smith backed up Fayette with a quarterback sack before Casey Parrish made it third and long with a tackle in the backfield. The Falcons went three and out and punted to Scotland County.

The Tigers returned the favor, failing to pick up a first down before punting the ball back to Fayette.

The two teams traded punts before Fayette mounted the first real drive of the first half. But Justin Williams picked off the Miles Westhues pass in the end zone for the touchback with 4:44 left in the first period.

The Tigers looked poised to take advantage of the turnover. The Tigers moved the chains on a pass from Marcus Shalley to Grant Blomme. Bryce Blomme then picked up another first down with a solid run. But the drive stalled at the 25-yard line where SCR-I turned it over on downs with 1:02 left in the opening quarter.

After a Fayette punt, SCR-I was unable to pick up a first down until a fake punt picked up a huge gain. But the play was called back on a penalty against SCR-I for an ineligible receiver downfield.

The same call haunted the Tigers again on the teamís next possession. Bryce Blomme caught a screen pass and broke several tackles on his way to a 75-yard touchdown. The play was called back because the linemen were downfield and the pass was thrown beyond the line of scrimmage.

Fayette got the ball back with 2:04 left in the first half and quickly moved into scoring position. But Kyle Shelley intercepted a Fayette pass at the 15-yard line to end the scoring opportunity and send the teams to the locker room knotted at 0-0.

Scotland County was limited to just three first downs in the first half and was really hurt by penalties. The defense held Fayette to just five first downs.

The Tigers took the kickoff to start the second half and quickly saw dividends for some halftime adjustments made on offense. Shalley picked up a first down on the ground and moved the chains again when he connected with Bryce Blomme on a pass play.

The drive finally stalled and SCR-I turned the ball over on downs with 6:23 to play in the third period.

The Tigers defense took advantage of the good field position. Fayette was backed up close to the goal line when a bad snap went over Westhuesí head and into the end zone. The quarterback recovered the fumble in the end zone where he was tackled for a safety.

The momentum carried over for the Tigers who received the free kick and had the ball near midfield before runs by Shalley and Eric Glass put the team in scoring position. Shalley broke away from the Falcon defenders for a 37-yard touchdown run with 2:00 left in the quarter. The PAT kick was blocked to leave the score at 8-0.

The Tigers got the ball right back when Grant Blomme made the Tigers third interception of the contest. The SCR-I offense ate up valuable time off the clock before punting the ball back to Fayette.

The two teams traded defensive stops that found SCR-I poised to put the game away with one final drive.

But SCR-I turned the ball over with a fumble with 4:52 to play, giving Fayette one final shot.

The opportunity was short lived as the Falcons gave away the good field position with a fumble. Lance Smith pounced on the loose ball at the 15-yard line with 3:58 left on the clock.

The SCR-I offense went to work to run out the clock. Shalley hit Williams with a pass play with 2:38 to pick up a crucial first down that forced Fayette to use up its time outs. Shalley then hit Grant Blomme with a beautiful pass down the near sideline that the senior back made an equally beautiful catch on before stepping out of bounds at the 48-yard line.

That first down allowed the Tigers to eat up all but 17.6 seconds of the game clock.

The Falcons got the ball back with 7.3 seconds to play. A good punt by Bryce Blomme backed the Falcons up deep with only enough time for one play. The Scotland County defense completed the shutout and secured the win.

The defense held Fayette to 153 yards of total offense and just seven first downs in the contest. The Falcons didnít help their own cause, committing four turnovers while being flagged for 10 penalties. Westhues had 14 carries for 26 yards as the Falcons had just 65 yards of rushing on 27 attempts. Westhues completed six of 18 passes for 88 yards and was picked off three times.

Parrish topped the Tigers defenders with 10 tackles. Colby Brown made nine stops while Shelley and Colby Peterson each had seven tackles.

The Tigers offense finished with 10 first downs. Shalley ran the ball 20 times for 95 yards. Bryce Blomme had five carries for 35 yards and Glass carried five times for 15 yards. Shalley completed seven of 14 passes for 75 yards. Grant Blomme had two receptions for 31 yards. Bryce Blomme made two grabs for 16 yards. Williams had two receptions for 18 yards and Brandon Garnett made one catch for 10 yards.

The Tigers improved to 2-3 on the season while Fayette dropped to 2-3.

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