November 1, 2007

Milan Marches Toward District Title with 17-0 Win Against SCR-I

One of the teamís best defensive efforts of the year wasnít enough to prevent conference rival Milan from taking another giant step toward a Class 1 District 15 title by defeating Scotland County 17-0 on Friday night in Memphis.

The Tigers played their most inspired game of the year trying to scramble the district standings and leave all four teams with 1-1 records.

But SCR-Iís offensive woes proved too burdensome for an invigorated D that started its hard work from the opening kickoff.

Milan was able to move the ball on the teamís first possession, but Scotland Countyís defense dug in and stopped the Wildcats at the nine-yard line with 8:41 to play in the first period.

The Tigers gave the ball right back when an option pitch on SCR-Iís very first offensive play was fumbled and Milan pounced on the loose ball.

Just seconds later, Milanís Brady Schrock put the visitors on the scoreboard when he scored on a five-yard touchdown run. The PAT kick made it 7-0 with 8:29 on the clock.

The Wildcats took the ball right back by recovering an onside kick near mid-field. But the Tigersí defense held and forced a Milan punt that siphoned some of the momentum away from the guests trick play.

The energy didnít last long for Scotland County. SCR-I could not move the chains and compounded the problem when the punt team ran an ill-advised fake attempt, audibling out of the normal kick play called by the coaches.

The defense was able to prevent this hiccup from causing too much damage, allowing Milan to gain just three yards on three plays. But Carlos Hernandez booted a 43-yard field goal to put Milan on top 10-0.

The two teams traded defensive stands to close out the first period.

Milan put together its final scoring drive of the game to start the second period. The Wildcats marched down the field and with 6:09 left in the first half, Schrock scored on a one-yard run on fourth down. Hernandez made the PAT to push the lead to 17-0.

After Milan attempted another onside kick, SCR-I recovered near mid-field. Kyle Shelley connected with Craig Wittstock to move the chains. But that proved to be the lone first down of the opening half as the drive ended with another punt.

Scotland County backed Milan p and forced a punt late in the second period. But the Tigers could not take advantage of the good field position as Hernandez picked off a pass from Shelley at the 25-yard line and then ran out the clock to head to the locker room.

The Tigersí defense held Milan to just nine first downs and only 131 yards of total offense, including zero yards passing. But SCR-I ran just 18 plays on offense in the opening 24 minutes.

The third period was all about defense. Milan forced a pair of SCR-I punts, while Scotland County returned the favor, stopping Milan on downs and also forcing a fumble.

But a Scotland County turnover, an interception by Bryce McDonald, allowed Milan another shot at the scoreboard. But Hernandez was unable to connect on another long field goal, leaving the score at 17-0.

That proved to be the final scoring threat by either team as both squadsí defenses dominated the final 12 minutes.

In his final home game, senior Jeff Kice ran the ball nine times for 22 yards. Fellow senior Eric Glass had two attempts for eight yards. Kegan Hunt carried three times for 11 yards. Shelley completed two of 11 passes for 13 yards. Wittstock and Caleb Kittle had the receptions.

Shelley led the defense with 11 tackles from his linebacker spot. Brandon Garnett made 10 stops while Kegan Hunt had nine tackles. Bradley Hamner finished with seven stops.

Milan improved to 6-3 on the year and 4-2 in conference playing heading into a regular season finale versus Putnam County. The Tigers finish league play with an 0-7 mark, 0-9 overall and will conclude the 2007 season at Marceline on Friday night.

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