September 4, 2008

Tigers Get Football Season Started Off On Right Foot

It took a little longer than normal, but Scotland County opened the 2008 football season on the right foot, literally. Freshman Harley Stone drilled a 25-yard kick to help the Tigers knock off perennial powerhouse Salisbury 7-6 in double overtime.

The two teams locked horns in a defensive struggle that ended regulation time deadlocked at 0-0. SCR-I had the ball inside the 10-yard line early in the contest but was turned away.

The Panthers actually found the end zone later in the contest, but the play was called back on a penalty, preserving the Tigers shutout.

A couple late turnovers appeared to have the contest in jeopardy for Scotland County. The Tigers turned the ball over at the 32-yard line with just 2:41 left in the fourth period.

But the late Salisbury drive was interrupted when Brandon Garnett picked off the Kale McCubbins pass with 1:46 left in the game.

Scotland County went to the 2-minute offense, with one final push to put points on the board. Kyle Shelley moved the chains with a nine-yard run that put the ball at the 40-yard line with 36.9 ticks left on the clock.

Caleb Kittle pushed the ball into Salisbury territory, breaking past mid field to the 47-yard line but time ran out before the Tigers got off another play.

The Tigers won the coin toss to start overtime. Missouri high school football rules allow both teams a possession in overtime, starting the ball at the 25-yard line.

The Tigers drive lasted just three plays, when a backward pass sailed through the receivers hands and was recovered as a fumble by Salisbury.

The Panthers first possession lasted just four plays. Justin Winn turned back a third-down running play before Kittle knocked down a pass on fourth down, forcing the second overtime.

This time the Panthers took the ball first, and it took just one play to break the scoring drought. McCubbins eluded the Tigers pass rush and lofted a 25-yard touchdown into the corner of the end zone to Shane Kressig.

Scotland Countyís defense came up with a big play next as Aaron Neagle broke through the protection to block the Salisbury point after try. The senior lineman swatted away the kick to keep the score at 6-0.

The momentum from the blocked PAT carried over to offense. Shelley found Stone across the middle for a 12-yard pass play. He then avoided the Salisbury pass rush and connected with Logan Brassfield for a nine-yard completion. Shelley then converted the first down on a quarterback sneak that set up first and goal.

SCR-I went with the very same play as Shelley followed the block of his center into the end zone for the touchdown.

An illegal procedure flag on the Tigers on the PAT kick backed SCR-I up five yards. But the distance didnít effect Stone as he calmly drilled the kick from 25 yards out to give Scotland County the hard-fought 7-6 win.

Scotland County picked up nine first downs on the evening. Shelley carried the ball 15 times for 55 yards and the touchdown. Brassfield had 13 rushes for 45 yards and Kittle carried it six times for 13 yards.

Shelley completed four of 11 passes and was intercepted twice. He completed two of three attempts in the crucial overtime period. Kittle had one reception for 18 yards. Shelley also hit Stone, Rod Sears and Brassfield to spread out his targets.

The Tigers defense limited Salisbury to 210 yards of total offense and just 10 first downs. McCubbins had 12 carries for 71 yards. He completed five of 14 passes for 88 yards and one touchdown but was also intercepted once. Running back Matt Koenig was held to 28 yards on 10 attempts.

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