September 18, 2008

Cougars Cage Tigers in 16-0 Defeat in Memphis

For the second consecutive week the Scotland County football team was unable to put any points on the scoreboard as Highland escaped from Memphis on September 12 with a 16-0 victory.

“We had plenty of opportunities, we just didn’t take advantage of them,” said Coach Brent Bondurant. “Highland broke a big play early, which probably never should have happened, and that stole some of the momentum from us. But we had our shots in the second half and just didn’t get it done.”

The Cougars jumped on top on just the third play from scrimmage. Quarterback Kyle Ellison ran an option to the left sideline, where he eluded a pair of tacklers and took advantage of a down field block to scamper 65 yards for a touchdown. Paul Power made the point after attempt to put the visitors on top 7-0.

The two teams traded punts and penalty flags for the remainder of the first period as they battled the wet conditions.

The Cougars mounted a drive to start the second period, but a quarterback sack by Logan Brassfield stopped the push at the 30-yard line where Highland turned the ball over on downs with 8:01 left in the first half.

After another SCR-I punt, Highland again moved the ball into scoring position. But faced with first and goal for Highland, the SCR-I defense stepped up its play. Rod Sears broke up a first down pass play. After a short completion, Caleb Kittle nearly picked off a pass on third down. Justin Winn cemented the defensive stand with a quarterback sack that gave the Tigers the ball back with less than two minutes to play in the half.

Kyle Shelley picked up the lone first down of the opening half for Scotland County when he found some running room on a sweep around the left end. But time ran out before SCR-I could get the ball into scoring position.

A steady rain picked up over half time and worsened the already wet conditions leading to numerous turnovers in the third and fourth period.

After a good kick return by Kittle to start the second half, SCR-I coughed up the ball at the 29-yard line where Highland took over with 11:02 on the clock. The Cougars again found themselves with the ball first down and goal to go. Bradley Hamner came up with a big stop on first down, but Ellison found the end zone for the second time when he broke a 10-yard TD run with 9:55 to go in the third period. The PAT kick failed, leaving the score at 13-0.

The Tigers gave Highland the ball right back with a fumble at the 25-yard line less than a minute later.

The Tigers defense held, forcing a 29-yard field goal by Powers that made the score 16-0 with 6:25 remaining in the third quarter.

Highland attempted an onside kick, but the Tigers recovered and found themselves across mid field for the first time in the game. Rod Sears picked up a first down with a 13-yard run around the leftside behind excellent blocking.

Faced with fourth down and 10, SCR-I called a timeout and sent the offense back out instead of the punt squad. Brandon Garnett snagged a 25-yard pass from Shelley to put the ball at the 15-yard line.

Shelley then connected with Brassfield to get the ball just eight yards from a score before the drive stalled out there.

But SCR-I got the ball back when Harley Stone recovered a Highland fumble at the 23-yard line.

Shelley moved the chains with an 11-yard run, but SCR-I’s scoring threat ended when Ellison picked off a pass in the end zone.

The Tigers forced another Highland fumble and Garnett pounced on the loose ball at the 10-yard line with 11:42 to play in the game.

Highland stuffed run attempts by Shelley, Rod Sears and Sabe Sears before a fourth down pass play fell incomplete, giving the ball back to the Cougars.

That possession was cut short by another fumble. Winn scooped up the loose ball for the Tigers.

But SCR-I could not move the chains and turned the ball over on downs.

The Tigers defense continued its impressive stand. Brandon Eggers pumped up the squad with a big hit on first down that pushed Highland back. Winn stuffed the pair of run attempts that followed forcing a Highland punt. Stone came up with another big play as he broke through the line to block the kick and SCR-I recovered.

But for the fifth consecutive possession, SCR-I could not take advantage of the excellent field position, ultimately turning the ball over on downs.

Highland finally ran out the clock on the 16-0 victory.

Ellison led Highland to 9 first downs on the night as he ran the ball 11 times for 89 yards. He completed 12 of 20 pass attempts for 11 yards. SCR-I held top runner Justin Roberts to 49 yards on 10 attempts.

The Tigers managed four first downs on offense. Shelley had seven carries for 26 yards. Rod Sears had 16 attempts for 14 yards and Brassfield gained 20 yards on five attempts.

Shelley completed three of nine passes for 34 yards with Garnett, Brassfield and Kittle making catches.

Shelley and Kittle led the defensive charge with seven tackles apiece. Garnett made six stops and Brassfield had five tackles.

SCR-I fell to 1-2 on the year while the Cougars improved to 2-1, with its second straight shutout. The Cougars dropped the season opener to South Shelby 55-21 before rebounding in week two to blank Louisiana 28-0.

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