October 2, 2008

Midgets Ride Big Plays to 29-8 Conference Victory Over SCR-I

A promising first half that saw Scotland County take its first lead of the season, evaporated in the final 24 minutes of Friday nights football game in Unionville as the Midgets prevailed 29-8 for a Putnam County Homecoming victory.

As has been the case for much of the year, the Tigers were bitten by the big play.

SCR-I took the opening kickoff but failed to move the chains. The snap was mishandled on the punt and Putnam County took over at the 15-yard line.

On the very first offensive play of the night for the Midgets, Jacob Shipley appeared to be tackled in the backfield, but he broke free of the grasp of the Tigers defender and scampered 15-yards for the score. The PAT kick made it 7-0 with 9:45 to play in the first period.

But Scotland County responded to the initial adversity. The second offensive series of the game got a boost from the opposition, when an offsides penalty on fourth down against the Midgets nullified a punt attempt and moved the chains for SCR-I. The Tigers took advantage of the break, picking up two more first downs on runs by Caleb Kittle and Kyle Shelley to put the ball at the 24-yard line.

But the drive ended with an interception at the one-yard line with 2:11 left in the first period.

The turnover quickly turned into points for Scotland County as Dalton Hyle was tackled in the end zone for a safety to make the score 7-2.

SCR-I took the free kick and marched down the field. Shelley picked up a key first down when he scrambled for a 12-yard gain on third and long to move the chains.

Shelley then connected with Logan Brassfield on a big pass play that was nullified by a penalty.

SCR-I turned to a bit of trickery to pick up the next first down. A fake punt turned into a 14-yard run by Shelley that got the ball into scoring position.

Another costly penalty on Putnam County furthered the SCR-I advance as a pass interference call gave SCR-I its next first down and left the Tigers with first and goal.

Kittle put the ball into the end zone with a seven yard run with 9:15 left in the second period. The PAT kick was no good, leaving the Tigers on top 8-7.

The Midgets marched down the field eating up much of the remainder of the second period. Putnam County had the ball in scoring position before Justin Winn stuffed a third down run attempt. Rod Sears deflected the fourth down pass play to force the Midgets to turn the ball over on downs with 3:57 left to play in the first half.

The Midgets got the ball right back as Levi Miles picked off a pass at midfield with 3:09 on the clock.

But the Tigers defense held again and Putnam County was forced to punt.

SCR-I was backed up to the 17-yard line and had little time left on the clock. Brassfield and Shelley picked up first downs for the Tigers before time ran out on the late drive.

Scotland Countys big play woes surfaced in the second half. Shipley broke a 41 yard touchdown run with 8:05 left to play in the third period. The PAT failed but the Midgets still led 13-8.

Less than a minute later, the home crowd was on its feet again as Miles picked off an SCR-I pass and returned it 31-yards for the touchdown. Miles then ran in the two-point conversion to make the score 21-8 with 7:24 left on the clock.

SCR-I went three and out on offense but returned the favor on defense as Brassfield made a big stop before Aaron Neagle and Brandon Eggers combined for a sack to force a punt.

The Tigers failed to move the chains on the final possession of the third period and Miles made them pay as he returned the punt 58 yards for the touchdown. Hyle ran in the two-point conversion to make the score 29-8 with 42.3 seconds to go in the third period.

That proved to be the final scoring effort as both squads buckled down on defense in the final period.

SCR-I fell to 1-4 on the season and 0-2 in Tri-Rivers Conference play. The Midgets picked up their first win of the year, improving to 1-4 and 1-3 in league play.

Shipley led the Putnam County offense with 81 yards on nine carries. The bulk of those yards came on two big plays. Miles was held to 24 yards on 12 attempts. He completed one of 6 pass attempts for 26 yards. Overall Putnam County had just nine first downs on offense.

Kittle was the workhorse for the Tigers offense. He carried the ball 19 times for 45 yards. Shelley had 55 yards on 13 attempts and Brassfield had 36 yards on eight carries. Shelley completed five of 14 passes for 32 yards. Kittle had all five receptions.

Neagle led the Tigers defense with seven tackles. Sabe Sears made six stops and Eggers added five tackles.

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