October 27, 2011

Tigers Clinch District Title, State Playoff Berth With 28-14 Win Over Schuyler County

The Tigers kickoff coverage team celebrates as they come off the field after recovering a key Schuyler County fumble during Thursday night's win over the Rams.

Week two of the Missouri high school football district play saw Scotland County clinch a state playoff berth with a 28-14 victory over Schuyler County in front of the home crowd.

SCR-I came out of the key Thursday night matchup as the lone undefeated squad remaining in the Class 1 District 10 bracket after besting Knox County last week in Edina.

The victory allowed the Tigers to clinch the Class District 10 championship, regardless of the outcome of Thursday night's contest versus North Shelby (0-2).

The Tigers, 2-0, would hold the tie breaker over both Knox County (1-1) and Schuyler County (1-1) by virtue of their victories over both squads. The two teams meet in their season finale, with the winner finishing 2-1 and advancing to the playoffs as the district runner-up.

The district crown came courtesy of a hard-fought victory over the Rams. The two teams locked in a defensive struggle in the first half.

The two teams traded punts on their opening possessions before the Tigers caught the first break. Chris Jackson recovered a Rams fumble. But the Tigers failed to take advantage of the turnover.

Schuyler County finally got on the scoreboard late in the first period. The key play in the drive was a fake punt that helped move the chains. Dakota Schmitter finished off the possession with a three-yard touchdown run with 32 seconds left in the first period.

Harley Stone came up with a big stop on the Rams two-point conversion attempt to keep the score at 6-0.

The Tigers responded with a long drive on the next possession. Brock Bondurant did the bulk of the work, as he broke a 51-yard run before being stopped at the 11-yard line. The touchdown-saving tackle proved key, as the Rams were able to turn away SCR-I when Bondurant's pass attempt was picked off in the end zone.

The Tigers' defense held and forced a Schuyler County punt.

Scotland County would not be denied on its next possession. Laden Holt moved the team into scoring position with an 18-yard scamper. But penalties backed Scotland County up. Faced with a fourth down and seven situation, Bondurant was able to scramble for the first down. That set up a 25-yard touchdown play on a screen pass from Bondurant to Harley Stone. Stone booted the PAT kick through the uprights to put the Tigers on top 7-6 with 4:06 remaining in the second period.

Brock Bondurant heads toward the end zone behind the blocks of Taylor Rader and Zach Miller. The senior quarterback ran for 170 yards and two TDs in the win that clinched the district championship on Thursday night in Memphis.

The Tigers earned another scoring opportunity when Will Masden recovered a Schuyler County fumble. But the Rams ended the threat when they sniffed out a trick play by SCR-I, intercepting a pass attempt by Stone as time ran out on the first half.

Scotland County took the opening kick of the second half and marched down field before another turnover cut the drive short when a pass went off the intended receiver's hands and was intercepted.

The Rams looked poised to pull ahead, quickly getting the ball into a first and goal situation. Coach Brent Bondurant called a timeout and the Tigers drew the proverbial line in the sand. The defense held and forced Schuyler County to turn the ball over on downs.

SCR-I moved the ball down field with a pass play from Bondurant to Stone as well as a pair of first down runs by the quarterback. But ultimately the team was forced to punt.

Schuyler County's next possession was hampered by penalties, forcing the Rams to punt the ball back to Scotland County.

The Tigers finally added to the lead as Bondurant scored on a 15-yard run with 9:36 remaining in the fourth period. The two-point conversion failed, leaving the margin at 13-6.

Scotland County maintained the momentum as Stone's kickoff bounced off the hands of Rams' return man and the Tigers pounced on the loose ball.

SCR-I was able to capitalize on Schuyler County's third fumble of the contest when Bondurant broke a 16-yard TD run with 7:59 remaining to play. The senior hooked up with Stone on a pass for the two-point conversion to push the margin to 21-6.

The ensuing kickoff must have looked like a replay from minutes earlier, as the ball bounced off the Rams' return man and SCR-I again was able to recover the fumble.

Bondurant moved the ball into scoring position with a good run before Stone capped off the drive with a three-yard TD plunge. His PAT kick extended the lead to 28-6 with 7:41 left to play.

The RAMS made the final minutes interesting, putting up a quick scoring drive finished off by a 29-yard pass play from Dalton Shively to Tad Anderson. Shively ran in the two-point conversion to make the score 28-14 with 4:49 left to play.

Drew Miller ended the Rams' momentum by recovering an onside kick attempt. But the Tigers were unable to run out the clock on the victory.

Schuyler County got the ball back and marched down the field before Zach Miller intercepted a pass in the end zone to seal the victory.

Schuyler County picked up 12 first downs on the night. The SCR-I defense held Schmitter to just 87 yards rushing. Shively added 74 yards on the ground. He completed 10 of 13 passes for 147 yards with Anderson accounting for eight receptions and 33 yards.

SCR-I picked up 14 first downs in the contest. Bondurant ran the ball 17 times for 170 yards and two TDs. Holt had 41 yards on 15 attempts.

Bondurant completed four of 11 passes for 43 yards and a score. Stone had a TD catch and also a rushing touchdown.

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