The Scotland County football program extended the season on Friday night, but not long enough, as the Tigers season came to a close in a 12-9 overtime loss to Knox County.
After besting the Eagles twice during the regular season, Knox County capitalized on a controversial call to escape Memphis with the win to advance in the Missouri Class 1 playoffs.
Knox County was awarded the winning touchdown on a pass from Donovan Edwards to Cedric Boone in the corner of the end zone. But Boone appeared to push off the defender and could have been flagged for offensive pass interference. Instead the official ruled it defensive pass interference, allowing the touchdown to stand and the Knox County celebration to begin.
After combining for more than 120 points in the first two meetings, it was the defenses that stood tall on Friday night in Memphis.
The Tigers were held to only 118 yards of total offense on the night.
The lone score for SCR-I in regulation came in the first period courtesy of a Knox County turnover.
After a pair of three and outs on offense, the Tigers defense swung the momentum to the home team when Lucas Howard pounced on a fumble at the 21 yard line.
It still took a big play by Chris Jackson to help SCR-I find the end zone. The Tigers offense was backed up into a third and long situation before Jackson tipped a pass to himself and snagged the ball out of the air en route to a 25-yard gain. Will McRobert ran the ball in from one-yard out with 2:08 remaining in the first period to make the score 6-0.
The Eagles looked poised to respond as Brody Moubry fueled an Eagles drive with some solid rushing totals. But Mason VanHoozen made a big stop on fourth down to end the scoring threat.
SCR-I could not get anything going on offense, and the few big plays the Tigers managed were called back on penalties. Long runs by Jackson and Cordie Kigar were nullified by penalties.
SCR-I finally did put together another scoring threat late in the first half. The big play was a screen pass to VanHoozen that netted 45 yards and got the Tigers into scoring position. But a fumble ended the drive as the first half closed with the Tigers on top 6-0.
Knox put together a pair of drives in the third period. VanHoozen again made a big play, breaking up a fourth down pass play. Landyn Swearingen ended the other drive when he stripped the Knox County rusher and recovered the fumble with 6:04 left in the period.
The teams traded punts for the remainder of the quarter.
Moubry gave Knox County the spark it needed, breaking a long run. Ryan Slaughter chased him down to save the touchdown. It only prolonged the wait, as Edwards scored on a two-yard run with 10:02 left in the fourth period. But the Tigers stopped Moubry on the two-point attempt to keep the score knotted at 6-6.
Scotland County marched the ball down the field. Holt hit Jackson with a 17-yard pass play before VanHoozen moved the chains with a key fourth down run. SCR-I caught a break when an interception was called back due to a roughing the passer penalty, but the drive stalled on downs at the 16-yard line with 3:08 left to play.
SCR-I kept Knox County out of scoring position as time ran out on regulation.
The Tigers opened overtime with the ball on the 25-yard line. The Tigers quickly picked up a first down on a run by Jackson, but managed just six yards on the next three plays. That set up a 23-yard field goal by Holt to put the Tigers ahead 9-6.
Knox County’s season hung in the balance after SCR-I’s defense held the visitors to a single yard on its first three plays in overtime. But an offside penalty shortened the distance to just four yards and Moubry got just that on his fourth down run to keep the Eagles season alive.
After the Tigers stopped Knox on back-to-back plays, Edwards hit Boone on the 11-yard TD pass to end the game.
The Eagles (fifth seed) advance to play second seeded South Shelby in the district semifinals. The Cardinals knocked off Schuyler County 49-14. SCR-I ends the year with a 5-5 record.
SCR-I struggled on offense. Jackson carried the ball 11 times for 41 yards. McRobert was held to 15 yards on eight attempts before leaving the game in the third period with a knee injury. Kigar had 10 yards on seven rushes. Holt completed three of 11 passes for 112 yards.
Moubry ran the ball 32 times for 188 yards for Knox County, with the big run, a 55-yarder. Edwards was held to 16 yards on seven rushes. He passed the ball 10 times, completing three for 44 yards.