Jade Holt goes high to try to haul in a touchdown pass in the end zone versus Monroe City.

Jade Holt goes high to try to haul in a touchdown pass in the end zone versus Monroe City.

A first half of missed opportunities came back to bite the Scotland County football team as Monroe City exploded for 22 second-half points to defeat the Tigers 30-12 in a non-conference road game on October 2nd.

The Panthers took the opening kickoff and marched down the field. Monroe City looked poised to give the Homecoming crowd something to cheer about before a fumble ended the scoring threat. Ian See picked up the loose ball in the red zone and returned it to the 27-yard line.

The Tigers followed with their best offensive possession of the first half, an eight play mini drive that netted a pair of first downs before being forced to punt.

Monroe City quickly moved into scoring position with a 24-yard pass play from Brandon Devlin to tailback Zach Minter. Brice Falls broke a 37-yard run to set up a two-yard TD run by Minter on fourth and goal with 11:06 left in the second period. Devlin hit Eric Madden for the two point conversion to make the score 8-0.

SCR-I lost yards on its next two offensive possessions, but got second chances courtesy of Monroe City’s second fumble as well as an interception by Aaron Buford. But the Tigers were unable to turn three first half turnovers into points, managing just 46 yards of offense in the first half.

The Tigers defense forced a punt on Monroe City’s final possession to keep the deficit at 8-0 at the half.

That changed quickly in the third period. SCR-I took the opening kickoff to start the third period, but went three and out with a punt. Monroe City then went 62 yards in nine plays with Minter finding the end zone for the second time on a eight-yard run. Devlin and Madden hooked up again for the two-point conversion to extend the lead to 16-0, with 5:54 left in the period.

The Panthers were unable to take advantage of an interception, as the SCR-I defense held on downs.

But after another three and out series for the Tigers offense, Monroe City added to the lead with a quick four-play scoring drive that covered 48 yards. Falls scored on a two-yard run with 0:40 left in the third period. Mason Kliethermes picked off the two-point pass attempt to keep the score at 22-0.

SCR-I fumbled on its next possession, but the defense held and forced a Monroe City punt. Ryan Slaughter gave the Tiger fans something to cheer for when he broke an 88-yard return for a TD. But the play was called back on a penalty.

Ryan Slaughter takes a punt return back 88 yards for a touchdown.

Ryan Slaughter takes a punt return back 88 yards for a touchdown.

SCR-I moved the ball down field with a 24-yard completion to See. A pass interference play generated another first down before Jade Holt made a one-handed grab on a 12-yard pass completion. Fromm then connected with Slaughter on a nifty leaping grab that the junior back took all the way to the two-yard line. Fromm scored two plays later on a quarterback sneak with 5:37 left in the fourth quarter to make the score 22-6.

Monroe City answered with a 60-yard scoring drive, with Minter taking it into the end zone on a two-yard run with 1:23 left in the game for his third score of the night. He added the two-point conversion to push the lead to 30-6.

SCR-I came right back. Gage Dodge gave the team good field position with a 20-yard kick return. Fromm then connected with Holt on a 24-yard pass play. The freshman QB hit See for a 43-yard TD pass on the next play to trim the deficit to 30-12 with 0:55 seconds to play.

Mason Kliethermes recovered an onside kick and SCR-I tried to tack on one last score. Fromm hit See on a short pass play that turned into a good gain with the hook and ladder. See lateraled to Slaughter who was able to pick up extra yards.

But the same play on the other side of the field ended with a fumble on the next snap, allowing the Panthers to run out the clock on the 30-12 win.

Minter finished with 170 yards and three TDs on 30 rushes to lead the Panthers. Falls had 91 yards and a score on 12 attempts.

SCR-I was unable o run the ball all night as the Panthers held them to a negative seven yards rushing. The Tigers did pass the ball for 209 yards. Fromm completed 15 of 25 attempts. See caught six passes for 83 yards and a TD while Holt had four grabs for 49 yards and Slaughter had two catches for receptions for 60 yards.

Linebacker Aaron Blessing takes down Monroe City's Brice Falls for a loss.

Linebacker Aaron Blessing takes down Monroe City’s Brice Falls for a loss.

Aaron Blessing led the defense with 13 tackles. Slaughter finished with 10 stops and Mason Kliethermes added eight tackles.