Three scoreless trips to the red zone and 13 penalties accounting for more than 100 yards proved too large of hurdles for the Scotland County football team to clear as the Tigers fell to Knox County 22-8 in Edina on August 28th.
SCR-I was flagged on the first two plays Friday night, effectively ending the first drive with a punt.
Knox County was able to move the chains before the SCR-I defense held on a key fourth down near midfield with 6:10 left in the first period.
The Tigers quickly moved into scoring position on a seven yard run by Aaron Buford and a 21-yard pass play to Ryan Slaughter. But following the completion, SCR-I was penalized for taunting, the first of two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties on Scotland County on the night.
On the next play, Austin Day broke a 30 yard run and appeared to get into the end zone but was ruled out of bounds at the one yard line. Gage Dodge took the handoff on the next play and appeared to get into the end zone, but the ball was again ruled down short of a touchdown.
Another flag backed up the Tigers before a Knox County sack ended the scoring chance.
The Eagles took over at the six-yard line and appeared to give SCR-I second life on the next play when Hayden Miller fumbled the ball at the end of a 15-yard run and Slaughter pounced on the loose ball. But a whistle by the official ruled the runner down.
Knox County was able to pick up two more first downs before the SCR-I defense stopped the drive. Jade Holt and Aaron Blessing tackled Andrew Hodges for a loss on fourth and three at the 33 yard line to give SCR-I the ball back.
The Knox County defense returned the favor. After a 19-yard run by Day moved the ball across midfield, SCR-I turned the ball over on downs at the 36-yard line with 6:46 left in the second period.
The Eagles moved the chains with runs by Miller and Noah Talton. The drive was aided by a personal foul penalty on SCR-I that resulted in a player ejection. Three plays later, Miller broke an eight-yard touchdown run. Talton ran in the two-point conversion to give Knox County the 8-0 lead with 3:08 left in the first half.
SCR-I came right back. Buford hit Dodge with a 17-yard pass completion on a great catch by the sophomore receiver to get the Tigers to midfield. Buford scrambled for nine yards and then hit Slaughter on a seven-yard pass to move the chains. The duo connected again for five yards before Buford scrambled for seven yards and another first down. A pass interference penalty on Knox County in the end zone gave the Tigers the ball at the 14-yard line with less than 30 seconds to play but the Knox county defense made three straight stops as time expired on the first half.
SCR-I reclaimed the momentum to start the second half with a gutsy onside kick that was recovered by Jacob McDaniel. Scotland County picked up a pair of first downs on runs by Buford and Day and quickly had the ball 25 yards from pay dirt. But the tigers lost yards on the first two run attempts and were further backed up by a penalty before turning the ball over on downs at the 30.
Knox County moved the ball down field on runs by Miller and Talton before a crucial roughing the passer penalty on SCR-I rescued the Eagles from a third and long situation. That set up a 34-yard touchdown pass from Nickolas Edwards to Miller to make the score 14-0 with 4:59 left in the third period.
The Tigers finally got on the board on the next possession. On third and long, Buford connected with Dodge across the middle and he rumbled 60 yards before being chased down from behind at the six-yard line.
Two plays later, Buford them connected with Slaughter on a screen pass for a five-yard TD. The duo connected for a completion on the two point conversion to trim the lead to 14-8 with 3:25 left in the third period.
Knox County responded with a six-minute scoring drive that was capped off by a five-yard TD run by Hedges. Edwards hit Miller to complete the two-point conversion and pushed the lead to 22-8 with 10:34 left to play.
The Tigers drove into scoring position on the next drive, with the key plays coming on a 27-yard pass completion from Buford to Will Fromm and an 18-yard run by Buford that got the ball to the 12-yard line. But the Tigers were turned away once again without points.
SCR-I pinned Knox County deep and forced a punt but a roughing the kicker penalty gave the Eagles a first down allowing them to burn up valuable clock that put the game on the ice.
Scotland County outgained the Eagles on the night with 312 yards of total offense to 274 yards for the home team. Buford completed 15 of 35 passes for 158 yards and one touchdown. He also ran the ball 14 times for 81 yards. Day finished with nine carries for 68 yards. Dodge had four receptions for 74 yards. Slaughter had six grabs for 41 yards and Fromm caught three passes for 40 yards.
Edwards completed six of nine passes for 90 yards and a TD. Miller had four receptions for 55 yards and a score. He also ran the ball 11 times for 49 yards and a TD. Talton had eight carries for 21 yards. Hodge ran the ball 14 times for 70 yards and a TD while Hunter Klocke added nine carries for 35 yards.
Aaron Blessing led the Scotland County defense with 14 tackles on the night. Dodge and Chester Robinson each made eight stops while Buford had seven tackles.
The Tigers fall to 1-1 and will take on West Hancock at home on September 4th. Knox County improves to 1-1 and will host Fayette on Friday night in Edina.