Jayden Payne looks for some running room behind the block of Luke Triplett during first half action at Fayette on Friday night.

A pair of miscues on kick returns to start the second half turned a one-possession game into a blowout Friday night in Fayette as the Falcons took advantage of a fumble and recovered an onside kick to blow the game open in the third period.

Scotland County trailed just 16-8 coming out of the locker room, but did not take its first snap on offense in the second half until there was just 6:05 left on the clock and Fayette in possession of a 32-8 lead.

The Falcons looked poised to blow the game open early on. The Falcons took the opening kickoff and marched down the field with Isaiah Estes capping off a seven-play 60-yard drive with a seven yard TD run. Cale Polson ran in the two-point conversion to give Fayette an 8-0 lead.

SCR-I looked ready to answer as Kayden Anders broke a 24-yard run to push the ball across midfield on the Tigers first possession. Will Fromm picked up a first down with his feet and then moved the chains again with a completion to Parker Triplett. But the drive came up empty when the ball broke free from a diving Matthew Woods in the end zone on fourth down.

Fayette answered with another scoring driving. Quarterback Ross Hudson was on the receiving end of a lateral from Dawson Wiswall and then scampered 43 yards for the TD. Hudson connected with Vince Roberts for the two-point conversion to put the home squad up 16-0 with 2:17 left in the first period.

After SCR-I went three and out on offense, Fayette put together a 10-play drive that ended on downs at the 40-yard line.

A key pass interference call on fourth down kept the Tigers’ next drive alive.  Jayden Payne kept the momentum with SCR-I with a 15-yard run. Fromm then hit Payne with a nine yard screen play to again move the chains before finally connecting with Matthew Woods on another fourth down conversion, this one going for 19 yards and a touchdown. Fromm found Parker Triplett in the end zone for the two-point play to cut the deficit to 16-8 with 4:25 left in the first half.

The Tigers’ defense came up with a key stop on fourth and goal as time was running out in the first half to keep it a one score game heading into the locker room.

Parker Triplett is chased down by Isaiah Estes after a first-down pick up on a pass completion.

Unfortunately that momentum disappeared to start the third period when Woods was stripped of the ball on the kick return. The fumble set up a quick Fayette scoring drive, which was aided by a pair of SCR-I penalties. Leo Anderson capped off the four-play drive with an eight-yard run. Estes ran in the two-point try to push the margin to 24-8 just a minute and five seconds into the third period.

Fayette recovered an onside kick and was back in the end zone nine plays later when Wiswall ran the ball in from two yards out to push the lead to 32-8.

SCR-I appeared ready to trim the elad after Fromm picked up a pair of first downs running the ball. Woods made an amazing catch between two defenders, grabbing the deflected ball out of midfield. He made it all the way to the five-yard line but lost the ball trying to make his way to the end zone.

Fayette took advantage of the fumble as Hudson broke a 95-yard TD run that essentially put the punctuation on the Fayette win, pushing the lead to 40-8 with 2:27 left in the third period.

Penalties backed the Tigers up some 25 yards, but Fromm picked up 19 yards on a run setting up a fourth down and 11. He connected with Woods for a 57-yard touchdown with 30 seconds left in the quarter. Fromm found Payne in the end zone for the two point conversion to make the score 40-16.

Fayette turned the ball over on downs when Branton Burrus stuffed a fourth down run. The Tigers were unable to take advantage of the good field position, despite a 36-yard pass play from Fromm to Woods, ultimately turning the ball over on downs in the red zone.

Fayette apparently wasn’t satisfied with the margin of victory, tacking on a 64-yard TD pass from Hudson to Dylan Lemke with just 3:38 left in the game. Fromm picked off the two-point pass try to keep the score at 46-16.

Kabe Hamlin recovered a fumble late for SCR-I but the Tigers junior varsity was unable to punch the ball in before time ran out despite a nice run by Hayden Long.

Fayette put up 470 yards of total offense on the night. Hudson ran the ball 10 times for 179 yards and two TDs. He also completed two of five passes for 72 yards and another score. Estes ran the ball 21 times for 140 yards and a TD.

Fromm completed nine of 33 passes for 180 yards and two TDs. Woods caught six balls for 156 yards and two TDs. Fromm also ran the ball 11 times for 71 yards.

Fromm led the Tigers’ defense as well, finishing with 17 tackles. Payne made 13 stops and Burrus added 13 tackles.

Fayette, the #7 ranked team in Missouri Class 1, improved to 2-0, while the Tigers fall to 0-2, with the other loss to #2 ranked Marceline.