With a #1 seed in districts and an eight game winning streak on the line, Friday night’s start was a bit uninspiring for Scotland County. Fortunately for the SCR-I faithful, the Tigers got things rolling after a slow start to the tune of a lopsided 60-6 win over Louisiana.
After halting Louisiana on the opening possession, SCR-I found itself backed up near the goal line following a good punt. The Tigers were unable to move the chains and compounded the problem with an ill-advised pass option out of the punt that fell incomplete and gave the Bulldogs the ball just outside of 10 yards away from a score.
Fortunately the Tigers defense held and turned the tides on the contest.
The second possession didn’t start well either however for the Tigers as a pair of penalties backed up the team even closer to the goal line. Hayden Long was able to move the chains with a 12-yard run. Kaden Anders then broke a 75-yard touchdown run on a sweep play. Branton Burrus ran in the two-point conversion and Scotland County led 8-0 with 4:21 left in the first period.
That was the lone score of the opening quarter. While the Tigers defense held Louisiana without a first down, its offense struggled a bit, particularly in the passing game, turning the ball over on downs as well as with an interception, to keep the lead at 8-0.
That changed early in the second quarter when Kabe Hamlin made a juggling catch for an 18-yard completion. That immediately put the Tigers in scoring position thanks to a good punt return by Anders. Two plays later Burrus scored on a five-yard run to extend the lead to 14-0 with 10:38 left in the second quarter.
After a sack by Trayton Buckallew forced a Louisiana punt, the Tigers put together a 10-play scoring drive featuring an 11-yard run by Burrus and a 13-yard gain by Hayden Long. Burrus scored on a five-yard run with 5:43 left in the first half. Hayden Long hit Anders with a pass for the two-point conversion to push the margin to 22-0.
After another three and out and a short punt by the Bulldogs, SCR-I was back in the end zone just three plays later. The score was set up by a 28-yard screen pass from Hayden Long to Burrus. The senior running back tacked on his third TD of the half on a two-yard run with 2:44 left in the second period. Hayden Long connected with Owen Triplett for the two-point conversion and Scotland County led 30-0.
Scotland County got the ball back with less than a minute on the clock. Hayden Long hit Owen Triplett for a 22-yard completion. The sophomore quarterback then scrambled for a 17-yard gain. That set up a diving catch in the end zone by Anders for an 11-yard TD with just seven seconds left in the half. Hayden Long then hit Corbyn Spurgeon on the two-point conversion and SCR-I led 38-0 at the half.
The Tigers took the opening kickoff of the second half and added to the score with a four-play drive fueled by a 40-yard run by Anders. Burrus scored on a two-yard run, his seventh touchdown in the past two games. Anders ran in the two-point conversion and the margin grew to 46-0.
Three plays later Scotland County was again celebrating this time courtesy of the defense. Alex Long picked off a screen pass attempt and returned the interception 32-yards for the touchdown to make the score 52-0.
Louisiana took advantage of a fumble to score its lone touchdown of the night to trim the deficit to 52-6.
Scotland County got the points back on the very next play as Alex Long broke the kickoff return for an 81-yard TD. Riley Small ran the two-point conversion in to make the final score 60-6.
Scotland County held Louisiana to just 61 yards of total offense. Eli Kigar led the way with 12 tackles and a sack. Burrus made nine stops while Buckallew and Kadon Chabert each had eight tackles.
Anders led the offense, carrying the ball 10 times for 131 yards and a TD. He also had a big day returning punts, averaging 19 yards on four returns. Hayden Long ran the ball six times for 70 yards. He also completed five of nine passes for 85 yards, a TD and an interception. Burrus ran the ball nine times for 46 yards and four TDs.
Scotland County extended its winning streak to eight games and closed out the regular season with an 8-1 record.