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By: Corey Stott
MOKANE, Mo.- 10/8/21- The Scotland County Tiger (3-4 Overall, 2-3 Conference) offense put on a show Friday night as they clobbered the Miller Cardinals (0-7 Overall) 54-0. The Long brothers hooked up on the very first play from scrimmage and went on to a four-touchdown night for Hayden and three touchdowns for Alex.
“The kids played well,” Tiger head coach Troy Carper said after the game. “I told them Monday we were going to open the playbook up. We showed everything we’ve got. We didn’t hide anything. We’ve got to get things rolling heading into the playoffs. No better way to do it than down here on a nice field.”
That “nice field” that Carper spoke of was the South Callaway High School football field. The facility was perfectly situated, leaving both teams with a three-hour drive to meet in the middle. The facility features a gorgeous artificial turf field that is nicer than a lot of small college fields. It also features very modern locker rooms, and is fan friendly with great bleachers and press/ coaches boxes on both sidelines. And, oh by the way, it is nicely adorned in blue and white and has a brightly lit SC logo on the field house that is the exact same logo that Scotland County uses. The Tigers felt right at home, even if they were in awe of the facility.
“What a great facility! Man, we’re thankful we got the opportunity to play here,” Carper noted with a grin on his face. “This is awesome! For a class one school, this is unbelievable and the kids ate it up. Their jaws hit the ground when we pulled up on the bus. To say they’re excited is an understatement!”
Scotland County received the ball to start the first half. Owen Triplett had a great return to the Miller 25-yard line to set up the first Tiger possession. It was a one-play drive, with Hayden Long throwing a strike to Alex Long streaking down the left sideline for the touchdown. Alex Long took the direct snap for the successful two-point dive and the Tigers led 8-0 just 11 seconds into the game.
The Cardinals drove the ball all the way to the Scotland County 34-yard line on their first drive before turning it over on downs. The Tigers took just four more plays to capitalize again, with Riley Small finding the endzone on a reverse to the left side of the field. Hayden Long kept it himself on the two-point dive and the Tigers were up 16-0 with 6:13 left in the first quarter.
Scotland County forced Miller to punt on the next possession and took over on their own 33-yard line. On the first play of the drive, Hayden Long found Alex Long on an out route coming out of the backfield. Alex made the first two men miss and then the state sprinter outran the rest of the Cardinal defense for the score. The two-point pass intended for Carson Miller was tipped incomplete and the Tigers led 22-0 with 4:06 to play in the first period.
Both teams punted on the next three drives of the game, before Scotland County caught lightning in a bottle again with a two-play touchdown drive featuring a 43-yard touchdown run by Hayden Long down the right boundary. The two-point pass to Corbyn Spurgeon was incomplete and the Tigers led 28-0 with 8:54 to play in the half. That would also end up being the score as both teams headed to the halftime locker room.
After a slow start in the second half, the Tigers got things rolling again on their second drive of the half. A Hayden Long quarterback keeper for 39 yards set up an Alex Long 25-yard touchdown run on 2nd and 10 from the Miller 25-yard line. Hayden carried the ball up the middle to convert the two-point attempt and Scotland County led 36-0 with 4:50 to play in the third quarter. That would trigger the mercy rule that involves a continuous running clock anytime the score is a 35-point or more differential in the second half.
After holding Miller to a three-and-out on the next drive, the Tigers crushed the Cardinals’ will with a 62- yard touchdown run down the right sideline by Alex Long on the first play of the possession. The Spurgeon extra-point kick was blocked and the Tigers led 42-0 with 1:55 to play in the third quarter.
The Cardinals appeared to have some offensive momentum on their next possession, driving to the Scotland County 39-yard line. But on a 4th and 20, Hayden Long stepped in front of the pass and helped himself to a pick-6 defensive touchdown. Carper put the JV squad in and the Beau Triplett two-point dive was no good. Scotland County led 48-0 with 8:35 to play.
The Tigers got one more possession before time expired. With just under three minutes remaining in the game, Scotland County had 1st and goal at the four-yard line. A couple of miscues backed the Tigers up to the 25-yard line, but an Elias Hatfield touchdown run off the left edge as time expired gave Scotland County one last score. The Triplett two-point run was no good and the Tigers had won the contest 54-0.
Scotland County had 444 yards of total offense, with 123 passing and 321 rushing. Miller had 71 total yards of offense, with -1 passing and 72 rushing. Hayden Long was 4/12 passing with two touchdowns and an interception. He added 124 yards on eight carries for two more touchdowns. Alex Long carried twice for 66 yards and a touchdown, Small three carries for 44 yards and a touchdown, Hatfield two carries for 36 yards and a touchdown, Triplett two carries for 27 yards, and Trayton Buckallew two carries for two yards. Alex Long had two receptions for 92 yards and two touchdowns. Buckallew had a catch for 24 yards.
The Tigers travel to Harrisburg this Friday night for a big conference matchup. Asked about the impending contest, Carper said, “We’ve gotta go down there and they’re state ranked. It’s gonna be a fight and we’ve got a lot of work to do.”