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By: Corey Stott
MEMPHIS, Mo.- 10/14/22- Scotland County (1-7, 1-4) was looking for its first win of the season last Friday night when they hosted a team that appeared to be a mirror image of themselves. The Paris Coyotes (1-7, 0-5) came in with a similar record and situation, with just one win against a traditionally mediocre Missouri Military Academy.
Both teams have built their identity on running the football, and Friday night’s contest put that on full display. Scotland County only had seven yards through the air while Paris had just 16 yards pasing.
Scotland County won the toss and elected to receive. They got a tremendous kick return from Riley Small all the way to the Paris 24-yard line. Three rushing plays later, the Tigers found the endzone with an Elias Hatfield 12-yard run up the right side with 10:41 to play in the first quarter. The extra point hold was muffed and the Tigers couldn’t convert. Scotland County led 6-0.
Both teams traded punts over the next three drives before the Tigers drove the ball to the Coyote 20-yard line. The Owen Brown field goal attempt with 22.8 seconds left in the first period was wide left for a rare miss for the young kicker.
On the next series Paris got the ball to the Tiger 39-yard line when the Tiger defense was able to cover a Paris fumble. After a 10-play drive that reached midfield, the Tigers fumbled it away themselves with just 51.8 seconds to go in the half. Neither team could score over the final minute of the half and the teams headed to the locker room with Scotland County leading 6-0.
The Tigers kicked the ball away to start the second half, but in short time had the ball back after a Riley Small interception of the Leo Bounds pass. But two plays later, the Tigers again fumbled away an opportunity at midfield.
Paris took over with great field position at their own 47-yard line. But on their third play of the series, Bounds threw a pick six to the waiting arms of a well-positioned Kamdyn Forest. Forest took the interception 57 yards for a touchdown. The Brown kick was good and Scotland County led 13-0 with 7:43 to play in the third quarter.
Both teams would trade possessions before Paris went 64 yards in six plays for a five-yard touchdown run by Drew Williams on 2nd and goal. The extra point was good and Paris was on the board trailing 13-7 with 11:54 to play in the game.
The next score in the game came at the 3:45 mark of the fourth quarter when Paris had 2nd and 21 at their own 21-yard line. Bounds threw yet another interception to Vince Dale, who promptly sprinted to the endzone for the touchdown on the pick six. The two-point conversion was no good and Scotland County had a more comfortable 19-7 lead.
Both teams would trade possessions before Paris took over their next drive backed up deep on their own seven-yard line. On first down, Jadin Fuller came up with yet another pick six for Scotland County. The Brown extra point was good and the Tigers were crusing with a 26-7 lead with just 1:28 to play. That would be the final score of the game and the Tigers had a well-earned 26-7 victory.
Scotland County had seven yards passing and 151 yards rushing for a total of 158 yards. Paris had 16 yards passing and 123 yards rushing for 139 total yards.
Scotland County won the turnover battle. They had two lost fumbles while Paris had two of their own to go along with five interceptions.
Brown completed his only pass attempt of the night for seven yards. Hatfield led the rushing attack with 14 carries for 79 yards and a touchdown. Small had 13 carries for 61 yards. Carter Clatt carried three times for 13 yards.
With the win, Scotland County broke out of the basement of the Class 1, District 6 standings. Rather than staring at a 1 vs 8 matchup with Monroe City, the Tigers are now positioned for a 2 vs 7 matchup with a more manageable South Shelby squad.
However, there is one more week of the regular season remaining, which could affect those standings yet again. Scotland County will host Harrisburg for the home finale this Friday night. It will also be senior recognition night for fall activities.