September 27, 2001
Tigers Celebrate Homecoming With 13-0 Victory Over Milan Wildcats
The Scotland County Tigers appeared poised to blowout the Milan Wildcats after two quick scores in the first quarter but that was all the offense either team could muster in what turned into a defensive battle September 21 at Tiger Stadium in Memphis.
SCR-I jumped out to a strong start behind the emotion of the huge Homecoming crowd. Milan took the opening kickoff and moved the ball down field before Kirk Stott stole the momentum as he grabbed a tipped Milan pass out of the air and returned the interception into good field position.
Scotland County moved the chains through the air as Aarron Holt connected with Tim Buford for a good gain. Jarrod Talbert, back after missing two games due to injury, picked up a pair of first downs on the ground as he picked through holes created by the Tigers offensive line.
After a pair of offside penalties on Milan helped keep the drive alive, Holt connected with Stott on a 19-yard pass play to put the ball in scoring position. Three plays later Joel Myers capped off the drive with a one-yard touchdown run with 2:24 left in the first period. Tim Robinson made the point after try (PAT) kick to give SCR-I a 7-0 lead.
Milan took the kickoff and managed just three plays on offense before being forced to punt. Aaron Dale came up with the big play as he sacked the Milan quarterback for a big loss on second down.
The Tigers wasted little time after taking the Milan punt near mid field. Holt went deep on the first play and found Curtis Cochran down the right sideline. The junior receiver made a leaping catch and then held of two would-be Milan tacklers with a quick move and a strong stiff arm to shed the defender and sprint to the end zone on the 59-yard touchdown play.
The PAT kick was no good, but SCR-I still held a 13-0 lead with 55 seconds left to play in the first period.
That proved to be the end of the scoring for SCR-I. Fortunately the defense kept Milan out of the end zone the entire evening to pitch its first shutout of the year.
The momentum stayed with SCR-I to open the second quarter. The Tigers defense swarmed the Milan offense. David Hillyer and Michael Lodewegen stuffed the first down run attempt in the backfield. Joel Myers and Robbie Miller combined on the quarterback sack to make it third down and 22 yards to go. Talbert then set the tone with a crunching hit on a would-be receiver on third down to again force a Milan punt.
The offense could not take advantage of good field position as Milan took the ball back just three plays later with an interception.
On the next possessions, both teams mounted solid drives that ultimately stalled in the red zone. Each team turned the ball over on downs as time wound down on the first half.
SCR-I took one final shot at the end zone with just a minute left in the half. The Tigers moved the ball down field with a pair of completions before Milan came up with its second interception as time ran out on the half.
Scotland County gave Milan two prime opportunities to open the second half. The Tigers took the kickoff and then turned the ball over on its first play from scrimmage when the snap was fumbled.
The Tigers defense did not allow Milan to move the ball past the 25-yard line and got the ball back on downs.
Just two plays later the ball was on the ground again and the Wildcats recovered the second fumble in just three plays by SCR-I in the second half.
The Wildcats looked poised to take advantage of the opportunity as they moved the ball inside the 10-yard line and had four shots at the end zone. But the Tigers held and stopped Milan on downs at the two-yard line with 7:17 to play in the third period.
SCR-I did little with the ball and gained just four yards before punting out of the end zone.
Milan did the same on the next possession, after being backed up by a penalty before punting the ball back to SCR-I.
The Tigers looked poised to put the game away. SCR-I ate up the remainder of the third period and a large chunk of the fourth with a long drive. Holt hit Stott on a pair of first down passes to move the ball down field.
Aaron Dale picked up another key first down with a strong second effort to move the chains once again. Holt used his legs to gain the next first down with a quarterback draw that picked up good yardage and gave SCR-I the ball first and goal.
That quickly changed thanks to two costly penalties on the Tigers. Being backed up 25 yards was too much and the Tigers could not get the ball into the end zone, turning it over on downs.
But the drive did eat up lots of clock and left Milan with just over seven minutes in the contest.
The Tigers defense continued the strong performance and shut down the Milan effort to go to the air. The five Wildcat receivers were not enough to provide Milan more than three downs before having to punt.
The Tigers used up about four minutes of precious time grounding out two more first downs on the ground before punting one last time to give Milan one last shot with under two minutes to play.
The Wildcats moved the ball into scoring position but ran out of time as the clock expired on the 13-0 Scotland County victory. The Tigers improve to 2-2 on the year overall and 2-1 in Tri-Rivers Conference play.
The Scotland County defense was the key to the win. The Tigers made four quarterback sacks led by Myers and Miller. Talbert, Dale and Myers each had nine tackles while Miller and Stott pitched in with eight stops a piece.
Holt completed 10 of 20 pass attempts for 160 yards. He had one touchdown and two interceptions. He also ran for 36 yards on nine carries.
Cochran caught three passes for 71 yards and the TD. Stott had five receptions for 69 yards and Buford had one 10-yard reception.
Talbert led the ground game in his return with 52 yards on 19 carries. Myers had 15 yards on three carries while Dale picked up 13 yards on six attempts. Jeff McBee carried the ball five times for 12 yards.
The Tigers picked up 17 first downs on the night but were hampered by seven penalties for 75 yards.
Milan was limited to 90 yards of rushing led by Josh McCabe's 31 yards on 10 attempts. Matt Sharp carried the ball 10 times for 24 yards. The Milan passing game completed four of 13 tries for only 21 yards and one interception.