September 5, 2013
State Ranked Salisbury Stops SCR-I 35-6 in Football Season Opener
Brendan Orton puts pressure on Salisbury quarterback Brady Francis during the fourth quarter of the Tigers’ football season opener in Memphis.
After a promising start, Scotland County's upset bid over state-ranked Salisbury evaporated during the brutally hot opening night of Missouri high school football in Memphis.
With improved numbers and an influx of young talent, Scotland County came into the night excited about the 2013 football season. That momentum carried SCR-I early on defense, as the Tigers forced a three-and-out series by the talented Panthers' offense.
That was followed by a similar slow start on offense by the Tigers, who punted after failing to move the chains on the first possession of 2013.
Salisbury ate up much of the remainder of the first period with a long drive that was capped off by a two-yard touchdown run by Tristan Farnen to make the score 6-0 with 4:33 left in the first quarter. Ryan Slaughter broke up the two-point conversion attempt for the Tigers.
After a pair of penalties backed up Scotland County, sophomore Jade Holt connected for his first varsity completion, finding Chris Jackson for a 26-yard gain to move the chains. The senior back then picked up another first down on the ground with a 14-yard run. Holt then connected with Jackson again, this time on a 32-yard completion that gave the Tigers the ball first and goal to go.
After a seven yard run by Cordie Kigar, the Tigers gave the ball to Mason Van Hoozen and he plunged into the end zone for an apparent touchdown. But the play was blown dead on a penalty versus SCR-I backing up the Tigers.
Two plays later, Holt hit Kigar on an eight-yard TD pass with 1:20 left in the opening period. The two-point conversion failed, leaving the score knotted at 6-6.
Salisbury put together its second consecutive scoring drive, marching down the field before Farnen dove in from one-yard out with 8:57 left to play in the second quarter. Brady Francis drilled the point-after-attempt to make it 13-6.
A pair of penalties versus the Tigers on the next possession backed up the home team and Salisbury gained great field position when the snap on the punt attempted was muffed by the kicker.
Francis then connected with his tight end on an 18-yard touchdown pass. But the play was called back on a penalty. That only delayed the Panthers score, as Daniel Linneman found the end zone on a two-yard run with 3:39 left in the first half. Francis's PAT kick was wide right, keeping the score at 19-6.
On the next possession, SCR-I picked up a pair of fist downs, one coming on a pass from Holt to Jackson and the other on a nice run by freshman Austin Day. But the drive stalled, giving Salisbury one last chance to put points on the board before half time.
The Tigers defense would have nothing to do with it. Sophomore Brendan Orton put pressure on Francis on back-to-back plays forcing incomplete passes before safety Aaron Buford broke up a third-down pass play to force a punt.
The Tigers headed to the locker room down 19-6 and looking for answers on how to fix the ground attack. The Tigers managed positive yards on just six of 17 rushing attempts against a mammoth Salisbury defensive frontline.
The Tigers went three and out on the opening possession of the third period. But the Tigers regained the momentum when Jade Holt forced a fumble that was recovered by Slaughter.
Freshman cornerback Ryan Slaughter goes up high to break up a pass play to Salisbury’s Keegan Wyatt.
Unfortunately the Tigers could not take advantage of the turnover. Despite a pair of solid runs by Jackson and Day, SCR-I was again backed up by penalties and ultimately forced to punt.
After the SCR-I defense forced a Salisbury punt, the Panthers defense created a scoring opportunity when Francis picked off an SCR-I pass attempt and returned it inside the 20-yard line. Three plays later Francis tossed a 13-yard touchdown pass to extend the lead. He ran in the two-point conversion to make the score 27-6 with 2:26 remaining in the third quarter.
Salisbury would tack on another score midway through the fourth period when Linneman scored on a three-yard run. Francis ran in the two-point conversion pushing the final margin to 35-6.
The Tigers mounted one final drive as Holt hit Jackson and Ian See on long pass plays, but the drive ultimately stalled at the 14-yard line.
Holt completed nine of 18 pass attempts for 112 yards and one TD. Jackson had five receptions for 79 yards. Kigar caught two passes for 13 yards while See had one grab for 21 yards.
Van Hoozen had seven rushes for 32 yards. Day added 24 yards on seven carries while Jackson carried the ball four times for 22 yards.
Linneman led Salisbury with 117 yards and two touchdowns on 17 rushes. Farnen had 39 yards and a TD on 11 rushes. Francis carried the ball nine times for 51 yards. He completed seven of 11 passes for 80 yards and a TD.
The Tigers will host Knox County on Friday night with a 7 p.m. kickoff. The Eagles fell to Marceline 41-12 in their opener.