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September 12, 2013

99-Yard Drive Helps Tigers Topple Knox County 34-30

Quarterback Jade Holt eludes the Knox County defender as he picks up big yardage during first quarter action of Friday night’s non-conference victory over the Eagles.

Football fans in attendance Friday night in Memphis left feeling like they had just got off a roller coaster. Scotland County fans were able to leave on the emotional high as the Tigers prevailed 34-30 in a game that featured five lead changes and more than twice as many momentum swings.

The home team hit the first peak on the ride. After the Eagles shortened the field with a failed onside kick to start the contest, the Tigers quickly found pay dirt when Chris Jackson sprinted around the left side on a sweep play that went 51 yards for a touchdown. Will McRobert rushed in the two point conversion to make the score 8-0 with 10:43 left in the first period.

SCR-I kept the momentum, stifling Knox County's first possession, allowing just three short plays before forcing a punt.

The Tigers offense went back to work and moved into scoring position with a pair of first down rushes by McRobert and Jackson. Jade Holt moved the chains with a 12-yard run, but the Tigers were flagged for an illegal block that backed up SCR-I 15 yards. SCR-I ultimately came up one short of moving the chains when Cordie Kigar was forced out of bounds on a long pass play from Holt.

It was Knox County's turn on the roller coaster. Brody Moubry (33) took the handoff on the left side of the line and broke through the SCR-I defense for an 86 yard touchdown run. The two point conversion knotted the score at 8-8 with 5:20 remaining in the first period.

The Eagles defense turned the tables on Scotland County, forcing a three and out series and a punt, but a good kick backed Knox County up to the three-yard line.

That was no worries for Knox County as Moubry gave them plenty of breathing room when he broke a 53-yard run. Quarterback Donovan Edwards capped off the drive with a five-yard TD run on the first play of the second period. He also ran in the two-point conversion to push the visitors' lead to 16-8.

The Tigers looked poised to answer after McRobert provided a long gain on a rush that saw him run over several would-be tacklers to reach the 37-yard line. SCR-I had the ball first down and goal to go but the scoring opportunity was ended when Royce Poor picked off a pass in the end zone for a touchback.

The Eagles were unable to convert the turnover into points however as the Tigers defense held. The key play was a sack by Jackson and Austin Day.

After a Knox County punt, SCR-I's offense again went to work. The Tigers moved the chains with a solid gain on a screen pass from Holt to McRobert. As time was running out, SCR-I converted a huge third down and long as freshman Aaron Buford made a spectacular catch at the one-yard line with just 13.8 seconds left in the first half. McRobert ran the ball in on the next play. Knox County was able to stop the two-point conversion to maintain the 16-14 lead at the break.

Knox County made a key fourth down conversion to open the third period before Moubry broke another long run to put the ball in scoring position. Edwards scampered in to the end zone on an 11 yard run and Cedric Boone ran in the two-point conversion to push the lead to 24-14 with 9:10 left in the third quarter.

The Tigers took their turn on the rollercoaster, marching down the field on first down runs by Holt and Jackson. The later cut into the deficit when he broke a 23-yard touchdown run, that probably covered more like 50 yards. The senior runner took the handoff around the left side, but after being hemmed in there by the defense, he was able to weave his way back around to the right side, lunging into the end zone with 6:43 left in the period. McRobert bulled into the end zone on the two-point conversion to trim the deficit to 24-22.

A personal foul on the play moved up the kickoff for the Tigers but that didn't matter as Edwards caught the ball just shy of the goal line and rumbled 70 yards before being forced out of bounds.

The Eagles quickly had the ball first and goal to go, but the Tigers defense held. Jed Troutman delivered a punishing tackle at the goal line on third down that sent Edwards to the sideline. Backup Cedric Boone was not able to get into the end zone on fourth down, swinging the momentum back to SCR-I.

The Tigers then mounted a 99-yard drive. Holt, Jackson and McRobert each moved the chains with key runs. But the big play came on third and long when Holt connected with Ian See on a 37-yard completion. McRobert then capped off the drive with a 25-yard TD run to put SCR-I ahead 28-24 with 8:47 left in the fourth period.

Knox County refused to quit. The Eagles converted a third and long situation to keep the drive alive only to be faced with a fourth and long. Coach Alex Van Delft called the perfect play, a reverse as Moubry took the handoff and the Tigers swarmed to him to stop another big play, only to see Poore take the reverse handoff and pick up the needed yards.

The Eagles went back to the trick play just minutes later and Poore broke a 22-yard TD run. Buford broke up the two-point pass attempt to keep the score at 30-28 with 4:52 left in the game.

Day made a huge pickup for the Tigers on the ensuing kickoff, snatching the loose ball after the onside kick scooted away from the initial SCR-I return man.

The Tigers were down to their last chances, facing a third and long situation with 2:30 left to play when Holt and See again hooked up, this time on a 30-yard pass play.

McRobert punched the ball in from four yards out with 1:28 left in the game to make the score 34-30.

But Knox County made things interesting. Edwards hit Moubry for a 31-yard completion that quickly had Knox County back in scoring position. The threat ended on the next play as Troutman put pressure on Edwards forcing him to throw an interception to Jade Holt to secure the Tigers win.

McRobert finished with 155 yards and three TDs on 29 carries to lead the Tigers offense. Jackson had 150 yards and two TDs on just eight carries.

Holt ran the ball 10 times for 50 yards. He completed 11 of 15 passes for 179 yards.

Moubry topped Knox County with 191 yards and a TD on 11 carries. Edwards had 64 yards and two TDs on 10 rushes. He also completed five of 10 passes for 52 yards. Poore had 54 yards and a TD on three rushes. The Tigers (1-1) travel to South Calloway to take on the Bulldogs (2-0) who were 46-6 winners over Crystal City.

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