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October 17, 2013

Fake Punt Turns Tide for Tigers in 41-26 Win Over Knox County

ROADBLOCK - Landyn Swearingen (71), Tyler Buford (61) and Lucas Howard (59) envelope the Knox County ball carrier to keep the Eagles out of the end zone during Friday night’s 41-26 Tri-Rivers Conference victory for the Tigers.

For the second time this season, fans of the Scotland County and Knox County football programs boarded a rollercoaster ride of emotions as the two teams squared off on Friday night in Edina.

The rivalry did not disappoint, as both squads had plenty of high notes before Scotland County finally pulled away late for the 41-26 victory to secure the Clyde traveling trophy, which goes to the winner of the annual rivalry game in memory of former SCR-I quarterback Kyle Peterson.

The Tigers struck first on Friday night as Cordie Kigar broke a 54-yard touchdown run with 10:34 left in the first period to give Scotland County a 6-0 lead.

SCR-I stopped Knox County on downs but the momentum sailed away on a bad snap on a SCR-I punt attempt, which set up Knox County in excellent field position.

Brody Moubry quickly capped off the short drive with a 13-yard touchdown run. Donovan Edwards put Knox County ahead 8-6 when he ran in the two-point conversion with 7:13 remaining in the opening period.

The two teams traded punts on the next possessions. Knox County finally got its offense on track and moved into scoring position before the Tigers defense made a key stand. Chris Jackson sacked Edwards before Jed Troutman and Jade Holt combined for another sack that ultimately forced a Knox County punt.

SCR-I marched the ball down the field on a 65-yard scoring drive fueled by Will McRobert. The junior running back broke a 22-yard run that saw him hurdle a Knox County tackler. He reverted to his standard power approach on the next carry, bulldozing over a trio of would-be tacklers en route to a 33-yard TD run. He ran in the two-point conversion to make the score 14-8.

Knox County looked poised to tie the game before halftime. But the Tigers defense again came up with the stop. Lucas Howard backed up the Eagles with a tackle for a loss. Jackson followed that up with a tackle in the backfield that left Knox County facing fourth and long. Aaron Buford picked off an Edwards pass attempt as time expired.

The defensive momentum carried over into the third quarter. Caleb Doubet broke up a third-down pass play that forced a Knox County punt. Howard blocked the kick, setting up excellent field position for SCR-I.

Jackson made quick work of the drive, breaking a 22-yard touchdown run with 8:41 on the clock to extend the Tigers lead to 20-6.

Knox County did not fold. The Eagles put together a long drive that ended with an 11-yard TD run by Edwards with 4:52 left in the third period. SCR-I stopped the two-point try to keep the lead at 20-14.

Scotland County struggled on offense much of the third period. The Tigers had back-to-back three and outs, failing to take advantage of a Knox County fumble.

That left the door open for a Knox County rally. Moubry capitalized, breaking a 33-yard TD run on the final play of the third period to tie the score at 20-20.

The two teams traded punts, with the Eagles kick backing the Tigers up to the three-yard line.

SCR-I was able to move the chains and regain some of the field position, but still faced a fourth down situation.

Coach Daniel Burns sparked the team with a gutsy fake-punt call and Kigar made it pay off as he scampered 79 yards before getting chased down inside the 10-yard line. McRobert finished off the drive with a one-yard plunge with 8:35 left in the fourth period. But the Tigers could not punch in the two-pointer, leaving the score at 26-20.

Knox County appeared to tie the game when Moubry rumbled for a 55-yard touchdown, but the play was called back on a holding penalty.

Jade Holt wraps up quarterback Donovan Edwards teammates Chris Jackson and Jed Troutman close in. The Tigers linebackers pressured the Eagles passing game all night, recording half a dozen sacks.

Landyn Swearingen made a tackle in the backfield and Troutman and Holt combined on another quarterback sack to force a Knox County punt.

The momentum from the key defensive stop carried over to the other side of the ball as Jackson broke free for a 34-yard TD run with 3:30 left in the contest to extend the margin to 32-20.

But Knox County would not go quietly. Edwards connected with Royce Poor for a 23-yard TD pass with 2:10 left to trim the deficit to 32-26.

Aaron Buford covered the Knox County onside kick attempt and Jackson polished off a huge night when he broke free for a 46-yard touchdown run with 1:54 left in the game to extend the lead to 38-26.

Buford gave the Tigers the ball right back with his second interception of the night. With the tie-breaker in district seeding set at +13 point victories, SCR-I looked to tack on one final score.

Kigar put them into scoring position with a 23-yard run. But SCR-I could not punch the ball into the end zone. So with 1.7 seconds left on the clock, Burns turned to Jade Holt, who booted a 35-yard field goal to cap off the 41-26 victory.

The Tigers never got the passing game going, as Holt connected on just two of 12 throws. But the ground attack was fueled by a three-back onslaught. Kigar had a career best 176 yards on five carries. McRobert finished with 109 yards and two TDs on 20 rushes while Jackson had 108 yards and three TDs on eight attempts.

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