By: Weston Smith
For the second consecutive week the Scotland County Tigers were on the road for Friday night football. The Tigers were coming into this week after a hard fought loss to the Highland Cougars last week. The Falcons of Fayette came out strong in the first half, with their run game proving to be an issue for the Tiger’s defense early. Their 210 yards on the ground, and 4 first half touchdowns would send them to the locker room with a 14 point lead at the half.
A huge first half from Senior, Jadin Fuller, would help keep the Tigers within striking distance. Fuller would record both first half touchdowns. A 59 yard touchdown reception from Dane Blessing in the first quarter, and a 63 yard run to the outside to finish the second quarter. The contest went to halftime with a score of Fayette 28, Scotland County 14.
I’m not sure what the halftime message was from the Scotland County coaching staff, but it worked! The third quarter was all Tigers. To start the second half, the Tiger’s offense put points on the board early. With 6 minutes remaining in the third quarter, Elias Hatfield would find the endzone from 5 yards out. The touchdown run was followed by an Owen Brown extra point, bringing the Tigers deficit to 7. The Tiger’s defense would start to figure out the Falcons run game in the third. Tigers Hugh Baker and Payton Frederick tallied several of their 13 tackles a piece when the Tiger’s defense needed it most. Nearing the end of the third quarter, the Tigers would put together another successful offensive drive. Dane Blessing finished the drive with a scrambling 26 yard pass that threaded the needle to Vince Dale for another touchdown, and a tied ball game. Scotland County 28, Fayette 28.
For the past couple of weeks, when games get tight, you can count on the Scotland County Tiger’s defense like you can count on Bruno Mars. They’ll be there. To start the fourth quarter, the Scotland County defense would come up with big stops when they needed them once again. Halfway through the fourth quarter, the Tiger’s offense would get the ball back with a chance to take their first lead of the game. Elias Hatfield would finish another successful drive with a strong run that found the endzone. Another extra point from Owen Brown put the Tigers ahead Scotland County 35, Fayette 28. The Falcons would get the ball back with under 5:00 remaining in the game. The Falcons would chip away at first downs, and with 42.3 seconds remaining in the game would find the endzone. The Falcons offense decided to stay on the field and go for the 2 point conversion. A scrambling pass to the left side of the endzone was scooped up by a Falcon’s receiver. The Tiger’s defense seemed to think that the ball hit grass before hands, but the play was ruled a catch that put the Falcons ahead with a score of Fayette 36, Scotland County 35.
With less than a minute remaining, a Beau Triplett kickoff return would get the Tigers in good field position down to the Falcons 35 yard line. A late hit on quarterback Dane Blessing running out of bounds would send the Tigers to the Falcons 20 yard line with 24 seconds left in the game. A Blessing completion to Jadin Fuller on the outside pushed the Tigers to the Falcons 14 yard line with 16 seconds remaining. A 4 yard pass to Levi Stott on the outside would leave the Tigers with a 27 yard field goal attempt with 4 seconds remaining. Senior Owen Brown’s kick was no good with the clock running out. Finishing the game with a final of Fayette 36, Scotland County 35.
Defensively, Payton Frederick and Hugh Baker each had 13 tackles. Vince Dale recorded 2 sacks, and Elias Hatfield had an interception.
Jadin Fuller led the way for the Tiger’s offense with 8 carries for 89 yards and 1 rushing touchdown, along with 3 catches for 68 yards and 1 receiving touchdown.
Dane Blessing was 9 of 15 for 139 passing yards and 2 touchdowns.
Elias Hatfield rushed for 2 touchdowns.
Vince Dale had a receiving touchdown.
Scotland County will host the Salisbury Panthers on Friday, September 15th. It will be homecoming week for the Tigers, so come out and “Get Your Game On!”