By Thad Requet
Unlike last week, the South Shelby Cardinals used a fast start to jump on the Scotland County Tigers early and keep them chasing for most of the night. The Cardinals came out on top of the district’s top-seeded team by the score of 46-28 Friday night in Memphis.
Scotland County’s first possession of the game resulted in a three and out. A punt gave the ball to the Cardinals on their own 41 yard line.
Facing an early third and 10, it was Brock Wood finding a seem and picking up 25 yards to the Tiger 34 yard line. He picked up 15 more on the next play giving the Cards a first down at the 19 yard line. After a five yard run by Daniel Burke, Wood scored on the next play from 14 yards out. Wood scored the two-point conversion making it 8-0 South Shelby with 8:41 to play in the first quarter.
Scotland County again went three and out. The Cardinal defense held the Tigers to minus-five yards on their first two possessions.
South Shelby started its next drive from its own 15 yard line. The Cardinals had a massive 20 play drive that took 10:30 off the clock. The two point conversion by Wood made it 16-0 South Shelby with 8:34 to play in the half.
Scotland County has had an explosive offense all year, and it showed on its next drive. Quarterback Will Fromm, facing a third and 12 situation from his own 36 yard line, scrambled out of trouble and rolled to his right and flung a deep pass to Alex Long who had gotten behind the Cardinal defender. Long raced the rest of the way for a 64 yard touchdown pass play. The two-point conversion made it 16-8 Cardinals with 7:27 to play in the half.
Both teams traded three and outs.
South Shelby started its next drive from its own45 yard line with 5:26 to play in the first half. On second and 11, Wood picked up nine to set up a third and short. Guy Timbrook got in on the action and rambled for seven yards to the Tiger 40 yard line, and a first down.
Wood got outside and raced 36 yards down the right sideline before getting knocked out of bounds at the Scotland County four yard line. Four plays later on fourth and goal from the one, Wood scored. The two-point conversion failed and it was 22-8 Cardinals with 1:29 to play in the half.
Scotland County quickly went to work with its passing game, as Fromm led the Tigers down the field. It only took them five plays to go 65 yards for the score. Fromm scored from a yard out. The two-point conversion cut the lead to 22-16 Cardinals with 37.8 seconds to play in the half. That’s how the score would stand at the half.
The Cardinals took the opening kickoff of the second half and started from their own 42 yard line. A steady diet of Brock Wood moved the ball five and six yards at a time before Wood found David Fenton over the middle cutting toward the right sideline for a 24 yard pass play to the Tiger 22 yard line.
Scotland County’s defense tightened up as the Cardinals faced a fourth and seven from the 19. Wood broke free and found the endzone from 19 yards out to increase the lead. He scored the two-point conversion to make it 30-16 South Shelby with 7:01 to play in the third quarter.
Scotland County’s next possession resulted in a turnover as Wood was able to pick off a Fromm pass and return it 26 yards to the 34 yard line.
Burke had runs of five and then four yards setting up a third and short for the Cardinals. Wood picked up 13 yards to the Tiger 12 yard line. Two plays later Burke scored from six yards out. Wood scored the two point conversion and the Cardinals held a 38-16 lead with 3:06 to play in the third quarter.
Scotland County was facing a third and 10 when Fromm was sacked by Luke Woutzke for an eight yard loss to the Tiger 33 yard line.
After the Scotland County punt, the Cardinals took over on the Tiger 39 yard line. The Cardinals put together a six play, 39 yard drive capped by a 21 yard touchdown run by Wood. The two point conversion by Wood made it 46-16 with 11:13 to play in the fourth quarter.
Scotland County was able to put together another scoring drive on its next possession. The Tigers went 55 yards on seven plays and scored on a two-yard run by Fromm. The two-point conversion failed making it 46-22 South Shelby with 9:16 to play in the game.
The Tigers added one more score with 47.6 seconds left in the game on a five yard run by Jayden Payne to make it 46-28. The two point conversion failed.
Leading the way for South Shelby offensively was Brock Wood who had another monster game. He finished with 278 yards on 38 carries and five touchdowns. Burke added 64 yards on 22 carries and a touchdown. Timbrook has four carries for 22 yards.
Wood was 1 for 2 passing with a 24 yard completion to David Fenton.
Defensively Cason Wilt led with eight tackles and Burke added six. Mason Shuler and Luke Woutzke each recorded quarterback sacks. Wood had an interception.
With the win the Cardinals improve to 5-6 overall and will have a championship showdown with the always tough Westran Hornets on Friday night at Westran. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.