Skyhawks lose on botched extra-points try

Ron Gregory

September 23, 2013

MADISON — A failed two-point conversion attempt cost the Scott Skyhawk football team an opportunity to tie Class AA’s second-ranked team Friday night at the Scott Field. In the end, Sissonville escaped with a narrow 22-20 victory, dropping the Hawks to 1-3 on the regular season. The win lifted Sissonville to a 4-0 start.

The two-point attempt to tie the game came with just 2:01 flashing on the scoreboard clock. Scott had beaten Sissonville, a fellow Cardinal Conference member, each of the past three seasons as well as defeating them in the 2006 and 2007 playoffs.

Scott Head Coach Shane Griffith said after the game that there was a communication problem on the two-point try. “We were talking about a couple of different things,” he said. “I don’t know if we communicated clearly what we were looking for. It just didn’t play out.”

Skyhawk quarterback Cody Brown handed the ball off to running back Cameron Loftus on the conversion try. Loftus angled toward the right side before being approached by linebacker Nathan Miller. At that point, Loftus appeared to give up any thoughts of running and heaved the ball on a pass attempt. Miller was in the right spot to knock the pass down and that was the game.

Scott did attempt an onside kick but Sissonville recovered cleanly and the game was in the bank.

Despite Griffith’s admission that there may have been miscommunication on the extra-points play, Sissonville Coach Eddie Smolder credited his defensive coordinator, Henry Lanham, with coming up with the right defense. “They made a play when they had to,” said the coach. “It looked like a halfback pass and Miller made a great play, got pressure and knocked it down.”

After playing to a 7-7 tie at the end of the first period, the teams were knotted at 14-all midway through the fourth period.

First quarter scoring came from Wilkinson on a three-yard run for Sissonville while Loftus went in from five yards away for Scott.

The lone second quarter score came Wilkinson went in on a one-yard run. Loftus went in from one-yard out in the third period to tie the game at 14-14.

With Sissonville poised to take the lead, Scott put up a tremendous goal line stand and kept the Indians out of the end zone. Facing a third-down-and-goal at the one, fullback Dominic Walker came up short on two run tries and the ball went over to the Skyhawks.

But with Scott facing a third-and-one on its own one-yard-line, a horrible snap placed the ball in the end zone with Brown operating out of the shotgun formation. With 7:18 on the clock, the resulting safety gave Sissonville a 16-14 lead at the 7:18 mark.

At that point, all the momentum appeared to be on the Sissonville side. The Indians took the kick after their safety and drove 58 yards in just four plays to score. The major blow was struck by Jacob Fisher, who romped in from 40 yards out at the 4:24 mark to make it 22-14.

Scott then took the kick on their own 24-yard-line. In 2:23, the Hawks drove the 76 yard length of the field as Loftus capped it with an 11-yard touchdown run. That made the score 22-20 with 2:01 on the clock and set up the two-points attempt.

It was a dangerous night to carry the pigskin as Sissonville fumbled five times, losing the ball on three occasions; and Scott fumbled away the ball twice.

“We had our opportunities and we just didn’t get it done,” Griffith said. “We are 1-3. We expect better of ourselves. I think we are a better football team, but Sissonville did what they had to do to win tonight.

Loftus led the Scott offense, with 141 yards on 22 carries. Tristan Crone added 79 yards on 17 totes.

Walker led Sissonville with 97 yards on 15 tries. Wilkinson added 58 yards on 17 carries. Miller had 43 yards rushing and threw for 81 in the air.

Overall, Sissonville outgained Scott on first downs, 18 to 11. The Indians had 55 total rushes for 286 yards while the Hawks rushed 46 times for 204 yards. Brown was three-of-eight in the air for 30 yards.

Sissonville was penalized twice for 25 yards while the whistle was blown on Scott seven times for 55 yards.

With the disappointing 1-3 mark, the playoff-hopeful Hawks must return to the win column quickly. Their only victory thusfar is over lowly Triple A doormat Lincoln County.

Poca will be the opponent this Friday evening when the Dots come calling in Madison. Kick-off is set for 7:30 p.m. Scott is at home the following week against Westside in a season that is turning toward disaster for Coach Griffith’s squad.