Skyhawks’ playoff hopes dashed by Tolsia

Ron Gregory

October 22, 2013

MADISON – A missed extra-points opportunity cost the Scott Skyhawks dearly Friday evening at Scott Field. In the process, the Hawks fell to visiting Tolsia, 14-13, virtually ending any shot at the Class AA playoffs for the local team.

The loss meant the Skyhawks are sporting a 3-5 record with two road games remaining on their regular season schedule. First, they travel all the way to Clarksburg this Friday to take on Robert C. Byrd. Then, it is off to the island at Logan for the season finale. Even if Scott were to win both of those games, they would be 5-5 and another playoff appearance would be doubtful at best.

As with some other contests this season, the past Friday’s was Scott’s to win or lose – and the missed extra-points opportunity cost them dearly.

At the time, however, the missed play did not appear to be a severe problem since Scott had been in virtual control all night, leading 13-0 after the botched extra-points attempt. Still, Tolsia came back with two fourth period touchdowns to send the home crowd home in a depressed state of mind.

It was definitely not an offensive fireworks display, with the first points of the game coming with just 31 seconds remaining in the first half. Then, quarterback Bo Jeffrey ran in from four yards out to put the Hawks up, 6-0. Dezmond Cordero-Lopez’s extra-point kick was good and the lead was 7-0 at the half.

A third of the way through the third period, Scott lit up the scoreboard again with 8:37 twinkling on the clock. Senior quarterback Cody Brown’s pass to Jeffrey was complete and it was 13-0. But Brown’s two-point conversion pass intended for Dylan Dehart fell incomplete.

When the fourth quarter began, a rejuvenated Tolsia squad put on a show that resulted in victory.

With 6:45 left in the game, Wes Waller’s nine-yard pass was complete to Nathan Marshall to put the Rebels on the scoreboard. The point-after kick by Cody Salmons was good to make it 13-7.

After the Scott offense gave up the ball without scoring, Tolsia went on a game-winning drive culminated with a seven yard Luke Presley run for a touchdown. Salmons’s drilled the point-after kick and the Rebels were on top, 14-13, with 1:53 left in the game.

The Hawks could not mount a scoring drive in the final two m inutes and Tolsia escaped with the one-point win.

The game was evenly split on total offense, with Tolsia gaining 225 yards to 218 for Scott. The Rebels ran 71 plays to just 56 for the Hawks.

The Scott rushing game, a hallmark of the team in years past but noticeably absent this season, picked up just 19 yards on 26 carries. Tolsia, meanwhile, recorded 193 yards on 58 totes.

Nearly all of Scott’s yardage came through the air, with 15-of-29 completions for 199 yards. Tolsia gained just 32 yards by going three-for-12 in the air. Neither team had an interception on the night.

It was also a cleanly played game. Tolsia was penalized one time for five yards with Scott picking up five flags for 40 yards on the night.

The loss means the Skyhawks must win both tough road games in order to salvage a break-even season in 2013. Going into the season, there were high hopes for a repeat Class AA playoff appearance for the Madison squad.

Robert C. Byrd, of Clarksburg, is 5-3 going into this week’s game. Kick-off is set for 7:30 p.m. in the Harrison County seat.

Logan, the final opponent, is 5-2 headed into the last three games of the season. Both Logan and RCB maintain playoff hopes as the season rolls to a conclusion.