FALLING ROCK – “You saw what happened. We just quit playing.”
With that, Scott High Head Football Coach Shane Griffith expressed the disappointment of a 40-35 Skyhawk loss to Herbert Hoover, Friday evening. It was the opening game of the regular season for both Cardinal Conference teams.
Griffith’s dismay was echoed by most Scott fans, who watched their team dominate Hoover early before virtually shutting down in the second half. Scott went into intermission with a 29-13 lead and, from all appearances, seemed headed to a relatively easy win.
Herbert Hoover came out refreshed and renewed in the second half and simply dominated the team that had dominated them in the first half.
“The two halves were as different as night and day,” said Griffith.
When Delegate Tim Armstead flipped the coin to start the game, Scott won the toss and elected to receive. Zane Weese’s kick was fielded by Garrett Roberts, who brought the ball back to his own 29-yard-line.
Cameron Loftus then carried the ball to the Hoover 45. A pass completion from Cody Brown to Dylan Dehart made it second and two at the 37. With 10:55 flashing on the clock, Loftus carried for a first-and-ten at the 14. Following a quarterback keeper, Brown hit Dehart with a 15-yard touchdown completion and it was 6-0 with 10:14 showing. Dezmond Cordero’s kick made it 7-0.
On the ensuing possession, Loftus sacked the quarterback on third down for the big play, forcing Hoover to punt. Weese’s kick was tipped from Brown to freshman Roberts, who brought it to the Scott 49. Tristin Crum picked up three yards but Loftus was tripped up for no gain and the Hawks faced a third-and-seven.
With 7:36 flashing, Brown hooked up with Crum on a 47-yard touchdown pass and it was 13-0, quieting the home crowd. Cordero’s kick was again good to make it 14-0.
Hoover’s offense came to life on the next possession and when Brenden Holbrook hit Shaun Dotson on a 52-yard touchdown pass, it was 14-6 with 3:38 showing on the clock. Weese’s extra point kick made it 14-7.
Scott still looked much in control as the Hawks marched down field for the remainder of the period. As the horn sounded to end one quarter of play, Loftus carried the Hawks to a second-and-five at the ten-yard-line of Hoover.
After a flag against the Huskies made it second-and-two for Scott, Crone went in at the 11:55 mark to bring the count to 20-7. Brown faked and then ran in the extra points himself to move the board to 22-7, Hawks.
A holding call against the Huskies brought up first-and-ten at their own 23 to start the next possession. A steady diet of Dotson followed. After his second carry of the series, a personal foul call went against Scott, giving Hoover a first down at their 48. Two plays later, a pass to Dotson was complete at the Scott 25 for a first down.
After a penalty, Hoover faced a fourth and seven at the 24. A pitch-back to Cody Harvey failed to gain the first down and Scott took over on the 25.
A pass interference call against Scott allowed a Hoover interception to stand and the Huskies had first down at the Hoover 47 with 8:38 on the clock. After three plays, a hit to the head penalty against Scott gave Hoover a first down at the Skyhawk 20. With a first-and-eight, Dotson went in to score at the 5:44 spot to bring the count to 22-13. The extra-point kick sailed to the right of the goal posts.
Roberts brought the kick back to the Scott 38. After Dehart caught a pass to make it fourth-and-one, Brown held on to the ball to the Hoover 47 for a first down. A pass to Loftus made it first-and-ten at the 34 before a fumbled snap took the ball back to the 39. A horse collar call gave the Hawks a first down at the 24.
A holding call forced Scott into a third-and-16 position with an incomplete pass to Dehart following. Hoover intercepted Brown’s fourth down pass at the 2:04 mark. Following a unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, the Huskies took over on their own 24.
On the ensuing play, Roberts intercepted the Hoover pass and romped into the end zone with 1:24 left to make it 28-13. Cordero’s kick was true and it was 29-13.
Hoover’s next possession was mired when Loftus intercepted a pass attempt at the 35.2-second spot. The Hawks ran out the clock with a 16-point advantage.
With possession going to Hoover to start the second half, many in the crowd of 1,100 with Huskie sweatshirts were still hoping for a rally. And rally their team did. Dotson carried the kick to a first down at the 40. A keeper by Quarterback Tyler Americo went for a big gain but a holding call against Hoover made it first and eight. Two plays later, Hoover had a first down at the Scott 46 after a foul call went against the Hawks. After a short gain by Harvey, Americo’s pass to Dotson was fumbled and the Skyhawks recovered at their own 43. Following a Hoover timeout at the 10:01 mark, the Hawks fumbled with Dehart recovering at the Scott 35.
Following a Hoover first down at the 25, Americo kept the ball for an eight-yard gain. A pass to the flat lost yardage before a second pass to Timothy Hopkins was broken up, making it fourth and five at the 20. At the 7:22 mark, a pass to Zach Scott was complete for a first down at the 12. After Scarberry carried for three yards, Americo kept the ball to the one-yard-line for a first and goal.
Following an injury timeout, Americo picked up a half-yard. Then, he powered into the end zone on the next play and it was 29-19 to the delight of the home fans. The Huskies lined up for a two-point try on the extra-point but Americo’s pass sailed over the heads of two players in the end zone. Thus, with 5:29 remaining in the third period, the lead was trimmed to ten points.
Scott moved well on offense during the next possession but, with 3:38 flashing, turned the ball over to Hoover on downs at the Huskie eight-yard-line. At the 2:19, Americo hit Hager for a first down at the 24. A pitch to Dotson gave the home team another first down at the 39 before they worked their way to a first-and-ten at midfield as the quarter ended with Scott on top, 29-19.
Then the Huskies methodically worked the ball down the field and, with 9:12 left in the game, Colton Thomas went in for a score from eight yards out and it was 29-25. Weese’s kick brought it to 29-26.
On the next play, Roberts returned the kick to the Scott 29. An offside call against Hoover made it first-and-five. A loss of nine on first down was followed by an errant pass try and it was third-and-14. A horrible snap on the ground was recovered by Brown, making it fourth-and-19, forcing the Hawks to punt.
Matthew muffed the kick but recovered to bring it to a first down for the Huskies at their own 48. Dotson carried to a first down at the 36. On the next play, Dotson broke free to the 20 for another first down. After a Hoover timeout, Dotson again got the call, carrying the ball to a first-and-goal at the five. Dotson gained nothing on a handoff before the Huskies made it third-and-goal at the four. Next, Dotson dashed in cleanly on the left side to give Hoover the lead, 32-29. The kick by Weese made it 33-29 with 6:06 remaining in the game.
After returning the ball to the 30, an illegal block in the back call against Scott made it first-and-20. Brown scrambled looking for a receiver before a short pass completion made it second-and-17. A penalty against the Hawks made it third-and-35 at the five-yard-line.
Unable to pick up the first down, the Hawks watched as the home team easily converted on their next possession. After Dotson carried to a second-and-four at the ten, he then took the ball in with 1:56 on the clock to make it 39-29. Again, Weese’s kick was true and the lead expanded to 11 points.
Scott battled to the end, however. With 26 ticks left on the clock, Brown hit Dehart on a 27-yard pass completion to make it 40-35. The two-point pass attempt from Brown to Dehart failed, keeping the deficit at five.
Then, the game ended as the Skyhawks attempted an onside kick that was recovered by Hoover.
Scott will attempt to get the season turned around this Friday evening, September 6, when they host Class AAA Lincoln County at their home field in Madison. Kick-off is set for 7:30 p.m.