MADISON - Class A St. Marys used a balanced offense and a stinging defensive effort to pull away from Class AA Scott in Madison, 34-7 on Friday night.
"We knew through watching film that they were a very disciplined football team and they believed in what they were doing," said Scott coach Shane Griffith. "We could see that they were a much improved team from last year with some senior leadership."
The Blue Devils represented the Skyhawks lone victory from a year ago, but the away team looked to establish itself early and did so on their first drive.
Senior running back Richard Dornan capped off a 67-yard drive for St. Marys with a dive play good for a touchdown from four yards out to give the Blue Devils an early advantage, 7-0.
While Scott moved the ball in the opening quarter, the offense was unable to consistently gain real estate running the ball thanks to an aggressive approach from St. Marys at the line of scrimmage and at the second level with their inside linebackers.
Scott's second drive was highlighted by a 40-yard pass and catch from Caleb Hughes to Michael Clay that pushed the line of scrimmage across mid-field but the drive would stall on the next series and the Blue Devils (2-0) turned another long drive into pay dirt when junior quarterback Brennan Boron found the end zone on a keeper to the weak side and St. Marys built a quick 14-0 lead.
Scott went to the locker room down 27-0 and facing a deficit that was going to be an uphill struggle in the second half, but the Skyhawks showed moxie in the third and fourth quarters and made defensive adjustments that slowed the St. Marys offense.
"You can only go two ways when you're faced with a deficit like that at the half," said Griffith. "We came out and changed that narrative and our kids pushed back and I was glad to see that fire in their eyes that we weren't going to lay down."
Scott (0-2) found the end zone in the second half when freshman running back Klay Matthews scored on a dazzling 33-yard run that gave the Skyhawk faithful some positive energy.
It was Scott's defense in the second half that stood tall and would bend but only broke once, allowing a single score.
For the game, Boran connected with Logan Rice and Lucas Lipscomb on scoring bombs of 60 and 68 yards, respectively.
"For our fans, we're in a bad place right now at 0-2," Griffith said. "As a head coach, those darkest hours are when you see the light. Big things are going to happen one way or the other. Last night will force our football family to answer the question about belief. Do our young players believe in the vision that we as coaches are creating? We are about to find out."
Scott will travel to Cardinal Conference foe Sissonville on Sept. 13 and St. Marys will enjoy a bye week and play at Ritchie County on Sept. 20.
PASSING Caleb Hughes 4-for-7 for 48 yards.
RUSHING Hughes 11 carries for 2 yards, Klay Matthews 4 carries for 40 yards TD.
Caleb Dingess 6 carries 39 yards, 2 carries for 25 yards.
RECEIVING Clay 1 catch for 40 yards, Dingess 1 catch for 5 yards, 1 catch for 3 yards.
St Marys offense
PASSING - Brennan Boran 8-for-13 for 167 yards 2 TDs.
RECEIVING Logan Rice 5 catches for 68 yards TD, Dylan Patterson 1 catch for 39 yards, Lucas Lipscomb 2 catches for 60 yards TD.
RUSHING Richard Dornan 8 carries for 43 yards, 2 TDs, Boran 4 carries for 1 yard TD, Ben Long 15 carries for 44 yards.
Reporter Phil Perry can be reached at email@example.com or follow him or at 304-307-2402.