Eagle Fall To Scotland County
By David Sharp
Brock Bondurant had a hand in all five Scotland County touchdowns during a 35-6 Tiger victory at the 2011 Knox County R-I Homecoming football game. Scotland County improved to 3-5 overall, 3-1 in the Tri-Rivers Conference.
The Tigers went 1-0 in district play, gaining the maximum 13 tiebreaker points. Scotland County also retained the Clyde Trophy. Knox County fell to 3-5 overall.
The Eagles finished their conference season with a 1-4 record. The district loss dims hopes of making the state football playoffs considerably. The Eagles must win at North Shelby, hopefully by at least 13 points in order to have a realistic chance to move on.
Scotland County hosts Schuyler County on Thursday in week two Class 1, District 10 football action.
The winner of this game will take the driver’s seat in the district standings. Schuyler County defeated winless North Shelby by a 47-0 score in the remaining week one district ten game.
Scotland County opened holes for a 48 carry, 254 yard rushing night.
Brock Bondurant kept the football on a base sweep play to his right for a 54-yard touchdown run with 10:36 remaining in the first quarter. Harley Stone ran in the point after for an eight point lead.
The Tigers cashed in on a three play, 69 yard drive to open the game.
Momentum wore a white Scotland County jersey when Will McRobert jumped on a loose football, giving the visiting Tigers possession on the Eagle 34 yard line.
Knox County evidently had confusion on the play and rushed to beat the play clock. The Eagles had problems with execution on both sides of the football much of the night.
Scotland County lined up in a power formation and pushed the Eagle defense to their one yard line.
Brock Bondurant ran a quarterback sneak for a touchdown at the 6:14 mark of the first period. Harley Stone kicked the extra point for a 15-0 lead.
Both defenses stiffened forcing punts. Leighton McCabe got loose and raced 47 yards. The run seemed to get Knox County moving in the right direction.
Donovan Edwards capped a 64 yard touchdown drive with a four yard run at the 5:34 point of the second quarter. The two point run failed, leaving the score at 15-6.
Scotland County came right back and scored. Brock Bondurant took advantage of an apparent missed coverage assignment for a 51 yard touchdown pass to Drew Miller with 3:20 to play until halftime.
The kick failed for a 21-6 Scotland County lead.
Knox County recovered a short kickoff on their 41 yard line with 3:13 remaining until intermission. The Eagles drove deep into Tiger territory. Brock Bondurant picked off an overthrown pass near his goal line with less than two minutes to play in the half.
The play kept Knox County off the scoreboard and was a turning point in the contest.
“Turnovers were huge,” Scotland County coach Brent Bondurant said. “I challenged our defense at halftime to stop (Leighton) McCabe. He hurt us. We wanted to take him out of the equation.”
Knox County lost two fumbles and threw the one interception to Brock Bondurant on the night. Scotland County did not turn the football over.
The teams had nine first downs each at halftime. Scotland County held a 154-124 rushing advantage and a 68-7 passing edge at the half. The Tigers played well defensively in the second half.
Knox County had one first down in the second half on a 20 yard Leighton McCabe scramble. Scotland County had eight second half first downs.
Scotland County gained the line of scrimmage more so as the second half advanced. The Eagles lost a fumble on their 36 yard line during the first possession of the third quarter.
Scotland County drove 64 yards for a touchdown after the turnover. Drew Miller caught a one yard pass for a touchdown with 8:31 showing on the clock. Harley Stone kicked the extra point for a 28-6 lead.
Knox County went three and out, punting on their next possession. Knox County’s defense kept the Tigers out of the end zone. Donovan Edwards had a five yard tackle for loss, forcing a fourth down and 12 on the Eagle 25 yard line.
An incomplete pass turned the football over on downs. The errant aerial was only the second on a stellar Brock Bondurant night. The other incomplete pass was dropped in the end zone.
Scotland County finished with a 7-9, 136 yard three touchdown passing night, all by Brock Bondurant. Drew Miller had three touchdown receptions. Miller led all receivers with four catches for 72 yards.
Knox County took over on their 25 yard line with 2:35 to play in the third quarter. Leighton McCabe had his 20 yard run with a 15 yard personal foul penalty tacked on.
Will Masden reached out and tackled Leighton McCabe on fourth down, giving the football back to the Tigers at the Scotland County 41 yard line with 11:50 to play in the game.
The visitors capped a 59 yard drive with a five yard pass to Drew Miller. Harley Stone closed the scoring with a point after kick for a 35-6 lead. Knox County took over on their 18 yard line with 6:34 remaining.
Knox County was forced to punt on fourth down and long. Scotland County ran out the remaining 4:52 sealing their 35-6 victory. “It’s nice when your linemen line up and say run behind me,” Brent Bondurant said of the Tigers winning the line of scrimmage in the second half.
“We wanted to hold onto the football and keep it out of their hands in the second half. We made some nice catches tonight,” Brent Bondurant said. “Drew Miller had a super game.”
Scotland County faced a rash of injuries early in the season. The Tigers were reportedly down to as few as 14 to 18 players in the first few weeks.
Brent Bondurant talked about how his team persevered through a tough stretch and appear to be coming together at the right time.
The Tigers can finish second in the conference with a 4-1 mark with a victory over Schuyler County. “We told our players that if you were going to quit us, you would do it after two a days. That’s the hard part.”
“They have all stuck with it. They have good attitudes. I think the biggest thing is confidence. I think they are building confidence right now,” Brent Bondurant said.
“We were devastated after a JV game with Clark County. We lost three or four kids. We had a concussion, a broken collarbone, and a broken arm. We are getting healthy,” Bondurant said. “We are bouncing back, getting some success and confidence.”
“We have to play a tough Schuyler County team next week.” Scotland County lost to Highland earlier in the season. Knox County downed the Cougars at Ewing in the season’s first game.
This was pretty much an even match, won by Scotland County with better execution and fewer turnovers. Knox County was held to 156 total yards. Leighton McCabe rushed 16 times for 114 yards. Donovan Edwards carried eight times for 24 yards and a touchdown.
The Eagles could not open seams for their ball carriers on a consistent enough basis to win. Knox County rushed 29 times for 149 yards as a team. The Eagles were 2-6 passing for seven yards and a Brock Bondurant interception against.
Knox County was flagged four times for 30 penalty yards. Scotland County had seven penalties for 50 yards. This loss hurt the Eagles more than any so far this season.
“What it comes down to is they were better than us tonight,” a disappointed Knox County coach Alex VanDelft said. “They were beating us on the line of scrimmage. If you don’t win that battle, you are going to have a hard time winning any other battle.”
“That’s why we lost by 29 points. Scotland County is a good team. We talked about Brock Bondurant all week long. He is a great player,” Alex VanDelft said.
“He is a threat running and throwing the football. He has a great corps of receivers. They got open. They ran and they scored,” Alex VanDelft said.
“It’s unfortunate their skills had to be shown against us. We are just going to keep on trying. We have two games left in districts,” Coach VanDelft said. “We were a pretty even match talent wise. They just got it done on execution.”
“(Scotland County) is a very well coached, well disciplined team. We just weren’t very disciplined and we didn’t get it done. I am going to work twice as hard.”
“The players are going to have to work twice as hard or we are going to have to make some big changes personnel wise,” VanDelft said.