Scott Continues to Roll, Beats Holy Cross on Homecoming, 48-14
Scott carried on with its winning ways on Friday as they swiftly took care of Holy Cross, 48-14 on Homecoming Night for the Eagles. Similar to their other wins this year, Scott racked up big rushing totals with a stable of runners as the Indians were unable to match the athleticism and quickness of the Scott running backs on the outside. Four different Scott players ran for touchdowns in the game.
The Eagles came into the game heavy favorites after winning handily in all three of their previous match-ups, and going up against a winless Indians team that has struggled mightily to score points in 2014.
The game did not start out that way, however. On their first possession after forcing Holy Cross to go three and out and punt, Eagles quarterback Danny Ftizgerald threw a third-down screen pass off of the hands of Roberto London and into the hands of defensive lineman Matthew Bischoff who returned it all the way down to the 10-yard line where Holy Cross would quickly capitalize into a short touchdown run by sophomore running back Xavier Abernathy, giving the Indians the lead, albeit a brief one.
On the first play of the ensuing possession, London broke a 53-yard run to the outside. On the next play, Deondre Pleasant took the handoff and took it the rest of the way in for the score. Scott would bobble the snap on the the extra point, however, and not convert, keeping them a point behind in the first quarter, 7-6.
On the Indians next drive, they had a chance to remain relevant in the game a little while longer, but on fourth-and-one in plus territory, Holy Cross opted to pass which resulted in a high throw and an incompletion. The playcall seemed like a head-scratcher at the time, since the Indians employ the prototypical power back in Abernathy. If anybody on the team could deliver one yard up the middle, it's him. Combine that with the paltry passing display of the Holy Cross offense this season and one is left second-guessing the whole sequence.
Like good teams do, though, Scott made them pay with a five-yard touchdown run by London a few plays later, giving the Eagles the lead in the second quarter and what would turn out to be the beginning of a route.
Before things could get entirely out of hand however, Scott committed their second turnover of the half when DaShon Lunsford fumbled the ball away at the 2-yard line.
“The best games are the ones you win but you still have stuff to work on,” Scott head coach Dan Woolley said.
That missed touchdown however, would be made up for just before halftime, as Pleasant returned a punt all the way back to the 11 with under 17 seconds left in the half. Two plays later, Eli Sowder punched the ball into the end zone, giving the Eagles a 26-7 halftime lead.
The third quarter was all Scott. First it was Deondre Pleasant breaking one open for a 33-yard touchdown romp on fourth-and-10, making the score 34-7. Next it was Lunsford making up for his previous fumble with a two-yard touchdown run. 42-7. Then it was London's turn who took it 42-yards to the house, 48-7. It got so out of hand so fast, that people in the stands were surprised they had already lost interest in the game.
To the Indians credit, they were able to mount a nice fourth-quarter scoring drive that ended with an Abernathy run for six yards and a touchdown. The two touchdowns were the highest point total of Holy Cross' season thus far.
The difference in the game came down to explosive plays. The Eagles have two weapons in London and Pleasant that can bust one open and take it the length of the field at any time. And when those guys need a breather, they have the auxiliary pieces to score on sustained drives of many plays. Holy Cross doesn't have any big-play potential. Instead, they move the ball at a deliberate pace and try to win with time-of-possession and defense. The problem is, they are forced to punt too often with that approach and the Indians defense is not good enough to make the game into a low-scoring grinder of a game.
Another game-changing element of the night was the tackling by the Scott safeties. Pleasant at strong safety makes plays because he is on a different plane athletically than the rest of the players on the field and it jumps out to the onlooker in every game. Eli Sowder, however, has a nose for the ball, knowing just where to be and is an excellent form tackler. These two reliable defensive backs keep modest gains from blowing up into a big play with their sure tackling. Sowder isn't very big and is not freakishly fast, but the public-address announcer calls his name a lo on tackles.
“When you play our kind of defense, you got to have safeties that can tackle,” Woolley said. “We are very happy with the tackling of our safeties.”
Scott (4-0) travels next week to take on Cooper. Holy Cross (0-4) hosts Bishop Brossart.
Other NKY Football scores via NKY Sports:
Campbell Co. 48, Conner 28
Lloyd 44, Gallatin Co. 12
Williamsburg 31, Newport 22
Beechwood 42, Franklin Co. 13
Shelby Co. 15, Ryle 13
Bellevue 50, Carroll Co. 14
Walton-Verona 35. Grant Co. 14
Henry Clay 47, Boone Co. 7
Simon Kenton 46, Cooper 0
Story & photo by Bryan Burke, associate editor