October 9, 2003
Indians Escape With Rock Trophy Courtesy Of Controversial Call
It is unfortunate that thinking back on Friday night’s contest most people will remember just one play. It won’t be the tremendous kick off return by sophomore B.J. Houghton. Neither will it be the 27-yard field goal by Tim Robinson or either of Joel Myers’ touchdown runs.
Instead it will be a play that ultimately changed the outcome of the game. Unfortunately it wasn’t even a player that had the biggest impact on the contest. Instead it was a call by the official, that by nearly all accounts was wrong, that Scotland County fans will remember as it ultimately allowed a 17-12 win evaporate into an 18-17 loss to Clark County.
It was third down and five for the Indians with time running down and the ball at midfield for one last ditched effort by the visiting team to crack the SCR-I defense.
The Tigers appeared to have made the key stop when Houghton blitzed from his defensive end position and hit the Indians quarterback. The ball came loose and SCR-I pounced on the fumble to apparently secure the victory. However the referee stepped in and ruled that the quarterback’s arm was moving forward at the time of the hit and ruled it an incomplete pass instead of a fumble. Most fans saw the ball down below the QB’s waist where it was being held and did not see any form of passing motion.
The call set up one final chance for Clark County. And did the Indians ever take advantage of it as Drew Huckey hit Josh Brookhart with a pass down the left sideline. Brookhart picked up a blocker and raced all the way to the end zone for the go ahead score, breaking the Tigers backs.
It proved to be the third and final big play the Indians needed to escape with not only the Tri-Rivers Conference win but the right to take home the Jason “Rock” Rockhold traveling trophy in memory of the former SCR-I standout.
With the emotion of the Rock game fresh on their minds the Tigers came out of the locker room on a mission to start the game.
Clark County took the opening kick off and ran just three plays before Clint Cottrell picked off a Huckey pass to give his team the ball.
SCR-I marched down the field behind Joel Myers on the ground. The Tigers mixed in a couple key pass plays to help move the chains. The biggest was an 18-yard completion from Danny Roach to Jared Shelley. That set-up Myers for the touchdown run less than five minutes into the contest.
Clark County mounted a solid drive on the next possession before being forced to punt. The Tigers did the same as they continued to move the ball on the ground before punting the ball back to the Indians.
Penalties began to hamper SCR-I on offense. The team got the ball back on another CCR-I punt, but a clip on the return backed up the Tigers. Another flag for illegal procedure stopped the SCR-I drive before it could ever get started.
The two teams traded punts one more time before Clark County broke its only big play of the first half.
The Indians ran a delayed shovel pass as Huckey dropped back and then flipped the ball forward to Josh Roberts who broke through the Tigers line and rumbled for 53 yards before being brought down at the eight yard line. Clark County capitalized on the first and goal situation as Isaiah Allen scored on a six-yard run.
Houghton got a good blitz up the middle to block the point after attempt to leave the Tigers ahead 7-6 with 3:56 left in the first half.
The sophomore came up big on the next play too. He took the Clark County kickoff and simply ran over a pair of tacklers before nearly breaking it all the way. The Tigers settled for a 75-yard return that put them in good field position.
But Clark County did not break on defense and they forced SCR-I to attempt the field goal on fourth down and five at the 15-yard line. Robinson booted his second field goal of the year, this one a 27 yarder to make the score 10-6 with 2:26 left in the second quarter.
The Indians went to a two-minute offense but the Tigers defense would have nothing to do with it. They stuffed three straight plays and forced a punt with plenty of time for one final drive. That drive was cut short as Roach’s pass went off Kiel Fogle’s hands and was intercepted. That allowed the Indians to run out the clock on the first half.
Once again the Tigers came out of the locker room on a mission. They started the second half taking the Clark County kickoff. Myers moved the chains a couple times before Tim Robinson found a big hole for a 23-yard run. That set up Myers for a 27-yard touchdown run up the middle with 10:11 to play in the third period. Robinson tacked on the PAT kick and SCR-I led 17-6.
Clark County finally got the team’s star back, Sean Kite, rolling in the third period. He pushed the ball at the Tigers defense and had the ball in scoring position. But a key illegal procedure penalty backed the Indians up from a fourth and one to a fourth and six situation. Myers put pressure on the Indians quarterback and Roach broke up the pass play to give SCR-I the ball back.
The Tigers shot themselves in the foot with two more penalties on the next possession. The hole was so deep that SCR-I used a quick kick on third down and long to get the ball out of their end.
Once again the Clark ground game started moving the chains eating up the remainder of the third period.
The fourth quarter started and ended well for the Indians. On the first play of the period Huckey kept the ball on a fake up the middle and rolled around the right end all the way for a 40-yard touchdown. The Tigers stopped the two-point attempt maintaining a 17-12 advantage at the 11:51 mark.
Both teams put together respectable drives in the fourth period. The Tigers saw their scoring shot end on the 31 yard line when they turned the ball over on downs.
The Indians moved the ball to midfield and then tried a fake punt on fourth and long but the Tigers defense would have nothing to do with it.
SCR-I took over the ball with just over five minutes to play. But once again the team went backwards courtesy of costly penalties. An illegal procedure followed by a holding call had the team once again facing third down and long. The team was forced to punt, giving the Indians one last chance with 2:34 left to play.
Clark County moved the chains a couple times rather quickly forcing the Tigers to take a timeout and adjust the defense.
The move worked as SCR-I stuffed the Indians on two straight running plays. SCR-I appeared to have made the stop it needed on the next play when Houghton caused the apparent fumble, but the callw ent Clark County’s way and set up the game winning touchdown pass on the next play.
SCR-I still got the ball back with just under two minutes to play. But the Tigers two-minute offense was unable to move the chains and on third down and long Adam Huckey picked off the deep throw from Roach to seal the 18-17 victory for the Indians.
Myers finished the game with 141 yards on 23 carries to overshadow the more highly touted Kite from Clark County. The Indians senior back was held to just 77 yards on 20 attempts.
Tim Robinson contributed 59 yards on 13 attempts for SCR-I.
Roach completed five of 18 attempts for 38 yards and was intercepted twice. Jared Shelley had two catches for 19 yards. Clint Cottrell had two grabs and Kiel Fogle added one catch.
The Tigers had 13 first downs on the night but were penalized a season-high nine times for 65 yards.
Sophomore Josh Roberts had a big game for Clark County. Hhe had 80 yards on 12 carries to go along with the 53-yard touchdown run on the shovel pass from Huckey. The Indians QB completed just three of 10 throws but two were for long scores as he covered a total of 110 yards in the air. He also ran four times for 31 yards and a TD. Roberts caught the 53-yard TD while Josh Brookhart pulled in the 47-yard game winner.
The Indians had 12 first downs on the night and were penalized five times for 50 yards.
The Tigers defense scrambled to fill slots because of a number of injuries. Fogle led a depleted linebacker squad without starters Joe Talbert and Aaron Dale who could not answer the bell because of injuries. He had 14 tackles as did fellow linebacker Jared Shelley who played most of the game on one leg due to an ankle injury.
Travis Onken turned in another stellar game on the defensive line with 13 tackles. B.J. Houghton stepped up his play to contribute nine stops while Robinson finished with eight tackles.