HUNTSVILLE — The good: Scott High did not have a turnover and was penalized just twice for 10 yards in Friday’s region game against Fulton.
Those numbers are going to be enough to win football games on a lot of nights.
But against Fulton, the Highlanders had to take the bad as well as the good. And the bad was that the Falcons racked up 391 rushing yards while limiting Scott High to only 95 yards of total offense.
The nearly 400 yards on the ground were the most given up this season by the Scott defense, which has played well at times — including in last week’s game against Clay County.
The Highlander offense, meanwhile, remained stuck in neutral. It’s now been more than eight quarters since Scott High last found the end zone, and the Highlanders have still scored more than one touchdown in just one game this season.
Junior Brady Strunk was Scott High’s top offensive weapon. The quarterback completed 8 of 18 passes for 58 yards, and was also the team’s leading rusher with 36 yards on eight carries, including a 30-yard run that was the biggest play of the game offensively.
Strunk also averaged a season-best 39.3 yards on seven7 punts, with a long of 49 yards.
There were some bright spots on defense, too. Will Russ and Colby Vanhook each had seven tackles, and Russ had three tackles behind the line of scrimmage.
But then there was the Fulton playmakers. Quarterback Marcellus Jackson completed only 4 of 9 passes for 85 yards. But it was more than he needed on a night when the run game was dominant. Jackson had 227 rushing yards and three touchdowns on just 10 carries, averaging a whopping 22 yards per carry.
De Rondre Peebles added 110 yards on seven carries, averaging 15 yards per carry.
Fulton was just two weeks removed from being spanked by a South Doyle team that Scott High had played to within 14-10 in the first half.
Friday’s game would not be close for a half, however. The Falcons scored two first quarter touchdowns, added two more in the second quarter, and led 27-0 at halftime.
As for Scott High, which has had a bad habit of starting slow and then beginning to find more of a rhythm offensively in the second half, just the opposite was true in Friday’s game. The Highlanders had 62 of their 95 yards on their first two possessions in the first quarter, though neither drive ended in points.
The Highlanders penetrated Fulton territory on both of those drives. On the game-opening possession, the Highlanders got as far as Fulton’s 37-yard-line before being forced to punt.
After Fulton needed just two plays for Jackson to score on a 70-yard run, the Highlanders were again on the move, getting to the Fulton 37-yard-line again. But after Strunk completed a 9-yard pass to Auton Whaley to set up a second-and-one, the Falcons bowed their backs. A second down pass fell incomplete, followed by two straight stuffed runs at the line of scrimmage and a turnover on downs.
From there, Damien McDowell scored on a 7-yard touchdown run to put his team up 14-0, and the game wasn’t in doubt much longer.
Scott High came up with a defensive stop to end the first quarter. First Adrian Stanley came up with a stop at the line of scrimmage. Then Russ sacked Jackson to put Fulton behind the sticks. Two plays later, the Falcons’ fourth down pass fell incomplete.
But Scott was unable to move the football, and Jackson ripped off a 63-yard run on the second play after his team got the ball back.
Scott High forced a punt on Fulton’s next possession, but the Falcons would score again before the first half ended, with a 57-yard pass from Jackson to Antonio Kyle setting up Jackson’s 11-yard touchdown pass to Peebles.
Fulton was in no mood for mercy start the third quarter, as Jackson returned a kickoff 79 yards for a touchdown. And despite being up 33-0 and clearly in control, the Falcons decided to pour it on by going for two, which they successfully converted.
Up 35-0, the Falcons continued to play their starters, and Jackson scored on a 30-yard touchdown run to make it 42-0.
Later, Peebles scored on a 59-yard touchdown run to make it 49-0.
The final play of the game saw Will Young break off his longest run of the night, a 12-yard gain as time expired.