HomeUncategorizedScott falls to Clay County, 25-0

Scott falls to Clay County, 25-0

HUNTSVILLE — The state’s sixth-ranked team in Class A football didn’t exactly dominate offensively here Friday night.

The problem? Clay County did dominate defensively, and that proved to be the key in a 25-0 win by the visitors.

Scott’s defense limited Clay County to 193 yards and three touchdowns, while intercepting two passes, which would have been considered a pretty good game on most nights.

But the Bulldogs limited the Highlanders to only 96 yards of offense, pitched a shutout, and scored all the points they would need when they returned a punt 64 yards for a touchdown on just the fourth play of the game.

It marked the first time Scott High had been held scoreless since a 24-0 loss to Grainger on Sept. 11, 2020.

Scott started with Luke Bowling at quarterback, after the sophomore came on in the second half and threw a pair of touchdowns against Gibbs a week earlier.

But the Highlanders made the move back to junior Brady Strunk in the second half, in an effort to jump-start the offense.

Clay County’s Nate Adams completed nine of 15 passes for 93 yards and a touchdown, but was twice intercepted by Scott High’s defense. Bowling and fellow sophomore Rylan Griffin recorded picks in the game.

Carson Sharp led the Bulldogs’ rushing attack, with 58 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries.

Bowling completed three of seven passes for the Highlanders, but for no positive yardage. 

Phoenix Norris was the Highlanders’ leading rusher, with 46 yards on 11 carries. Will Young, in his second game back from a knee injury, added 33 yards on 13 carries, while Strunk had 29 yards on 10 carries.

The Highlanders had seven penalties for 43 yards. And while that was far less than Clay County, which was penalized 10 times for 85 yards, head coach Josh Terry said that was too much for his team’s grind-it-out approach.

“We know we’re a ground-and-pound, three-to-six-yard offense,” Terry said. “When you play that way, you have to be able to overcome holding penalties and snapping it over a center’s head. It’s hard to play that style of football and overcome that stuff.”

Terry said his team was moving the football on several occasions before having poor snaps, penalties or other setbacks that ultimately cost them.

“You just can’t have plays where you shoot yourself behind schedule,” he said. “It’s hard to play that style of football and be undisciplined. If you’re going to ground-and-pound you’re gonna have to take care of yourself.”

After a three-and-out to start the game, Scott High saw Alex Kerr return a punt 64 yards for a touchdown. 

Later in the first quarter, Adams threw his only touchdown of the night, hitting Jeff Spivey on a 14-yard completion after the Highlanders appeared to have stopped the drive.

That was the way things stood until the third quarter, when Clay County added two more scores. Carson Sharp scored on a 5-yard run, while Adams scored on a quarterback keeper from four yards out.

Terry said his new quarterback played well enough, but Clay County immediately threw a wrench into things by playing zone coverage. The Highlanders had prepared for man defense based on what the Bulldogs had shown in previous games.

“Sometimes when you’re a young quarterback, your experience is kinda limited to what you’ve been programmed to think,” Terry said. “If there’s a guy with experience in there I can just wing play calls, and they can draw from previous experience. Obviously he can’t do that. But he’s a tough-minded kid and he’s got a good arm on him. He’s just got to protect a little better.”

Terry said Strunk added a new dimension when he moved back to the quarterback position.

“He played okay,” Terry said. “We just have to get better all the way around.”

Key Stat

While Scott High played reasonably well on defense, Clay County wound up 6 of 9 on third down. The Highlanders, on the other hand, were just 3 of 12 on third down, and 0 of 3 on fourth down.

Main Takeaway

In six games this season, Scott has scored more than one touchdown in a game just once, which was against Gibbs last week. The road gets tougher going forward, with Fulton visiting Highlander Stadium next week for Senior Night, followed by road trips to Gatlinburg-Pittman and region-leading Anderson County.

Quotable

“We’re just going to keep getting better. Those guys have a good vibe as far as leadership goes. We’ve got some younger guys that need to line up their commitment with it.” — Josh Terry, on the attitude of his football team as the season enters the final stretch.

HUNTSVILLE — The state’s sixth-ranked team in Class A football didn’t exactly dominate offensively here Friday night.

The problem? Clay County did dominate defensively, and that proved to be the key in a 25-0 win by the visitors.

Scott’s defense limited Clay County to 193 yards and three touchdowns, while intercepting two passes, which would have been considered a pretty good game on most nights.

But the Bulldogs limited the Highlanders to only 96 yards of offense, pitched a shutout, and scored all the points they would need when they returned a punt 64 yards for a touchdown on just the fourth play of the game.

It marked the first time Scott High had been held scoreless since a 24-0 loss to Grainger on Sept. 11, 2020.

Scott started with Luke Bowling at quarterback, after the sophomore came on in the second half and threw a pair of touchdowns against Gibbs a week earlier.

But the Highlanders made the move back to junior Brady Strunk in the second half, in an effort to jump-start the offense.

Clay County’s Nate Adams completed nine of 15 passes for 93 yards and a touchdown, but was twice intercepted by Scott High’s defense. Bowling and fellow sophomore Rylan Griffin recorded picks in the game.

Carson Sharp led the Bulldogs’ rushing attack, with 58 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries.

Bowling completed three of seven passes for the Highlanders, but for no positive yardage. 

Phoenix Norris was the Highlanders’ leading rusher, with 46 yards on 11 carries. Will Young, in his second game back from a knee injury, added 33 yards on 13 carries, while Strunk had 29 yards on 10 carries.

The Highlanders had seven penalties for 43 yards. And while that was far less than Clay County, which was penalized 10 times for 85 yards, head coach Josh Terry said that was too much for his team’s grind-it-out approach.

“We know we’re a ground-and-pound, three-to-six-yard offense,” Terry said. “When you play that way, you have to be able to overcome holding penalties and snapping it over a center’s head. It’s hard to play that style of football and overcome that stuff.”

Terry said his team was moving the football on several occasions before having poor snaps, penalties or other setbacks that ultimately cost them.

“You just can’t have plays where you shoot yourself behind schedule,” he said. “It’s hard to play that style of football and be undisciplined. If you’re going to ground-and-pound you’re gonna have to take care of yourself.”

After a three-and-out to start the game, Scott High saw Alex Kerr return a punt 64 yards for a touchdown. 

Later in the first quarter, Adams threw his only touchdown of the night, hitting Jeff Spivey on a 14-yard completion after the Highlanders appeared to have stopped the drive.

That was the way things stood until the third quarter, when Clay County added two more scores. Carson Sharp scored on a 5-yard run, while Adams scored on a quarterback keeper from four yards out.

Terry said his new quarterback played well enough, but Clay County immediately threw a wrench into things by playing zone coverage. The Highlanders had prepared for man defense based on what the Bulldogs had shown in previous games.

“Sometimes when you’re a young quarterback, your experience is kinda limited to what you’ve been programmed to think,” Terry said. “If there’s a guy with experience in there I can just wing play calls, and they can draw from previous experience. Obviously he can’t do that. But he’s a tough-minded kid and he’s got a good arm on him. He’s just got to protect a little better.”

Terry said Strunk added a new dimension when he moved back to the quarterback position.

“He played okay,” Terry said. “We just have to get better all the way around.”

Key Stat

While Scott High played reasonably well on defense, Clay County wound up 6 of 9 on third down. The Highlanders, on the other hand, were just 3 of 12 on third down, and 0 of 3 on fourth down.

Main Takeaway

In six games this season, Scott has scored more than one touchdown in a game just once, which was against Gibbs last week. The road gets tougher going forward, with Fulton visiting Highlander Stadium next week for Senior Night, followed by road trips to Gatlinburg-Pittman and region-leading Anderson County.

Quotable

“We’re just going to keep getting better. Those guys have a good vibe as far as leadership goes. We’ve got some younger guys that need to line up their commitment with it.” — Josh Terry, on the attitude of his football team as the season enters the final stretch.

Full Statistics

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