Bulldogs swarm Rams

Saturday, September 13, 2003

Scott City's football team saw the opening kickoff go for a touchdown Friday for the second week in a row.

Unfortunately for the Rams, this time the Portageville Bulldogs were the ones with the early lead.

Spencer Martin's 85-yard return gave Portageville a 6-0 lead, and that was all the scoring they would need in a 24-3 win at Scott City.

"I picked it up and saw a big hole, so I just took it," Martin said.

Martin's first-quarter touchdown was just about all the offense the two teams could come up with early. The game was Portageville's opener after its bye last week.

"We came out sluggish, so it helped us a lot to get the early lead," Martin said.

The Rams finally got something going on their third possession late in the first quarter.

Junior running back Matt Schaefer made things happen on the ground, rushing for nearly 30 yards on the drive. But with Scott City (1-1) near the Portageville 10-yard line, quarterback Luke McCellan threw an interception to end the drive.

"We moved the ball on them," Scott City coach Jackie Johnson said. "We just couldn't put the ball in the end zone."

The Bulldogs, using a three-back set most of the night, did all their damage on the ground. Portageville feature back Antonio Scott rushed for 129 yards on 29 carries.

Even with Scott's strong running performance, the Rams were down only 12-0 at halftime, with one of those scores coming after a Scott City fumble deep in its own territory.

"We beat ourselves in the first half," Johnson said.

The Rams went to Schaefer again off the second half kickoff and moved the ball down to the Portageville 8-yard line. Seth Ward got the 25-yard field goal to finally put Scott City on the board at 12-3.

That would be the last time the Rams would get within striking distance though. Even after a Scott fumble around midfield the Rams simply could not get the key first down they needed.

"We threw the ball pretty good, and we ran pretty good," Johnson said. "They just stepped up when they had to."

The Bulldogs put the game away with a 49-yard touchdown run by Martin with 9:40 left in the game. Martin finished with 67 yards rushing on five carries. Scott finished the scoring with a 7-yard touchdown run with three minutes remaining.

"We've got a lot of room for improvement, but I think we'll get there," Martin said.

Schaefer finished with 96 yards rushing for the Rams. McCellan added 37 yards on the ground and 34 yards on 7-of-19 passing.

Johnson said he thought his team moved the ball well but just failed to capitalize.

"It's my job to put the ball in the end zone," he said.

jjoffray@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 171

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