SCOTT CITY — Scott City senior running back Jacob Campbell had a career performance Friday night as the Rams clinched a playoff berth and closed in on a district title.
Campbell was quick to give a major assist to his offensive line.
"You could drive a truck through some of the holes," Campbell said.
Campbell rambled for 148 yards on 22 carries and scored three touchdowns to lead the Rams past visiting Crystal City 36-14 in a Class 2 District 2 game that was closer than the final score indicated.
The Rams did not nail down the victory until they scored twice in the final 3 minutes to pull away from a precarious 22-14 advantage.
Scott City improved to 4-4 overall and 2-0 in district play. Defending district champion Crystal City fell to 2-7 and 1-1.
A Scott City win over St. Pius (1-8, 1-1) next week will give the Rams the district title. By virtue of the points system, the Rams have clinched no worse than the No. 2 playoff spot from the district.
"We've had a couple of heartbreaks [in non-district play], but we played some good teams and it made us better," Campbell said.
Scott City coach Ronnie Jones came away impressed with Campbell's running and the play of Scott City's offensive line that featured center Ethan Weatherspoon, guards Clayton Hall and Vincent Doria, and tackles Jaris Hye and Jose Cruz.
The Rams piled up 325 yards on the ground as they controlled the clock. Scott City ran 73 offensive plays to just 38 for the Hornets.
"Our line opened some good holes and I can't say enough about Jacob Campbell," Jones said. "He ran extremely hard."
Scott City also got solid running from Josh Trapp (71 yards on 14 carries), quarterback Cody Page (60 yards on 13 carries) and Caleb Gray (37 yards on 10 attempts).
But it was Campbell who did the bulk of the damage. His touchdowns came on runs of 46, 4 and 9 yards. He also ran for a 2-point conversion.
"I usually get a lot of carries, but I got more than usual tonight," Campbell said.
With the running game working so well, Page attempted just five passes. He completed two for 40 yards.
"We have to be able to throw the ball more," Jones said. "But we were getting 3, 4 yards a carry. It's hard to leave that."
The Rams averaged 4.8 yards per rush.
Also scoring touchdowns for Scott City were Gray from 9 yards and Trapp from 4 yards. Trapp and Page added 2-point conversions.
Despite Scott City having a 365 to 167 advantage in total yards and never trailing, the Rams led just 14-8 at halftime and could not shake the Hornets until the late going.
"Crystal City is kind of rebuilding this year, but their kids play hard," Jones said.
@z_agate_no tab_no indnt_bld ld:First Quarter
SC — Caleb Gray 9 run (kick blocked)
SC — Josh Trapp 4 run (Cody Page run)
CC — Jacob Steller 38 pass from Neal Slabby (Stacey Thornton run)
SC — Jacob Campbell 46 run (Trapp run)
CC — Thornton 6 run (run failed)
SC — Campbell 4 run (run failed)
SC — Campbell 9 run (Campbell run)
@z_agate_no tab_no indnt_bld ld:INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS
RUSHING — Crystal City, Thornton 9-35, Slabby 8-30, Ryan Jurkowski 2-1. Scott City, Campbell 22-148, Trapp 14-71, Page 13-60, Gray 10-37, Matt Bradley 4-11, Brandon DeProw 1-4, team 4-minus 6.
PASSING — Crystal City, Slabby 9-19-0-101. Scott City, Page 2-5-0-40.
RECEIVING — Crystal City, Jon Linderer 4-25, Stuart Mason 3-32, Steller 1-38, Thornton 1-6. Scott City, Austin Brawley 1-29, Chris Klinge 1-11.