Scott City can't find footing in second half

Sunday, October 7, 2012
Scott City defensive end Ryan Fortner, left, and linebacker Zach Haynes bring down Hayti running back Jamal Brooks during the Rams' home loss to the Indians Friday, October 5. (ADAM VOGLER)

The pained expression on Scott City football coach Jim May's face told the story of Friday night's game against Hayti.

Scott City dominated the first half and built a 14-0 lead, but Hayti turned the tables on the host Rams and rallied for a 22-14 victory.

"A horrible loss," May said.

The Indians (3-4) have won six consecutive meetings and 12 of the last 13 against the Rams (4-3).

Hayti's domination of Scott City was in serious jeopardy after an opening half in which the Indians ran just 18 offensive plays for a net of zero yards.

"If we keep our heads up we can do anything," Hayti junior Demetrius Luster said of the Indians' mindset at the break.

Scott City running back Forest Copeland stiff arms Hayti defensive back Cedric Harris during the Rams-Indians game Friday. (ADAM VOGLER)

Hayti not only overcame the 14-point halftime deficit but also a second-half weather delay of more than an hour, as well as cold, windy weather.

Much of the game was played in a steady rain or a complete downpour before action was halted for awhile at the end of the third quarter because of lightning.

"It messed with us some in the first half, but we got used to it in the second half," Luster said of the sloppy field conditions.

May believes the contest began to turn on the opening drive of the third quarter when Hayti marched 59 yards for a touchdown.

And Hayti received plenty of help from Scott City along the way.

The Indians punted after failing to pick up a first down, but Scott City was called for a 15-yard roughing-the-punter penalty, which kept Hayti's drive alive.

Another Scott City penalty on fourth down, this time for pass interference in the end zone, gave the Indians first-and-goal at the 3-yard line.

"We roughed the kicker on fourth down and had a pass interference on fourth down," May said. "We gave them that touchdown."

Hayti still had to overcome a pair of holding penalties after the first-and-goal from the 3.

Luster scored on a 1-yard run on fourth down. A two-point conversion pass cut the deficit to 14-8.

That initial touchdown drive set the tone for a dominant second half by the Indians, who gained all 236 of their yards after the intermission.

Scott City ran just 17 second-half plays compared to 47 for Hayti. The Rams gained only 15 second-half yards to finish with 173.

"We didn't control the line of scrimmage in the second half like we did in the first half," May said. "They were stacking the box, so it was almost impossible to run. And it was tough to throw [in the conditions]."

Scott City defensive end Ryan Fortner, right, and linebacker Jake Elders, bottom, stop Hayti running back Jamal Brooks during the Rams’ home loss to the Indians Friday. (ADAM VOGLER)

The Rams picked up their only first down of the second half on the possession just after Hayti's initial touchdown, but they were forced to punt. Hayti then began its go-ahead drive.

Hayti had reached a first down at the Scott City 15-yard line as the third quarter ended and lightning was seen, forcing a delay of about 65 minutes.

Senior Karnard Humes, who was replaced at quarterback for the game as Hayti retooled its offense, scored on a 15-yard run on the first play of the fourth quarter and the first play after the delay to forge a 14-14 tie.

Hayti's two-point conversion was successful as first-time starting quarterback Austin Neisler, a sophomore, fired to Maurion Newbill to give the Indians the lead for good.

Scott City lost a fumble on its next offensive play. Hayti recovered at the Rams' 20-yard line. Luster scored from 5 yards out to make it 22-14.

"I still felt good coming out of the rain delay, but we didn't answer the bell," May said.

The Indians threatened to put the game out of reach when they recovered a squib kickoff.

Hayti drove to Scott City's 22-yard line before being denied on an interception by senior Zach Haynes, but Scott City could not generate any offense.

The Indians looked like they would run out the clock before losing a fumble at the Scott City 18-yard line with 1:22 remaining.

The Rams threw four consecutive incompletions and Hayti had beaten Scott City again.

"It was a big win," Hayti coach Justin Peden said. "Conditions were horrible. I told the kids, ‘If you win, this is one you can tell your grandkids about.'"

Scott City had taken the lead with 8:24 left in the first quarter when a snap sailed over quarterback Neisler's head and went into the end zone.

Neisler fell on the ball, resulting in a safety and a 2-0 lead for the Rams.

The Rams' best drive of the night, covering 71 yards, resulted in a 2-yard touchdown run by senior Travis Phillips with 10:50 remaining in the second period.

A bobbled snap foiled the PAT and left the Rams ahead 8-0.

Scott City's defense put Hayti in a major hole when junior Gordon Bradley scooped up a fumble and raced 67 yards for a touchdown with just 2:08 to play before halftime. The PAT failed, but Scott City led 14-0.

"I thank [junior] Taylor Raines for getting the block for me," Bradley said.

As Hayti came roaring back in the second half. Luster said defense was key.

"We went in and talked about getting off the ball," he said.

Phillips was held below 100 yards for the first time this season. He picked up 70 yards on 18 carries and moved past 900 yards rushing this season.

Haynes rushed for 89 yards on 18 attempts. Most of his damage, like Phillips', came in the first half.

Neisler, after a tough opening half that saw him complete just 2 of 11 passes for 18 yards, had a strong second half. He finished 11 of 27 for 147 yards.

"He's got a bright future," Peden said. "I thought he played real hard and made a lot of big plays."

Scott City21200--14

First Quarter

SC -- Safety, Hayti fell on fumble in end zone, 8:24

Second Quarter

SC -- Travis Phillips 2 run (run failed), 10:50

SC -- Gordon Bradley 67 fumble return (kick failed), 2:08

Third Quarter

H -- Demetrius Luster 1 run (Karnard Humes pass from Austin Neisler), 4:46

Fourth Quarter

H -- Humes 15 run (Maurion Newbill pass from Neisler), 11:52

H -- Luster 5 run (run failed), 9:46

First downs1611
Passing yards14712


RUSHING -- Hayti, Humes 5-55, Luster 13-39, Jamal Brooks 16-22, Neisler 1-minus 6, team 3-minus 21. Scott City, Phillips 18-70, Zach Haynes 18-89, Zach Carlyle 6-18, Jon McFall 3-minus 16.

PASSING -- Hayti, Neisler 11-27-1-147. Scott City, McFall 1-7-0-16, Phillips 1-1-0-minus 4, Carlyle 0-1-0-0.

RECEIVING -- Hayti, Humes 4-58, Newbill 3-50, Cedric Harris 2-23, Luster 2-16.

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