No. 3 Scott Central stops Bay Springs a yard short in 12-6 OT winBy JAMES PHILLIPS PHOTO BILLY FREEMAN,
The Scott Central Rebels welcomed the Bay Springs Bulldogs (9-2) to Scott County last Friday in the opening round of the MHSAA Class 2A playoffs. Both teams gave up very little on defense, and in the end the Rebels’ defense stopped the Bulldogs in overtime on the one-yard line to secure the win.
Scott Central has followed up their 2018 2A state championship with a very strong 2019 season. After losing the opening game of the year, in what was a championship game rematch with Taylorsville, the Rebels have finished the year winning nine of their final 10 games. The only other loss on the season was a close game to current Class 2A No. 1 Philadelphia on the road.
Last Friday night none of that mattered, as the Rebels were in a fight for their playoff lives with a gritty Bay Springs team that came ready to dethrone the defending 2A champs.
This game was not filled with many offensive highlights as both team’s defensive units were stingy during the entire game and extra time. In the end, the Rebels made a couple more plays than the visiting team and will now move on to the second round of the playoffs.
“We all know at this point of the year making too many mistakes will send you home,” Rebels head coach Devin Cooper said. “Our kids played hard and made the plays they had to make in the end so we got the win and move on in the playoffs.”
After four quarters both teams had only combined for 12 total points and stood tied at 6-6.
The Rebels took advantage of a short field after a blocked punt in the second quarter. Junior Jalen Wells took a direct snap and lept over the pile of players at the goal line barely breaking the plane for the Rebels only score of regulation. The point after attempt was not even close to good and would haunt the Rebels the entire game.
Bay Springs got their only score of the game just before halftime when the defense recovered a fumbled Scott Central snap in the endzone. The point after attempt was no good and that is where the score would stay until overtime.
In overtime, the Rebels got the ball first, and on the first snap Lajavis Patrick took the ball over the right side, made a couple of defenders miss, and trotted in for the touchdown. Again, the Rebels missed the point after. This attempt was much closer, but bounced off the left upright leaving the score at 12-6 Rebels.
On Bay Springs possession in overtime they managed to gain eight yards on the first three plays, and were faced with a must score 4-and-goal from the 7-yard line. The Bulldog’s quarterback dropped back to pass and when he found no open receiver, he sprinted to the short side of the field where there was no Rebel between him and the game tying score.
Just as it looked like Bay Springs would score, Javarious Mcbeath came from the middle of the field like he was shot from a cannon and met the quarterback at the 1-yard line. Mcbeath made one of the plays of the year covering ground like a running deer to knock the Bay Springs runner out of bounds one-yard short of the goal line to secure the win for Scott Central.
“This was a hard-fought game just as we expected,” added Cooper. “Bay Springs is a great football team.”
With the overtime win, the Rebels move on to the Second round of the 2A playoffs. Scott Central will travel to Columbia to take on the East Marion Eagles (9-2) with the winner moving on to round three.
The Rebels are still the champs of Class 2A and they continue their quest to defend that title one more week. The game is scheduled to kickoff at 7:00 p.m. in Columbia.