Those scores were crucial as a tenacious East Prairie defense kept the Rams out of the end zone and off the scoreboard, with the exception of a third-quarter field goal, throughout the remainder of the contest.
"Defensively, we got a whole lot better throughout the week," said East Prairie coach Jason Aycock. "We don't have any really outstanding defensive players on our ballclub; they're all just 'average Joes', a bunch of 'blue collar' guys, but this group works well together. The thing they do best is run to the football and when they get there, they're in a bad mood."
The Eagles' first series after the opening kickoff ended in a short punt to the Scott City 46, but a Cody Carlyle interception returned possession to East Prairie at its own 46. A nine-yard first-down run pushed the Eagles into Ram territory at the 45, before the series was derailed with a penalty and a lost fumble.
Taking possession at the East Prairie 40, Scott City quickly marched in on a five-play drive culminated by a 16-yard touchdown pass from Mark Johnston to Luke McClellan at the 5:56 mark. The extra point attempt was wide for a 6-0 Ram lead.
East Prairie (0-3) turned it over twice more -- on a second-quarter fumble at midfield and on an interception near midfield in the third period.
Said Aycock, "The turnover bug jumped up and bit us again. It has bitten us every week. Once we get something going, it seems like something happens to us; a fumble, an interception…something."
The second Scott City score was set up by a shanked punt which was marked out of bounds at the East Prairie 35. The Johnston to McClellan combination struck for 32 yards, then tailback Matt Schaefer bolted in from three yards out with 3:40 to go in the first quarter. Johnston hit McClellan for the two-point conversion to send Scott City ahead 14-0.
Scott City (3-0) lit the scoreboard once more, settling for a 28-yard third-quarter field goal by Schaefer, when a 12-play drive stalled at the Eagle 13.
Although time of possession and statistics heavily favored the Rams throughout the ballgame, the Eagle defense dug in, sometimes bending, but never breaking, to prevent further damage. A 76-yard drive on Scott City's final possession ended at the Eagle 7-yard line as the final horn sounded.
"They were ready," said Scott City coach Terry Flannigan. "We knew it was going to be that way, They've kicked Scott City around the last couple of years. They're always going to play their guts out and they did it tonight. We're just fortunate to get out of here with a 'W'."
Scott City's defense was also stellar, holding the Eagles to 99 yards of total offense.
The Rams Matt Schaefer posted his third-straight 100-yard rushing game with 104 on 23 trips, unofficially.
Aycock offered praise for the Scott City seniors.
'They've got a great group of seniors right now," he said. "They have stuck together all the way through. They deserve what they're getting right now. They took their lumps and my hat is off to those seniors."
As for his winless program, Aycock, in his first year at the helm, said, "Right now, we just have to get over that hump. Once these kids learn how to win, it'll get contagious and they'll start believing in our system a little bit more and we'll get things rolling."
Next week, East Prairie hopes to get it rolling against Fulton County (Ky.), 41-0 losers to Portageville on Friday.