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Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016

Scott City powers past E.P.

Sunday, September 22, 2002

East Prairie's Anthony Smith gained 21 yards on six carries Friday.
EAST PRAIRIE -- Scott City posted its first win of the season Friday night, shutting out East Prairie 14-0. The Rams won playing power football, chipping the ball down the field with their foot-to-foot, shoulder-to-shoulder offense.

With the blue and gold sideline chanting "steam roll," Scott City killed East Prairie's defense and the game clock three and four yards at a time.

"This is huge for our team," said Scott City first-year coach Jason Burkman. "We needed this win for momentum, going into the meat of our schedule. We were able to do the power game tonight. It was exactly what this team needed."

Sophomore Matt Schaefer had a monster game, rushing for 123 yards on 17 carries. East Prairie's defense had no answer for the shifty back, as he broke several tackles, turning apparent losses into positive gains.

"We had him down several times," said East Prairie coach Ken Latham. "I don't know what it was -- a lack of intensity or us just not teaching (the players) right."

East Prairie never could get anything going offensively. When the Eagles were in position to score, they shot themselves in the foot with either a fumble, a dropped pass or a penalty.

"We just didn't have any rhythm," said Latham. "Things would go good one play, then bad the next. The kids are playing hard. We've just got to get them fired up and playing a little bit better. I think they will. We're still playing with some young kids. We've just got three seniors, and that shows at times."

Scott City's first score was set up by East Prairie after the Eagles fumbled a lateral pass on their own 10 yard line. After two plays, Scott City quarterback Luke McClellan scored from one yard out.

Seth Ward kicked the PAT to make it 7-0.

In the second quarter, East Prairie looked to tie the game with an impressive drive. The Eagles took the ball 69 yards, but then the drive fizzled out at the Scott City 6-yard line. Early in the third quarter, East Prairie saw another touchdown slip through its hands as freshman Dez Johnson dropped a wide-open 50-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Matt Boyer.

"That one play probably typifies the whole night," said Latham.

Schaefer then added salt to the wound, returning a punt 54 yards to set himself up for a 1-yard touchdown run. Ward kicked the PAT to make it 14-0.

"We had a big night from Matt Schaefer," said Burkman. "He set up both scores, and our offensive line played exceptional. The win has to go to our offensive line. We had to control the line of scrimmage and had to play solid defense. They stepped up to the challenge."

East Prairie put together another impressive drive on the ensuing possession, riding on the shoulders of halfback Kaleb Thurman.

In 12 plays, the Eagles marched from their own 38 down to the Scott City 27 before fumbling the ball away.

"(Scott City) didn't do one play we didn't plan on or practice for," said Latham. "I thought they might run the option more than they did, but they didn't need to. They just came right at us and we don't have any excuses. I apologize to the fans. I wish we could get them to play a little harder. We're going to work at getting them better."

Neither team scored in the fourth quarter. Ward attempted a 30-yard field goal, but it was off its mark. Scott City's defense limited East Prairie to just 121 yards of total offense.

Brent Harland led all East Prairie rushers with 55 yards on seven carries. Thurman had 43 yards on 11 attempts. Scott City finished with 213 rushing yards as a team. "We're sophomore heavy," said Burkman. "Most of our line is sophomores, we've got a sophomore running back and we've got a sophomore quarterback. This is definitely a big stepping stone for this young team. I'm just tickled to death with all of them."

Scott City (1-2) will travel to Valle on Friday night, while East Prairie (0-3) travels to Fulton County, Ky. "I think they spread it out and throw the ball a little bit more," said Latham.

"It's going to be completely different from what we've seen this week -- the grind it out, foot-to-foot, old-style football. We'll probably see the ball in the air quite a bit."