SCOTT CITY -- This "medley" was anything but sweet music to the Scott City Rams in Friday night's game against the Portageville Bulldogs.
Portageville senior C.J. Medley's game-winning field goal from 24 yards out with no time left lifted the Bulldogs to a 19-16 win over the Rams in the SEMO South Conference matchup.
"That was my first one (game-winning kick) and it wasn't even me--God was with me the whole way," said an ecstatic Medley. "Everything was perfect -- the blocking, the snap, the hold -- it was all laid out for me. I'm just glad they called my number."
The victory evened Portageville's record at 1-1, 1-0 in the conference, and dropped Scott City to 0-2, both conference losses.
The Rams jumped to an 8-0 lead with a 49-yard, seven-play drive highlighted by the running of tailback Jonathan Barr who scored from the 7. Barr's 36-yard run to the Portageville 14 was the key play in the series. Quarterback Jamie Pinkston ran in the two-point conversion with 4:15 left in the first period.
Following an onside kick, Portageville, taking possession on its own 49, countered with an eight-play scoring drive. Quarterback Tyler Fowler connected with Casey Ash for a 22-yard touchdown pass at 1:09 of the first quarter.
The two-point conversion attempt failed as Scott City held its lead at 8-6, the halftime score.
When the Bulldogs' first possession of the second half stalled, Medley booted a 22 yarder to send Portageville ahead 9-8 with 6:15 left in the third quarter.
On the ensuing Scott City possession, Portageville's junior defensive back Trey Mosby picked off a Pinkston pass and returned it 78 yards to paydirt.
Taking the interception near the middle of the field at the 23, Mosby darted upfield, cut back to the left sideline at about the 50, then won a footrace to the end zone. Medley's PAT sent the Bulldogs up 16-8 with 4:14 remaining in the third quarter.
"That's what turned the game around for us," said Portageville coach Ashley Swims, of Mosby's pick. "We were flat the whole game until Trey (Moseby) intercepted that football. After that, they had fire in their eyes and were ready to go."
But the young Rams, with a sophomore-dominated lineup under veteran coach Terry Flannigan, weren't about to wilt.
On its next possession, Scott City responded with a 75-yard drive to tie the score at 16-16 with 1:48 left in the third period.
A 33-yard pass from Pinkston to Barr got the Rams rolling.
Pinkston culminated the possession with a 20-yard rollout around left end. After a great misdirection fake, he scampered virtually untouched into the end zone.
Pinkston hit tight end Matt Backfisch for the two-point conversion.
"We finished a couple of drives tonight and we had a couple of dark clouds again, things that we didn't finish," said a disappointed Flannigan. "We played hard and we had our chances. We figured two scores that we didn't take advantage of."
In particular, Scott City had one drive stall on their own 28 in the first half and failed to capitalize on a fumble recovery at their 40 late in the fourth quarter.
With 1:46 remaining and the score knotted at 16, Scott City lost yardage on a fourth-and-four from the Portageville 43, setting up the Bulldogs' final decisive drive.
"We're a work in progress," added Flannigan. "It's going to take a while. We've got a lot of inexperience and it shows each game, but as long as the kids and the coaches hang in there, it's going to get better."
Although obviously pleased with the win, Portageville's offensive numbers -- 117 rushing, 67 passing -- were lacking, according to second-year head coach Swims.
Candidly, he said, "I blame my play-calling for some of our problems on offense. I need to make better calls and we need to find a rhythm, offensively. And, as I've said forever, we need to get our passing game going to loosen it (the defense) up a little bit."
Medley led the Bulldogs' ground game with 61 yards on 15 carries. Fowler was 5-of-13 for 67 passing yards with the touchdown.
Ash was the leading receiver with three catches for 29 yards and the scoring catch.
Scott City's Barr led all rushers with 92 yards on 19 carries. Pinkston threw for 57 yards, completing 7-of-12 attempts.
In the relatively penalty-free contest, Portageville was flagged only twice for 10 yards; Scott City drew five whistles for 25 yards.
On Friday, Portageville travels to Fulton (Ky.), while Scott City hosts East Prairie.