HIGHLAND -- Both teams knew their season would end after Fort Scott Community College took on Highland in Jayhawk Conference play Saturday afternoon at Kessinger Field. But the Greyhounds played like a team that didn't want it end and went on to roll Highland, 47-9, to finish the season with back-to-back victories.
Fort Scott finished in fifth place in the Jayhawk Conference standings at 3-4 and was 3-6 overall. But they had already been eliminated from the Region VI Playoffs when Independence upset Coffeyville last weekend.
The Pirates (4-3, 4-5) beat Garden City, 10-6, Friday night at Independence to clinch a playoff spot. When Hutchinson defeated Coffeyville, 41-0, Saturday night, Indy moved up to the No. 3 seed in the playoffs.
Top-seeded Butler (7-0, 9-0), which had the week off, hosts Coffeyville (4-3, 6-3) in the first round of the playoffs Sunday at 1:30 p.m. Independence will travel to take on No. 2 seed Hutchinson (6-1, 8-1).
Fort Scott jumped out to the lead on its first play from scrimmage when Jonathan Walker went 25 yards to the end zone. The Greyhounds had the good field position after Highland punter Cameron Owens had to bring down a high snap and try to run for a first down on fourth-and-11 from his own 31.
Joe Williams' interception ended Highland's second drive and led to Fort Scott's next score, a 23-yard pass from Spenser Bennett to Malcom Moulton from 23 yards out on a third-and-19 play. The 'Hounds had to drive just 35 yards.
Bennett made it 21-0 with 5:20 left in the first when he connected with Christian Buckner on a 48-yard pass play. The 'Hounds were up three touchdowns after possessing the ball for just 10 plays in the contest.
Early in the second, Highland (2-5, 2-7) found itself starting a drive back at its own 9-yard line. Fort Scott defensive back ended it on the first play by intercepting a screen pass and returning it 5 yards to make it 27-0 with 10:16 left in the second quarter. The extra point kick was blocked.
Highland's only touchdown came on Tay Willis' 25-yard run with 9:52 to go. That was set up by a 59-yard kickoff return by Tony Cornelius.
Backup quarterback Blaine Dalton set up Fort Scott's next score by scrambling 55 yards to the Highland 5. On the next play, he threw to tight end Brannon Green for another touchdown. The PAT was unsuccessful, so the score was 33-6 with 1:26 left in the half.
The 'Hounds took the opening kickoff of the second half and drove 55 yards for another score, Nick Woods' 2-yard run with 11:56 on the clock. Drew Russell's PAT made it 40-6.
Owens made a 37-yard field goal with 7:11 left in the period for Highland.
Turnovers ended five of the next six possessions. On the day, there were nine turnovers -- seven interceptions and two lost fumbles.
Davon Coleman's interception was the last of the series of turnovers and his 20-yard return put the ball at the Highland 40. Eight plays later, redshirt freshman running back Collins McDonald ran in from 2 yards out to score his first touchdown as a Greyhound.
Fort Scott finished with 492 yards of total offense, gaining 308 of those on the ground. Dalton, though he played just two offensive series, was the leading rusher with 91 yards on 5 carries. Walker followed with 87 yards on 15 totes and Woods finished with 57 on 10 rushes.
Bennett completed just 9 of 25 passes and three 4 interceptions. But he also tossed 2 touchdown passes and threw for 171 yards. Dalton was 2 for 2 for 13 yards.
Buckner had 2 receptions for 87 yards for the 'Hounds while Moulton had 2 for 44, Alex Barner 2 for 30 and Green 2 for 23.
Fort Scott's defense held the Scotties in check for 3 quarters. Coleman had his interception, a sack and even ran the ball 23 yards on a fake punt.
Highland finished with 33 total yards on 12 first downs. But most of that came in the fourth quarter. In the first three periods, the Scotties had only 5 first downs and 97 total yards.
Two Highland quarterbacks combined to complete 2 of 13 passes for 10 yards. Starter Rashad Jackson completed his first pass but no others in 8 attempts. Replacement Gabe Schultz completed only the last of his 5 attempts. Both of them threw an interception as Willis on a halfback option pass.
Willis did gain 163 yards on the ground on 29 carries. But 70 of those yards came in the fourth quarter on 9 carries.
NOTES -- This will be first first time Fort Scott has missed the playoffs since 1989, the season before the Jayhawk Conference decided to allow every team into the playoffs. The playoff field was reduced to four teams again prior to the 2006 season.
FSCC was the last team in the conference when the original playoff system was created in 1981 to make the playoffs. In fact, two of the schools -- Cowley and Pratt -- qualified and later dropped football before Fort Scott first qualified in 1990....
The Greyhounds scored 118 points in their final two games. The their previous six, they had scored just 77 points. In these final two games, Fort Scott produced its best offensive numbers of the season. These two games against Dodge City and Highland produced their two highest-scoring (71 and 47 points) and highest-total-yardage games (772 vs. Dodge, 492 vs. Highland)....
The fall from last season's 11 victories to this year's 3 -- an 8-win difference -- is the steepest drop in FSCC history. The previous greatest drop was a difference of 6 victories from 1962 to 1963 (nine to three) and 1938 to 1939 (10 to four) A positive sign here, however, is that the 'Hounds improved in each of the following seasons. They came back up to 6 victories in 1940 and to 8 wins in 1964....