HIGHLAND -- Fort Scott Community College won its season opener here Saturday night, defeating Highland 20-7 in a Jayhawk Conference battle that featured three defensive touchdowns but no offensive ones. This was Fort Scott's first victory in a season opener since beating Kilgore, Texas, 21-17 in 2009.
Nashville, Tenn., freshman Stanley Hagan rushed for 237 yards on 42 carries in his collegiate debut for the Greyhounds, the most by a Fort Scott player in a season opener since Jasmin Hopkins ran for 201 yards in a 2008 victory over Kilgore. FSCC has lost just once (15-1) when a rusher has gained over 200 yards in a game since the start of the 1996 season.
Highland managed just 35 yards of total offense in the game and that was after having just five total yards at the half.
"Our defensive coaching staff has done a great job preparing the kids for this game and it showed by the way the defense responded all game long," Fort Scott head coach Curtis Horton said about the Greyhound defense in a press release.
Fort Scott rushed for 252 of its 286 total yards on a wet field as it rained for most of the game.
The Scotties gave Fort Scott prime field position when punter Gary Flack fielded a bad snap on his knee at his own 35 at the end of Highland's first drive. Under collegiate rules, the ball was dead at that spot.
But the Greyhounds were unable to take advantage of the gift as starting quarterback Sean Strehl threw an interception on a second-and-2 play at the 16 and Highland's Contereze Pierce ran it back 99 yards for the score. Flack's PAT kick made it 7-0 with 10:29 left in the first quarter.
Fort Scott drove to Highland's 10 on its next possession but Mark Whitrock's 27-yard field-goal attempt was partially blocked. Early in the second quarter, Fort Scott drove to Highland's 21 but turned the ball over on downs after a bad snap on an attempted fourth-and-1 quarterback sneak by backup Owen Jordan.
The Greyhounds got on the board with 13:54 in the second when Antonio Carter picked up a fumbled pitch at the Highland 5 and ran it back for the TD. Whitrock's extra-point kick tied the score.
Whitrock kicked two field goals in the third quarter, a 34-yarder with 13:26 to go and a 31-yarder with 8:16 left. Fort Scott led 13-7 after three.
The final score of the game was Stephan Martin's 13-yard fumble return with 11 seconds left in the game.
Although Hagan had a strong performance, the game was otherwise dominated by defense. On the 83 offensive plays by both teams that didn't involve Hagan, there were only 84 yards of total offense, an average of barely 1 yard per play. Highland rushed for 14 yards on 42 carries and its two quarterbacks completed only one of seven passes for 21 yards.
Fort Scott's quarterbacks, Strehl and Jordan, combined to go just 4 of 19 for 33 yards and were picked off three times.
The Greyhounds will host No. 16 Tyler, Texas, Saturday at 1 p.m. at Frary Field. This will be the Apaches' season opener.
FORT SCOTT.................. 0 7 6 7 -- 20
HIGHLAND..................... 7 0 0 0 -- 7
|Team stats||Fort Scott||Highland|
H -- Pierce 99 interception return (Flack kick), 10:29
FS -- Cater 5 fumble return (Whitrock kick), 13:54
FS -- FG Whitrock 34, 13:26 [4 plays, 6 yards]
FS -- FG Whitrock 31, 8:16 [4, 0]
FS -- Martin 13 fumble return (Whitrock kick), :11
RUSHING: Fort Scott -- Hagan 42-237, Rooks 1-8, Cage 1-6, Dangerfield 2-6, Jordan 3-5, Strehl 8-minus 9. Highland -- Handley 8-27, Root 4-14, Wilbur 4-4, McGee 6-minus 7, Stephens 19-minus 11, team 1-minus 13.
PASSING: Fort Scott -- Strehl 1-8-2-4, Jordan 3-11-1-29. Highland -- Stephens 1-7-0-21.
RECEIVING: Fort Scott -- Dangerfield 3-21, Hoskin 1-12. Highland -- Marks 1-21.
MISSED FIELD GOALS: Fort Scott -- Whitrock 27 (blocked).