Victor Hughes rushed for 206 yards on 14 carries and scored twice, the most rushing yards by a Tiger since B.J. Pruitt ran for 200 yards in an Oct. 15, 1998 victory over Labette County. Meanwhile, Marques Floyd showed that his injured ankle has healed quite nicely, thanks, as he cut through the Grizzly defense for 112 yards on 11 carries and scored three times.
The Tigers' offensive line spent most of the night knocking the Grizzlies off the ball. Then Floyd and Hughes had their way in the open field as Labette County's linebackers and defensive backs had trouble tackling the Fort Scott duo.
"That's possible because of the job the offensive line and tight ends are doing," Fort Scott Head Coach Bob Campbell said. "They did an awesome job up front of getting movement. That allows us to be able to run the ball effectively. And when you control the line of scrimmage, you give yourself a really good chance to win the ball game."
Meanwhile, Fort Scott (5-0 SEK, 6-0 overall) was faced with a twist from the Labette County offense. With starting signal caller Austin Ryan out with a broken finger, the Grizzlies (2-3, 2-4) turned receiver Dontae Johnson into a pistol-formation quarterback. The varsity defense didn't have much trouble stopping that plan of attack, holding LCHS to just 41 total yards of offense before the JV was sent in with two minutes left in the third quarter.
"Johnson had not played quarterback all year," Campbell said. "And they put him back there because he's a very good athlete. He's fast and able to run the football. Credit to Coach (Bo) Graham and our defense to be able to do a nice job of containing him."
The Tigers gained 325 of their 378 total yards in the first half. They began the game by attacking the right side of the Grizzly defense on each of their first six plays, gaining anywhere between 7 and 15 yards a pop. Hughes scored from one yard out with 9:07 on the clock to get Fort Scott on the board.
John Hughes recovered a Johnson fumble at the Fort Scott 45 and the Tigers scored just five plays later when Floyd followed tackle Ackland Milton to the right, cut back left and scampered across from 33 yards out with 4:34 to go in the first. The PAT kick failed this time, so it was 13-0.
Fort Scott scored on its third possession in just three plays (officially) despite committing a chop block penalty on the first play (enforced penalties don't count as plays). Hughes got that yardage back and then some as he took advantage of another big hole, broke a tackle and cut right for 46 yards to the Labette County 30. That put him at 102 yards on just his seventh carry of the game.
"Victor's not the fastest kid on our team, and he'd be OK with me saying that," Campbell said of the 5' 9", 155-pound senior. "But he does have good quickness and he's a good wrestler with really good balance. You saw that tonight; he gets hit and he's able to keep going."
Two plays after that run, Floyd scored his second TD on a draw play up the middle -- through another big hole -- from 26 yards out. Quarterback Johnathan Stark hit tight end Straton Hunziker for the 2-point conversion to make it 21-0 with 1:34 on the clock.
Stark scored a touchdown of his own with 7:33 in the second quarter on what was essentially a 13-yard quarterback sneak. He kept on the option and the LCHS defense followed Marques Floyd instead of Stark, who just let the O-line guide him to paydirt.
Floyd went over 100 yards on the Tigers' next possession and later scored from 11 yards out following Garin Sinn -- back from an injury himself -- into the end zone with 1:14 to go in the half, making it 35-0.
Fort Scott's final score came with 8:04 to go in the third quarter as Hughes ran in from 19 yards out. The PAT kick was no good.
Because of the 41-point margin, the fourth quarter was played with a running clock. The junior varsity defense got a stop on the new LCHS offense, forcing a punt from the LC 48 after 34 yards. The Grizzlies scored on what turned out to be the final play of the game, a Parker Grant 35-yard run. There was a minute to go when he crossed the goal line but the officials had to sort out a penalty called on the play. The clock continued to run and time ran out before the Grizzlies could set up for the extra point.
The Tigers had 12 first downs to Labette's 5 and needed to throw just two passes -- Stark's 2-point conversion and a 9-yard completion to Jash Pytlowany. Johnson finished with 51 yards rushing on 17 carries. However, he gained only 7 yards on his first 10 rushes and went 0 for 3 passing.
Fort Scott begins Class 4A District 6 play next Friday as Anderson County comes to Frary Field. Kickoff will be at 7 p.m.
NOTES -- Pittsburg defeated Coffeyville, 67-53, Friday night in a game that broke a modern-era Southeast Kansas League record. Since 1962, no game has had more combined points, 120, than this one. The old record was 118 points, set on Oct. 15, 2010, when Coffeyville defeated Labette County, 63-55....
LABETTE CO... 0 0 0 6 -- 6
FORT SCOTT.. 21 14 6 0 -- 41
|Team stats||LCHS||Fort Scott|
FS -- V.Hughes 1 run (J.Allen kick), 9:07 [8, 75, 2:48]
FS -- Floyd 33 run (kick failed), 4:34 [5, 55, 2:18]
FS -- Floyd 26 run (Hunziker pass from Stark), 1:34 [3, 59, 1:33]
FS -- Stark 13 run (J.Allen kick), 7:33 [6, 58, 2:45]
FS -- Floyd 11 run (J.Allen kick), 1:14 [8, 64, 4:40]
FS -- V.Hughes 19 run (kick failed), 8:04 [3, 37. 1:16]
LC -- Grant 35 run, 1:00 (No conversion, :00)
RUSHING: Labette County -- Johnson 17-51, Grant 2-37, Rohling 12-36, Cares 8-22. Fort Scott -- V.Hughes 14-206, Floyd 11-112, Durossette 4-29, Stark 3-10, Cezar 1-6, Brown 3-6, Thurston 1-3, Doherty 1-minus 1, Knopp 1-minus 2.
PASSING: Labette County -- Johnson 0-3-0-0. Fort Scott -- Stark 1-1-0-9.
RECEIVING: Labette County -- none. Fort Scott - Pytlowany 1-9.
MISSED FIELD GOALS: None.