OZARK ?? – Brandon Scott saw the part was broken.
Less than a minute to go and Ozark was ahead three. The Charleston quarterback rushed to his right. He made three tackles and avoided being pushed out of bounds.
He saw that Reese Merechka was wide open. Scott hit Ketter and 45 yards later Charleston scored and won 31-28 at Hillybilly Stadium on Friday night.
For Charleston coach Ricky May and Scott, the way the junior quarterback responded is a hallmark of the type of player Scott and how the Charleston football team continued to find ways to win. this season.
“He’s our guy,” May said. “He keeps finding a way to put us in a position to win. He’s like that in basketball and on the track. He’s just a phenomenal player.”
Ozark has become a big rivalry contest for the two cities, with Charleston winning the last three games.
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Scott said the game was made for the Ozark game only. They had been using it all week and saw a chance to use it late in the contest. “As soon as we tried to use it it was a failed game,” Scott said. “We don’t have a name for it. It’s just a combination of two different games.
“I was a little surprised to see Bryton open the way he was, but I was really glad he was open.”
Scott was 4 of 6 for 52 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions, one was turned away by Dylan McCormick of Ozark. For the second half, he did better and finished 5 of 8 for 125 yards and a touchdown. After losing five yards in nine carries in the first half, Scott finished the game with 19 carries and 55 yards, and one touchdown.
Charleston dragged out most of the first half before a turnaround allowed the Tigers to pull themselves together and take the advantage in the locker room.
“It was a big change of momentum for us. I don’t know why we continue to have bad first halves,” said Scott. “It’s just that one thing leads to another and another thing. We just have to understand and focus.”
Scott said the team struggled to start in the first half of their non-conference games, but the defense kept the scoring tight and made some big plays.
“We had some tough first halves… a few bad first halves, but our defense always kept us in the game,” said Scott. “We wouldn’t be anywhere without our defense. Our offense wouldn’t be as good without the defense. I wouldn’t be as good without the defense.”
“For me and the rest of the team, it’s seniors like Christopher Neissl and Ransom Merechka. They work hard, so we work hard, and I want to do it for them,” Scott said. “I see Sebastian Gaona every day in class and he always motivates us to do better.”
Charleston (3-0) begins 3A-1 Conference play next week and for May, it’s the start of their second season.
“I tell the team we have three seasons: the preseason, the conference season and the playoffs,” said May. “We’re playing bigger schools to start the year, but even if we had lost those games that wouldn’t stop us. Each one is helping us prepare for the next seven games in the conference.”
“I know I need to be a bit more focused,” Scott said. “To keep me under control and to come out and have a better first half. We had bad first halves.”