Friday’s gambles paid off for Scott Central.
For Madison St. Joseph? Not so much.
Lavonte Wash ran for 179 yards and had two total touchdowns, freshman quarterback Jack Hendershot accounted for four more and Scott Central recovered three onside kicks in the second half to steal a 35-20 victory over Madison St. Joseph in the first round of the Class 2A playoffs at Bill Raphael Field.
“We’re not very good at kicking it deep and pinning teams,” Scott Central coach Mickey Bounds said. “We’ve done it for years.”
It paid off Friday night.
Trailing 10-7 at halftime, Scott Central’s Tykendrick Bobbitt recovered the Rebels’ first onside try on the opening kick of the second half, setting up Wash’s 12-yard touchdown run seven plays later.
The Rebels took advantage with another recovery on the ensuing kickoff, this time at their own 47-yard line. Wash ripped off a 39-yard run to push the ball inside St. Joe’s 10-yard line, allowing Hendershot, who threw a touchdown pass to Wash in the second quarter, to muscle in his second of three sneaks for touchdowns.
“We felt like we were in good position coming out of the half,” St. Joe coach Flip Godfrey said. “We hadn’t really played well up to that point.
“We just couldn’t get our hands on the ball.”
In total, Scott Central (6-5), which will host Taylorsville in the second round next week, racked up 21 points after recovering onside kicks in the second half.
Still, the Bruins didn’t go away.
Trailing by 10, St. Joe (8-4) reeled off as many points to tie the game; first on quarterback Chris Hanneke’s 1-yard sneak and later by Jay Newman’s 25-yard field goal, his second of the game.
The burst of momentum was contagious.
St. Joe forced Scott Central to go three-and-out on the ensuing possession, giving the Bruins a chance to orchestrate a potentially game-winning drive with less than six minutes remaining in the game.
But the drive stalled when Godfrey’s gamble on fourth down failed (Hanneke threw an incompletion on fourth-and-3), giving Scott Central the ball back with 4:05 left in the fourth quarter.
Six plays later, Hendershot muscled in the game winner from a yard out.
“We wanted to make something happen,” Godfrey said. “Thinking back, we should have punted the ball and given them a long field.
“We’d just had trouble stopping them up to that point.”
Hanneke was 6-of-14 with 124 yards and accounted for two touchdowns. Darrion Goss added 94 yards rushing for the Rebels, who captured their first playoff victory since 2010, when they beat St. Joe 30-13 in the opening round.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Bounds said.