Heartbreaking loss

Published 5:16 pm Monday, November 7, 2005

By By Matthew Nascone
The Tuscaloosa Academy Knights and senior running back Maurice Scheeff scored early and often against the Escambia Academy Cougars Friday night in Atmore. The final score was 49-12 in favor of the visitors.
Scheeff ran for 355 yards, 280 of which were on his five touchdown runs. He had touchdown runs of 14, 33, 63, 82 and 87 yards. He recorded his 63-yard touchdown on the first play of the game.
Scheeff had nothing but compliments for his teammates after the game.
"I had great blocking by my offensive line and it was all a team effort," he said.
EA head coach Heath Gibson said the play of Scheeff was huge for the Knights.
"They had that one back who we couldn't tackle," Gibson said. "He had great speed and good moves and he was definitely a difference maker for them."
Because of Scheeff's running, the Knights did not punt the ball until there was 2:46 left in the third quarter.
Tuscaloosa head coach Rob Hall had one thing to say about how Scheeff is able to do what he does.
"He was born with it," he said.
Hall said tonight was a night for his team to make a statement because of what happened at the end of the regular season. His team lost 35-28 to Pickens in the last two minutes of the team's final regular season game.
"We had a lot to play for because we didn't think we should have been a four seed coming into the playoffs," Hall said. "We had to do some soul searching and the kids responded this week in practice and in the game."
EA was able to gain 283 yards of total offense including 270 on the ground. Junior fullback Joe Drew did the dirty work inside for 84 yards on 28 carries, while John Brantley sprung outside for 104 yards on eight carries. Brantley broke loose for a 50-yard run in the third quarter. Drew also had nine tackles on defense to lead the Cougars.
Bruce Smith added 51 yards rushing on five carries and six tackles on defense.
Even though they lost, Gibson said after the game that he was proud of his players and he said they stuck to what had worked for them all season.
"We were going to play with class, play hard and we are going to do our best to win football games, but sometimes you just run up against bigger, stronger and faster kids and that's what happened tonight," Gibson said. "I can't take anything away from our guys, I am proud of them."
"I have enjoyed this group of seniors so much," Gibson added. "These guys did all I asked and made my job easy. They led by example."
The Knights scored the first 21 points of the game within the first four minutes. Scheeff opened the game with a touchdown run and after an EA three and out Tuscaloosa scored another touchdown on a pass by their quarterback.
After another touchdown run by Scheeff, the Cougars scored their first touchdown early in the second quarter. Junior quarterback Cody Norton hit Kevin Maher in the end zone for a 13-yard touchdown and EA's first points of the game.
In the following drive Tuscaloosa fumbled the ball and Andrew Howell recovered for EA. Drew took the ball into the end zone from the seven-yard line for a score to bring the score to 21-12.
However, the Knights scored again on a three-play drive on their next possession, capped off by an 87-yard touchdown run by Scheeff.
Scheeff added two more touchdown runs of 33 and 83 yards. Corner back Dereco Jones also returned an interception 48 yards for a touchdown.

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