By Dave Malaska
COVINGTON, Ky. – Scott couldn't wait to get on the field.
After last week's scheduled opener against West Jessamine was scratched due to weather, the Eagles could barely contain themselves, bowling over Holmes, 34-7, Friday night at Tom Ellis Field to make their point.
"Oh yeah, we were itching," said senior Deondre Pleasant, who rushed for 58 yards for one score and returned a second quarter punt 71 yards for another, helping propel Scott to the win.
"Last week, all we could do was watch. It was our turn to show what we've got," added the senior.
The Eagles took all of seven plays to score on their first two possessions, including Pleasant's 51-yard run that capped the second drive just five minutes into the contest. Fellow senior Roberto London rushed 17 times for 159 yards and another two scores, including a 42-yard scoring scamper that got the Eagles on the scoreboard first.
"We wanted to come out and show people that last year wasn't a fluke," said London, referring to Scott's 7-4 finishing last year, the program's first winning season in 30 years. After losing a talented senior class, London said, the Eagles are aware there were doubters.
"We came back, worked hard and we want an undefeated season," he said. "We're not a one-hit wonder."
The Eagles finished the night with 346 yards of offense, 313 coming on the ground. While they continued to rack up big plays, their defense held the Bulldogs just 238 yards, well below last week's total in their 21-7 win over Holy Cross in the opener.
Holmes' junior quarterback Desean Brumfield left the game briefly in the second quarter with an injury, but returned to finish with 173 yards passing on 13 completions. Andrew Arnold caught nine of Brumfield's passes for 132 yards, and senior tailback Delijah Ross-Tyus rushed for 31 yards and a touchdown on eight carries. After Arnold and Ross-Tyus combined for 212 yards rushing in their opener, Scott held them to a combined 53 yards on Friday.
The Bulldogs were also undone by big plays.
Three plays into the contest, London broke around the end of the line and rumbled 42 yards for the Eagles' first score. After a fumbled Holmes snap forced them to punt from midfield on their first possession, Pleasant took a double handoff 51 yards through the center of the defense to put Scott up, 12-0.
Holmes got on track on their next possession, marching 46 yards down to the 19-yard line, but Pleasant intercepted a Brumfield pass in the end zone to stave off the threat.
Scott senior Eli Sowder tacked on another score minutes later, going four yards up the middle to make it 18-0 with 4:50 left in the half, then after forcing Holmes to punt on a three-and-out, Pleasant fielded the Bulldogs' punt at the 29 yard line.
Finding a seam on right side, he cruised 71 yards to put the Eagles up, 26-0 at the half.
"I just followed my blockers and it opened up," said the senior. "It was just like in track. You see the finish line and you give it that extra kick. I just kicked and went all the way."
The Bulldogs rallied to open the second half with a 12-play, 86-yard drive that culminated with Ross-Tyus' 10-yard score on an end-around, but the Eagles were quick to respond again.
On the opening play of the ensuing possession, London rumbled 56 yards for the final tally of the night.
Last season, the senior had 558 yards on just 58 carries — nearly 10 yards a carry — and sis touchdowns. He showed no intent in slowing his pace, judging by Friday's performance. Typically, London credited his offensive line.
"I just had to be patient and they'd open a hole for me," he said. "I love those guys."
After the game, Scott coach Dan Woolley had little to dislike about his squad's performance.
"If anything, maybe the fact that we lost our focus a little at the end and took our foot off the throttle. Championship teams finish games, whether they're up by a lot or not. That's what we want to be," he said.
Still, he was pleased — but not surprised — by the Eagles' performance overall.
"We lost a lot of seniors on both side of the ball from last year's team. We've got six guys playing college football. That's not an easy transition to make," he said. "But I'm not surprised at all. Our guys had a lot of success at the younger levels, and it was their turn to step into some big shoes and prove they could do it at the varsity level. I'm not surprised at all that they did."
The Eagles will look to go 2-0, traveling north of the river to play Cincinnati Aiken next Friday. The Falcons, who opened at Jefferson Township on Friday night, are coming off an 0-10 season in 2013.
Meanwhile, the Bulldogs will look to get back in the win column hosting Lloyd (1-0), which opened with a 52-0 win over Dayton on Friday. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Tom Ellis Field.
S-London 42 run (kick blocked)
S-Pleasant 51 run (kick blocked)
S-Sowder 4 run (run failed)
S-Pleasant 71 punt return (London run)
H-Ross-Tyus 10 run (Varney kick)
S-London 56 run (Sowder run)
Scott 1-0, Holmes 1-1.