Anderson runs over Scott City for 26-14 win for Charleston football team
CHARLESTON, Mo – Just because you know it’s coming doesn’t mean you can stop it.
That was the problem for Scott City football Friday night as Charleston running back Q’Nairies Anderson continued to elude Ram defenders despite there being little doubt who was getting the ball.
Anderson finished the night with 317 yards and three touchdowns on 37 carries, guiding his team to a 26-14 homecoming win that brings Charleston back to .500 on the season.
“He’s really fast and a good runner,” Rams head coach Jim May said of Anderson. “We knew coming in he was going to get it. You have to wrap him up and tackle him, because when he breaks tackles it’s going to be big runs.
“We had too many missed tackles, but we played hard and the kids fought until the end.”
Save for a recovered fumble and a couple kneel downs in victory formation Anderson took every handoff for the Bluejays, only getting stronger in the second half.
He racked up 200 yards and two of his scores after the break to help the Bluejays overcome a one-point halftime deficit.
“He ran well tonight,” Charleston head coach Brett Blackman said of Anderson. “We have to do things with our receivers that pull down the ball. We had several receivers that dropped passes tonight that the pressure off him a little bit.
“He wanted to win and we had several kids out there that wanted to win it tonight and did a great job.”
Charleston trailed entering the locker room due to a pair of drives that ended deep in Scott City territory.
An interception inside the 20-yard line ended one series. On another late in the second quarter, Scott city stopped the Blue Jays four yards from the end zone on a fourth-and-goal.
The Blue Jays’ lone first half score came on their opening drive when Anderson capped a 52-yard campaign with a one-yard run with 5 minutes, 45 seconds left in the first quarter. An unsuccessful two-point conversion left it at 6-0.
Scott City countered on the first play of the second quarter after a Charleston fumble gave the Rams the ball just 16 yards from the end zone. Sam Elders ran it in from two yards out and the extra-point after made it 7-6 with 11:56 left in the half.
“We had a lot going on today so I don’t know if they weren’t focused or what,” Blackman said of his team’s first half struggles. “I think what we did in several situations where we had adversity is we bounced back and fought through that which is a good sign for us.”
On their first drive of the second half the Blue Jays retook the lead after facing a fourth-and-3 on the Rams’ 19-yard line.
Quarterback Lee Thomas Moody faked a handoff to Anderson before hitting Jeremy Tucker for a 19-yard touchdown strike with 10:40 left in the quarter. Moody found Demarcus Sharp on the two-point conversion to put his team up 14-7.
Scott City answered when Jimmy May finished off a 70-yard drive with a nine-yard run to tie the game, 14-14.
Two unanswered Charleston scores in the fourth quarter, both by Anderson, proved to be the difference.
Less than a minute into the fourth quarter Anderson scored from nine yards out to cap a 68-yard drive. On his team’s next series a five-yard Anderson run made it 26-14 with 6:33 remaining.
“We couldn’t get the big stop when we needed one,” coach May said. “We got a couple in the first half, but it seems like we couldn’t get one in the second half.”
Threatening to come back, the Rams marched to Charleston’s 14-yard line on their next series before facing a fourth-and-5 on the Blue Jays’ nine-yard line.
A broken-up pass in the end zone turned the ball over on downs with 2:09 to play and Charleston continued to feed Anderson in the final minutes.
Scott City burned all three of their timeouts to try to get the ball back but runs of 12 and 13 yards by Anderson gave the Blue Jays several fresh sets of downs.
Anderson’s final run of 13 yards came after the Rams burned their final timeout, allowing the Blue Jays to line up in victory formation and run out the clock.
“Our offensive line did a great job in the second half tonight executing,” Blackman said. “They were getting to the second level and blocking. That’s what opened up a lot of big huge runs there is them making the adjustment we did at halftime.
“Their second half is the best we’ve had from an offensive line stand point.”
Charleston (2-2) out-gained the Rams 373-233 yards on the night with Anderson accounting for 83 percent of their offense.
Moody threw for 64 yards on 4-of-9 passing, including a touchdown on his final pass of the night.
Scott City (2-2) rushed for 163 yards on 47 attempts while Spencer Stratman went 6 for 11 through the air for 70 yards.
Jimmy May led the way for the Rams with 106 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries. Elders rushed 11 times for 40 yards and a score.
“We eliminated their big plays,” Blackman said. “We had a lot of tackles for losses, which is a good thing for us. When you’re getting those tackles for losses on first and second down that’s a big thing.”
C – Q’nairies Anderson 1 run (Lee Thomas Moody pass failed), 5:45
S – Sam Elders 2 run (Jimmy May kick), 11:56
C – Jeremy Tucker 19 pass from Lee Thomas Moody (Demarcus Sharp pass from Lee Thomas Moody), 10:40
S – Jimmy May 9 run (Jimmy May kick), 2:36
C – Q’nairies Anderson 9 run (Demarcus Sharp kick failed), 11:17
C – Q’nairies Anderson 5 run (Q’nairies Anderson run failed), 6:33
RUSHING – Scott City, Chance McKinley 7-36, Spencer Stratman 6-(-19), Jimmy May 23-106, Sam Elders 11-40. Charleston, Q’nairies Anderson 37-317.
PASSING – Scott City, Spencer Stratman 6-11-1 70. Charleston, Lee Thomas Moody 4-9-1 64.
RECEIVING – Scott City, Sam Elders 1-1, Eli Berry 1-9, Joe Panagos 3-50, William Klingeman 1-10. Charleston, Jeremy Tucker 2-36, Demarcus Sharp 1-27, James Durden 1-1.