GEORGETOWN — Jim McKee succinctly summed up his team's 27-17 come-from-behind win Friday night over Tates Creek.
"It's about making plays in the playoffs," the Scott County coach said.
His Cardinals made just enough plays to rally in the fourth quarter and survive the first round of the Class 6A playoffs at Toyota Stadium.
In next week's second round, the second-seeded Cardinals (8-3) will play at Clark County, a 28-13 winner over Paul Dunbar.
Scott has beaten Creek seven consecutive times, including a 32-14 decision last month.
No. 4 seed Creek (5-6) lost three of its final four games.
Asked what he told his team at halftime, McKee joked that he got locked in the washroom and, thus, made one of his best speeches. Didn't really happen, though.
His simple advice: "You've got to make plays."
The Commodores actually outgained Scott 338 yards to 287. The bulk of those yards came from Dee Christopher, who completed 16 of 23 passes for 243 yards and ran 10 times for 30 yards and a TD.
Scott neutralized that by outrushing Creek 197-95. Josh Walls led the way with 94 yards on 18 attempts Jordan Kindred sparked the defense with seven tackles.
Tevin Buffin went 3-for-4 passing, good for 90 yards and a touchdown, and he ran six times for 32 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Trailing 13-10 at halftime, Tates Creek took the second-half kickoff and marched to its only lead when Jontez Jones scored on a 9-yard run.
The Commodores were on the verge of adding to a 17-13 lead early in the fourth quarter, driving to the Scott 24. With Christopher on the sideline because of cramps, Martrell Berry fumbled as he tried to scramble. Aaron Mudrak recovered for the Cardinals.
Less than 90 seconds later, Buffin hit Danny Arnold over the middle for a 50-yard TD.
After Creek lost the ball on downs, Buffin scored on a 14-yard bootleg, on fourth-and-9 with 23 seconds left.
"I'm really proud of our kids. I thought they played really hard," said Mike Harmon, Creekers coach. "They did a great job and we just came up a little short in the end."
Scott led 13-0 through one quarter, scoring on two of its first three possessions.
Buffin's 1-yard sneak put Scott up 6-0. The big gainer on a nine-play, 62-yard drive was a Buffin pass to Walls for 33 yards to the 2-yard line.
The second score, a 20-yard run by Walls, came four plays after Alex Griskell blocked a Tates Creek punt.
Creek, without a first down or a completion in the opening quarter, clicked immediately in the second period.
With Christopher completing five consecutive passes, the Commodores drove 79 yards in 10 plays. Christopher's passes included a drive-opening 25-yarder to Brandon Shrout and a third-and-8 toss for 23 yards to Jonathan Diliberto. Christopher got the score on a 5-yard run.
Scott County threatened, but Creek's Jonathon Meadors recovered a fumble on his 22-yard line. Meadors would lead all tacklers with 10.5, including a sack.
Christopher hit on his first four passes, including a 45-yarder to Shrout, as the Creekers drove to the Scott 4. They settled for Myles Atkins' 21-yard field goal with 42 seconds left in the half.
As for that halftime advice, McKee said, "it wasn't anything I said to them. All we do as coaches is prepare them to be the best they can be. ... It's not about me. It's 100 percent about them."
Tates Creek 0 10 7 0—17
Scott County 13 0 0 14—27
SC — Tevin Buffin 1 run (kick failed); SC — Josh Walls 20 run (Jay Willmott kick); TC — Dee Christopher 5 run (Myles Atkins kick); TC — Atkins 21 field goal; TC — Jontez Jones 9 run (Atkins kick); SC — Danny Arnold 50 pass from Buffin (Willmott kick); SC — Buffin 14 run (Willmott kick).
Records—Tates Creek 5-6; Scott County 8-3