WINCHESTER — Josh Walls made a late interception to go with his 153 rushing yards and two touchdowns, and Scott County edged Clark County 18-15 on Friday night in the second round of the Class 6A football playoffs.
Scott County will play host to Henry Clay in next week's region finals. Henry Clay downed the Cardinals 21-7 on Sept. 11.
In a game matching a pair of 8-3 teams nicknamed Cardinals, Scott fell behind early, but led 18-7 at halftime.
"We did a nice job defensively," winning coach Jim McKee said. "Things went well for Clark County early and they got a little bit of momentum away from us with the opening score. Once we settled down, I thought we played great."
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Cody Hudson led Scott with 71/2 tackles. Josh Webb topped Clark with 7.
Clark County, after scoring on the opening drive, was held without another first down until the third quarter. Then they rattled off five in a row, culminating in a 19-yard touchdown run by Darius Skinner. His two-point conversion run made it 18-15 with 5:21 left in the third quarter.
After Scott went three-and-out for the second straight possession, Clark ticked off four more first downs and had the ball first-and-goal on the 7.
However, Skinner fumbled and Scott County's Jordan Kindred recovered on the 9.
Clark would get the ball only two more times.
The first ended when Walls intercepted a pass, this time with 5:21 left in the game.
Scott eventually turned the ball over on downs with 2:19 left.
Facing fourth-and-5 on its 36, Clark's last gasp ended when Skinner was dropped for no gain on a pass reception in the flat.
"Defense played a heck of a game," Walls said. "It deserves another word, really. When we were driving down, we got stopped on fourth down, we all knew we were gonna stop them. We had the confidence that we were gonna stop them all game.
"Our O-line did a heck of a job; that deserves another word, too. Just a great feeling right now. I just want to go party!"
Scott County pasted Clark County 40-0 on Sept. 25. Clark County hadn't lost since.
Walls rushed for 112 yards in the first quarter and had 145 on 11 carries by halftime. He was held to 8 yards on 12 carries in the second half.
"We blew some coverages in the first half. We weren't doing a good job early of keeping outside contain," said Paul Columbia, the Clark County coach. "But then we did a much better job, took away the quick flip to put a little bit of pressure on Walls.
"So, a great second half by our guys. We just had to put it in the end zone when we had a chance there at the end."
Clark's score on the opening drive came on third-and-3. Andrew Dini called his own number — a quarterback sneak. Dini parted the seas and took off on a 51-yard touchdown sprint.
Clark County was in position to add to its lead.
Mason Jones pushed a blocker into Scott punter Jay Willmott, then recovered the ball on the Scott 23. Three plays netted 2 yards, so Taylor Moody came on to try a 42-yard field goal.
This time, Clark County came up with the block, by Blake Sears.
Two plays later, Walls headed around left end and sprinted down the visitors sideline for an 85-yard touchdown. The PAT kick was wide, but Scott was within a point.
The visitors took a 12-7 lead early in the second quarter.
Facing fourth-and-3, quarterback Tevin Buffin faked a handoff, rolled right, then fired to Joe Martin in the end zone for a 10-yard touchdown.
Walls added a 19-yard touchdown run with 2:29 left in the half.
Scott County defensive end Forrest Baker went down early in the second half with an injury to his right knee. He was taken from the site by ambulance.
Scott County 6 12 0 0—18
Clark County 7 0 8 0—15
CC — Andrew Dini 51 run (Taylor Moody kick); SC — Josh Walls 85 run (kick failed); SC — Joe Martin 10 pass from Tevin Buffin (kick blocked); SC — Walls 19 run (pass failed); CC — Darius Skinner 19 run (Skinner run).