NEW MADRID -- The New Madrid County Central Eagles improved to 4-0 with an impressive 54-0 blowout of the Charleston Bluejays. The Eagles entered Friday night's matchup with Charleston ranked 6th in the state in 3A.
"This was a big conference win for us," said NMCC head coach Steve Rogers. "Charleston was on top and we knew we had to beat them to get where we wanted to be, our guys cut down on our penalties considerably, everyone got in, and we stayed pretty healthy."
The Eagles went into Friday's game coming off of a solid win against Farmington, while the Charleston Blue Jays were looking to improve to 3-1 coming off of an impressive 32-0 shutout of Caruthersville.
"We lost a student this week in a tragic accident, and we didn't know how we were going to respond," said Rogers. "Coming off of the type of week we had, we dedicated this game to him. All the guys wanted to come out and play hard and contribute as much as they could."
The Eagles looked very solid in just about every aspect of the game totaling 516 yards of total offense while turning the ball over once. Charleston, on the other hand had trouble getting much going on the offensive side of the ball mustering only 93 total yards on offense.
"We had trouble doing pretty much everything. They were a better football team tonight, and you could see that from the get-go. They have a good ball club with very good skill position kids," said Charleston coach Brent Anderson.
Senior standout Dereke Tipler added another stellar performance to his highlight reel of a season, rushing for a season-high 232 yards on 15 carries, 210 of those coming in the first half.
NMCC wasted no time in the first quarter marching the ball 57 yards capped off by a 26-yard Tipler touchdown run. Jake Kimball who has been very steady at kicking PAT's this year converted again to make the score 7-0.
NMCC would find the endzone again with 20 seconds left in the first quarter. Tipler again made his way around the end following a tremendous block by Lionel Smith to make the score 13-0. Kimball again added the PAT to end the first quarter at 14-0.
"I knew the key tonight would be tackling, they tackled and we didn't. It's pretty tough to win football games when you don't tackle," said Charleston coach Brent Anderson.
The Eagle defense started the second quarter like they ended the first, forcing a Bluejay punt to give them the ball back near mid-field.
The Eagle offense led by Tipler again put together another impressive offensive drive capped by a 52 yard scamper to pay dirt to push the lead to 20-0.
Charleston running back Jordy Mixon was bothered with a ankle sprain early in the contest, which hampered him for most of the game. With Mixon ineffective, the Bluejay's options were limited.
"Jordy (Mixon) injured his ankle on about his third carry -- he had trouble pushing off of it the rest of the night, and we didn't open him very good holes," said Anderson.
"Our defense has played as well tonight as they have all year. Our tough schedule has prepared us for what we faced tonight, and I feel we are one of the few teams in this area that can match their speed," said Rogers.
The Eagles weren't satisfied with the 20-0 lead and with 4:16 left in the first half, quarterback Brian Murph hooked up with Terrance Smith on a 30 yard touchdown strike to make the tally 27-0.
The Eagles would tack on four more scores, two coming from standout Desmond Sims, another from Tipler, and the last on a fumble recovery by the defensive captain Lionel Smith. Murph finished the game on 3-of-7 passing. He threw two touchdown passes, with one interception and finished with 69 yards in the air and five on the ground. Receivers Terrance Smith and Sims each caught a touchdown pass and finished with 30 and 23 yards respectively.
"I have to question a few of the moves they made late in the game, they were up 54-0 and ran a reverse in the fourth quarter, and up by 35 and threw a screen pass," said Anderson.
Rogers said in his defense, "We weren't trying to run it up on anybody tonight. Derrell (Minner) is having surgery on his finger next week, so we wanted to get him in on the action. We played a lot of our J.V. kids late in the game. My kids work real hard during practice all week and when they get a chance to get some action they go in and play as hard as they can."
The Eagles (4-0) will travel to Caruthersville this Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Charleston (2-2) will travel to Malden this Friday at 7:30 in Week 5.
Notes: Jake Kimball had a prime opportunity to break his own record of four PATs in a game. He was 4-7 on the evening. The Eagles who were called for 15 penalties last week, dwindled that number down to five. Charleston on the other hand, was flagged for 13 penalties.