CARUTHERSVILLE - The Portageville Bulldogs took one giant step toward their second straight Class 2, District 1 title by edging a very determined Caruthersville squad on Friday night 29-27.
Despite records and expectations, head coach Jim Mckay wasn't at all surprised by the strong performance of the Tigers.
"They've got speed and size and the coach works them hard and they do a good job. I knew they would be ready to play." said McKay. "For years and years, Portageville and Caruthersville have locked up, and it makes no difference who's got what."
As the score indicated, the Tigers just would not go away. After Aaron Bidewell scored the first points of the contest in the opening quarter on a 2-yard plunge, Chris Springer evened the score with a 73-yard pass reception with 11:19 left in the second quarter. The point after was good and Caruthersville led 7-6.
The two teams continued to trade touchdowns throughout the second stanza as the Bulldogs' Antonio Scott capitalized on a Tiger fumble with 4:57 on the clock.
Jimmy Jackson scored on a one-yard plunge with only 1:27 to play in the half to pull the Tigers even again.
With time running out in the first half, the Bulldogs regained the lead on a 30-yard pass reception from Lance Penn to Bidewell to make the score 21-14 at the intermission.
A little razzle dazzle in the third period proved productive for Caruthersville as punter Springer faked a punt and and ran in from 56 yards out to tie the score again.
The Bulldogs kept the pressure on later in the third quarter as Bidewell scored his third TD of the contest on a one-yard run to put the Dogs ahead to stay. That made the count 29-21.
Caruthersville's Brad Clark caught a pass and rambled in for a 31-yard score to complete the scoring.
The victorious Bulldogs will be at East Prairie next Friday to try to wrap up the district title while Caruthersville will travel to play the Green Wave of Malden.