PORTAGEVILLE -- The Caruthersville Tigers have been one of the most consistently good teams this season and seem to be getting stronger as the weeks go by.
They upped their season record Friday night to 8-1 overall and 2-0 in district play by dominating the injury-plagued Portageville Bulldogs 61-0.
Tiger running back Jimmy Jackson, who led all area running backs in both yards (1,836) and touchdowns (24) going into the contest, rushed seven times for 162 yards and three touchdowns in the first half.
Plessie Ellitt blocked a Bulldog punt and recovered it in the end zone, and also caught a Rogers VanAusdall screen pass that covered 28 yards at the close of the second stanza.
Tony Lewis rambled in from the two yard line and Dominic Branch caught a 37-yard pass to make the halftime score 48-0.
"I can't say enough about our kids. For the last couple of weeks, it seems like everything's starting to click and we're rolling pretty good. Our offensive game just keeps getting better. At this point in the year, we've seen pretty much everything we're going to see as far as the defense people are going to run against us and the different looks. Our offensive line is doing a great job picking up front," said Tiger head coach David Gilmore.
"Portageville's a blitzing team and we were able to take them out of that early with our trap game, so right now is the time of year when you want to get hot and get going in the playoffs and have a lot of confidence and for us to win our two district games 56-0 and 61-0 gives us a lot of momentum," continued Gilmore.
Portageville entered the contest with a 5-2 mark and shared the SEMO South conference lead with Hayti, but was just not able to get untracked in Friday's contest.
Bulldog leading rusher Antonio Scott suffered a toe injury at the end of the first quarter and was unable to return. Leonard Boyd was taken out of the contest also when he received a shoulder injury.
"Caruthersville's got a real good team. They play hard and they're aggressive, coaches do an excellent job. They've got an offensive scheme that's super and they play real good defense. They've got all the tools; size, speed and depth," commented Portageville coach Jim McKay. "We're kinda young and beat up pretty bad, but I'm proud of our kids, they do the best they can going up against a big aggressive team."
Kendrick Reed made it 54-0 with 8:44 left in the third quarter on a 45-yard scamper and then ended the scoring in the contest with 5:43 left on a 22-yard effort.
Portageville will host East Prairie in its season finale next Friday while Caruthersville will host Malden in a battle for the district championship.