Festus capitalized on four Dexter turnovers in the first quarter to bolt to a quick 26-0 lead, then the Tigers added another six points in the second to send the staggering Bearcats into the locker room looking for answers.
Both team returned to the field for the third quarter before lightning forced the game to be halted with 6:28 showing on the clock. The lightning was a prelude to heavy rains that moved in and forced officials to call the game.
Festus dominated Dexter in the first half, limiting the Bearcats to minus 10 yards of offense, while the Tigers rolled up 15 first downs (11 rushing, two passing, one by penalty) and 185 yards.
The field at Tigers Stadium was already muddy and wet when Festus kicked off to Dexter to open the game, and it only took one offensive play for the Bearcats to turn the ball over on a fumble at their own 29-yard line.
Festus quarterback Shawn Crump (5-of-11, 76 yards) wasted little time cashing in on the turnover when he lofted a pass to Myles Becquette, who went high in the air to wrestle the ball away from Dexter's defender for a 28-
yard gain. Tyler White pushed it in from the one on the next play for a quick 6-0 lead when the try for two failed.
Dexter turnovers continued to give Festus great field position on a field that was quickly deteriorating. On the next three offensive possessions by the Bearcats they turned the ball over on a fumble and two botched punt attempts.
All three turnovers resulted in easy scores for the Tigers, two by J.P. Clifton (8 carries, 61 yards), and a second by White (4 carries, 6 yards).
Jeremy Culton's run up the middle for 7-yards at the 11:55 mark of the second proved to be the last points of the game as the Bearcats began to recover from the dismal start.
Dexter looked like it was ready to make a better showing in the second half when the Bearcats forced a fumble and covered it shortly before the two teams were sent in because of lightning in the area.
For Dexter, Nick Hessling gained 22 yards on nine carriers, while quarterback Ben Mills was 4-of-9 for 38 yards. Bobby Rawson had two catches for 20 yards, while Tyler Scott and Matthew Banked each had one catch for nine yards.
The win improves Festus to 2-0 this season while the Bearcats slipped to 0-2.
Dexter will be at home next week when they will host the Sikeston Bulldogs, who beat arch-rival Charleston, 35-14, to improve to 2-0 this season.