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Monday, Aug. 29, 2016

Big second quarter propels Dexter past NMCC

Sunday, October 31, 2004

NMCC's Antonio McIntosh tries to break a tackle from Dexter's Justin Foushee.
DEXTER -- Dexter dominated from the opening kickoff in a 42-0 win over New Madrid County Central on Friday.

Dexter's Derek Roberts triggered the rout with an 85-yard touchdown return on the opening kickoff. He also had a 51-yard second quarter punt return for a score. On the night, Roberts accounted for 176 return yards.

"The special teams sparked us early," said Dexter coach Aaron Pixley, "and that got us going."

The Dexter defense was also stellar, limiting NMCC to 99 yards of total offense. The Eagles visited Dexter territory just twice, once to the 49 and again on their deepest penetration of the evening at the 29.

"For us to do that tells just how well our defense played tonight," said Pixley. "They gave the offense the ball in good field situations, time after time."

A defensive hit led to the Bearcats' second score when NMCC fumbled and middle linebacker Josh Davis recovered at the Eagle 11. Three plays later, on the first play of the second quarter, tailback Alex Becker dove in from the 2, the first of five second quarter Dexter touchdowns. A two-point conversion pass from quarterback Kyle Espey to tight end Aaron Lavender put the Bearcats up 14-0.

Another Eagle bobble on their next possession, this one recovered by Dexter defensive lineman Josh Robinson at the Bearcat 49, initiated an 11-play drive capped by another 2-yard run by Becker. Roberts, 4-of-5 on extra-point placements, kicked the point after to push Dexter to a 21-0 lead at the 8:38 mark of the second period.

Still another NMCC turnover on an interception by defensive back Eric Rinehart put the offense in excellent field position again at the Dexter 42.

"You've got to give them all the credit," said NMCC coach Arlen Pixley, Aaron's brother. "They did a great job. Their defense was solid."

On the first play, Espey hit Levi Rawson over the middle and the senior wideout raced down the right sideline for a 58-yard touchdown and a 28-0 advantage.

On the Eagles' ensuing possession, a staunch Dexter defensive effort produced a 3-and-out, forcing a punt. Roberts fielded at his own 49 and took it in for his second return touchdown with 5:28 left in the half.

An Espey to Rinehart scoring strike of 10 yards closed out the first half with the Bearcats leading 42-0.

The second half, with a running clock and Dexter's reserves playing most of the way, went scoreless.

Dexter finished with 256 yards of total offense -- 109 passing, 147 rushing.

Becker had a game-high 107 yards on 20 carries to raise his season rushing total to 957, while increasing his touchdown total to 14.

"Those were tough yards," said Aaron Pixley. "It wasn't easy for us. The offensive line did a good job, but we missed a few (blocks) and they got to our running backs."

Both Aaron and Arlen Pixley, after their first game as opposing head coaches, downplayed the sibling rivalry element.

Said Aaron, "He does a good job of keeping me out of it and I do a good job of keeping him out of it. It's always been about our football teams and not about us."

The Bearcats (6-3) remained undefeated at 2-0 in the Class 3, District 1 playoffs while NMCC (1-8) fell to 0-2 in district play.

Dexter's victory sets up next Friday's title game with Perryville, also undefeated in the district with a 41-0 win over Kennett on Friday night.

"It's going to be huge game for us, a district championship," said Aaron Pixley. "We've got to make sure that we're mentally prepared and make sure we come physical, because they're a very physical ballclub. They're going to hit and we've got to match their intensity and hit them right back."

"I wish him the best of luck," said Arlen Pixley, "and we'll help him out, if we can, in the playoffs."

He added, "We're going to come out next week against Kennett, it's our senior's last ballgame, and we've got to treat this like a Super Bowl. There's one game left and we're going to see who's willing to lay it on the line."

NMCC hosts Kennett on Thursday, while Dexter visits Perryville on Friday.