NMCC never found a way to slow down North County's relentless ground attack that ran over, through and around the Eagles for 340 yards at a 12.5 yard-per-carry clip. The Raiders amassed 423 yards of total offense to 218 for the Eagles.
Two aborted North County drives, a fumble on the game's first series at the Eagle 19 and another early in the second quarter at the Eagle 21, kept the score from getting out of hand early.
The Raiders (2-0) converted two of three first-quarter possessions into scores for a 14-0 lead. The first came on a 61-yard swing pass from quarterback Dan Harris to Iowa State-bound receiver A. J. Haase at the 4:47 mark.
On their next possession, North County, with tailback Nick Neeley ripping off a 35 yarder, drove to the Eagle 1 as time ticked down in the quarter. On second-and-goal, a North County pass attempt in the left flat slipped out of the grasp of perfectly positioned Eagle linebacker Joseph Howell, who appeared to have a clear path to the opponent's end zone.
On the next play, fullback Steven Skaggs bulled in from the 1 to send the Raiders up 14-0 with 28 seconds left in the period.
About midway of the second quarter, possibly New Madrid's best defensive stand of the evening forced a North County punt.
The Eagles then put together their most effective offensive drive. With the ball spotted at their own 41, quarterback Sherman Newsome broke a 24-yard run on the first play of the series as the Eagles drove to the Raider 14 before the drive stalled. A mishit 33-yard field goal attempt was blocked.
North County took possession at its own 20 and completed an 80-yard drive when Neeley rambled in from 20 yards out to extend the lead to a 21-0 halftime margin.
"They hit us with three big plays in the first half, two on missed tackles, but the guys didn't get down," said Pixley. "I was pretty pleased with our overall play in the first half, but we're still standing and not reacting to situations. We're too tentative."
NMCC struck for its lone score on the first possession of the second half. Newsome hit junior wideout Joshua Kirby for a 59-yard touchdown to cut the lead to 21-6.
Kirby hauled in the pass at about the visitor's 35 and outran the Raider defenders to paydirt with less than a minute gone in the third period.
New Madrid failed to capitalize on another North County fumble, recovered by Delanio Taylor, and at the 8:15 mark Neeley broke a backbreaking 77-yard touchdown jaunt. Neeley carried 13 times for 257 yards.
"We got our daubers down after that run in the third quarter," said Pixley.
A 7-yard run by Skaggs and 4-yarder by reserve back Jason Winckel wrapped up the North County scoring.
New Madrid reserves played credibly during most of the fourth quarter.
"We're just game reps away from being a solid team," Pixley said of his squad, which fields 21 new starters in the 22 offensive and defensive positions.
New Madrid (0-2) hosts Fredericktown (0-2), another team with heavy graduation losses, on Friday at 7 p.m.