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Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016

After slow start, Dexter dominates Tigers

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Dexter's Tyler Scott picks off a Caruthersville pass.
DEXTER -- Dexter's night didn't start out very well Friday, but things worked out fine for the Bearcats by the end of the night as they dominated the Caruthersville Tigers 49-6.

On the Tigers' first play from scrimmage, quarterback Chris Smith hit Ole Miss recruit Rashad Fields for a 66-yard touchdown, giving winless Caruthersville an early 6-0 lead.

"It didn't bother me that much because we had good coverage," said Dexter coach Aaron Pixley. "(Fields) is one of the best athletes in Southeast Missouri. He just out-jumped us. He cutback on us a few times and we over-pursued it."

That was the highlight of the night for Caruthersville as the Bearcats ran and passed through the Tiger defense at will. Dexter finished the game with 471 yards of total offense, including 330 yards on the ground. Bearcat junior Nick Hessling led the way for the Bearcats rushing for 226 yards on 20 carries.

"We executed well," Pixley said. "We ran the ball very well and I thought our offensive line blocked well."

Dexter's Nick Hessling collides with Caruthersville Rashad Field.
The running game for Dexter helped set up an equally impressive Bearcat passing game. Dexter quarterback Ben Mills finished the game completing 9 of 14 passes for 141 yards and two touchdowns.

While the offense was lighting up the scoreboard, the Bearcat defense was unfazed at the Caruthersville no huddle, spread attack. Dexter limited the athletic Tigers to 205 yards and forced four turnovers.

"They no huddle, but it's not a hurry up situation so it still allows us to huddle on defense," Pixley said. "You've got to get your calls in quicker than normal and make sure they are turned around ready to go. They have a lot of good athletes and they hit a few big plays on us. We did a good job in the red zone keeping them out of the end zone."

Dexter got on the scoreboard first on a 2-yard run by David Hessling. After a Caruthersville drive stalled, Dexter's Bobby Rawson made a circus catch on a 15-yard pass from Mills to give the Bearcats a 14-6 lead. After a Bearcat interception, Mills scrambled into the end zone from 7 yards out and the route was on.

Nick Hessling and David Hessling added touchdown runs in the second quarter and Mills found Eric Windham for a 24-yard touchdown as the Bearcats led 42-6 at halftime. Glen Johnson added a touchdown run early in the third quarter to round out the scoring.

The only negative for Dexter were 8 penalties that totaled 81 yards.

"In tight games, against good opponents, you have to make sure you're not doing things like that," Pixley said of the penalties. "These next three games, if we do that, it's really going to put us in a bad situation and could get us beat."

Dexter (4-3) will now head into district play against Perryville (3-4) with a three-game winning streak. Kennett (6-1) and New Madrid County Central (5-1) round out the district.

"I thought we played hard and executed well and that is good for us going into this next game," Pixley said. "At the same time, our district, top to bottom, all four teams can really do some damage. It may be the toughest district, top to bottom, we've seen in some years. Every team is good and every team is going to have to play well to win."