Junior quarterback Josh Stevens of Dexter threw for 137 yards with two touchdowns and all-everything running back Alex Becker carried 27 times for 145 yards and scored two touchdowns.
In the battle of star running backs, Becker got the better of area leader Kendrickus Reed of the Tigers. Reed scored one touchdown and although he had more yards with 166, most of his yards came as the game was already in hand. At halftime, Becker rushed for 106 yards and Reed had only 36 yards rushing.
While everyone anticipated a classic rushing duel, the story of the night was the play of the defense for the Bearcats. Reed was a non-factor in the first half and the Bearcats intercepted two passes and allowed only 12 yards in the air from the Tigers the entire night.
"Overall we played a good game," said Dexter head coach Aaron Pixley. "We had a good defensive game-plan and the kids executed. We tackled extremely well tonight and we didn't allow Caruthersville to break any big plays on offense."
After the PAT, Dexter led 7-0 at 7:54 of the first quarter. Coach Brad Gerling of the Tigers was aware that Dexter can put the football in the air with success.
"We played them in the preseason and we knew they were able to throw," said Gerling. "Their receivers have sticky fingers and it didn't help that we blew some coverages."
The Bearcats loosened Caruthersville's defense and Becker took advantage by plowing through the defensive line. Becker ran off left guard at 4:48 of the first quarter for a 1-yard touchdown and Dexter led 14-0 after one quarter.
Caruthersville's linemen were outmatched all night by the physical play of the offensive line of the Bearcats.
"Every now and then our offensive linemen will lose some confidence," said Pixley. "But tonight they did not let up. They outworked the opponent and every game they are learning and getting better."
Dexter scored a quick touchdown at the start of the second quarter as senior fullback Justin Foushee rumbled up the middle for a 30-yard touchdown run at 10:47. The Bearcats led 21-0.
The last score of the first half came from the Bearcats as Stevens looked right and spotted Rinehart who was again covered man-to-man with no help from the safety. Stevens threw a dart to Rinehart who somehow made the grab over the Tiger defender.
The touchdown pass was good for 18 yards and Dexter led 28-0 going into halftime.
"Josh (Stevens) threw the ball well tonight," said Pixley. "He made good decisions all night and that is what we need from him."
Becker scored his second touchdown of the game at 7:42 of the third quarter as he ran up the middle for a 4-yard touchdown run. Dexter led 35-0 and Caruthersville was demoralized after seeing Dexter chew up yards and most importantly the game clock.
"Dexter was classic Dexter with big, physical linemen who bring it," said Gerling.
Pixley was pleased with the way his offensive unit came out in the second half.
"We came out and chewed up some clock," said Pixley. "Alex (Becker) has one speed and that is full speed all the time. Our line did a good job and Caruthersville started to blitz but our guys didn't get distracted, just played harder."
The Tigers finally got on the scoreboard at 5:48 of the third quarter as Reed zig-zagged his way up the middle of the Dexter defense and scored on a 35-
Dexter tacked on two more scores for their final tally of 50 as Stevens sneaked in for a 4-yard touchdown at 2:59 of the third quarter and back-up quarterback Taylor Joyner ran right behind the center for a 1-yard run at 6:24 of the fourth quarter.
Caruthersville tallied a meaningless touchdown on Dexter's reserves as Aaron Borders ran in from 15 yards and the final score was in favor of Dexter by a score of 50-14.
Besides the efforts of Becker and Stevens on offense, Rinehart had an excellent receiving game as he had four receptions for 128 yards and two receiving touchdowns. Foushee had a rushing touchdown and carried six times for 50 yards.
The Tigers were a one-man show as, besides the night of Reed, no one for Caruthersville had a good game offesively. Quarterback Keith Creekmore only passed for 12 yards and threw two interceptions and backup quarterback Jake VanAusdall threw a pick on his only attempt of the game. Creekmore was second on the team in rushing as he gained 22 yards.
The Bearcats were led in tackling by Anthony Alsup who finished with 10 tackles. David Hessling chipped in with nine tackles and Rinehart had seven tackles.
Josh Davis, Logan Swindle and Drew Pixley had an interception apiece for Dexter. Alex Watkins had a fumble recovery for the Bearcats.
Mikey Lack and Borders led Caruthersville with nine tackles. Zach Ayers had seven and Rashad Fields had six tackles.
Borders also had a fumble recovery for the Tigers. Ward Davis picked up the only sack for Caruthersville good for a 4-yard loss.
On the night, Dexter had only one penalty for five yards and didn't punt the entire game. Dexter dominated the time of possession as they had the football for 32 of the 48 minutes.
The Bearcats were solid on third down conversions as they converted five of eight while Caruthersville converted only three of eight.
On fourth down, Dexter was two of three on conversions and the Tigers did not convert on fourth down on two attempts.
Although pleased with the effort, Pixley did see room for improvements.
"We let up on defense in the third quarter," said Pixley. "We stopped tackling but we regrouped and settled back in."
On the defensive effort against Reed, Pixley was pleased that his defense didn't let him run wild.
"He is a good running back and if he finds an opening he is gone," said Pixley. "Our defense made solid tackles against him and limited his big play ability."
Dexter (4-3) will begin district play in Class 3 as they will travel to play the Kennett Indians. Caruthersville (2-5) will start Class 2 districts at the Portageville Bulldogs.