(Tim Jaynes, Staff)
NEW MADRID -- On a cool, breezy evening where the New Madrid County Central Eagles unveiled a tribute monument to fallen teammate Brad Colbert, they perfected the night by defeating the St. Pius Lancers 20-6.
New Madrid's offensive speed and quick defense was too tough for the St. Pius squad to handle as the combination of senior quarterback Leslie Williams and sophomore running back Lennies McFerren combined for 214 of the Eagles' 348 total yards from scrimmage.
Williams showed his arm well, as he hooked up for three passes in double digits, including one 23 yard pass to junior Markell Long for a first down, as well as a 58 yard touchdown pass to junior Bryan Waters.
Long also caught a three-yard touchdown pass from Williams with 30 seconds remaining in the first half.
(Tim Jaynes, Staff)
McFerren basically ran the bulk of the ground attack, taking 29 hand-offs from Williams for a total of 107 yards with one touchdown run of one yard coming at 9:15 in the first quarter.
Williams had eight pass attempts, hooking up on five of them for 108 yards, with two touchdowns and an interception late in the fourth quarter.
Despite the victory, and the offensive success, head coach Arlen Pixley was hesitant to show satisfaction.
"We had too many turnovers," Pixley said. "Too many footballs were on the ground when they shouldn't have been."
He went on to say that the win was probably what a lot of people expected, for the game to be a little sloppy and have a lot of positions up in the air.
"McFerren did a bulk load of our running tonight," Pixley said. "But, he's one of three backs that we have, and they're all just as talented as he is. He just got the load tonight, and it worked out for us."
Pixley said that the road ahead for the Eagles is a tough one, especially coming up this next week at home, when they face Cape Central.
"They've improved over the last several years," Pixley said. "They've got a running back there, that's been there for a few years, and he's improved every year I've seen him. We'll have to be ready because they'll put up a fight."
New Madrid's defense may have seemed to their coach to have been a little flat, but on paper, the defense didn't look too bad.
The Eagles held St. Pius to 225 yards of total offense, and allowed just one touchdown in four quarters. The touchdown, was a run with two seconds left on the clock, by senior Robert North, who started as quarterback for the Lancers, but finished the second half as their running back.
At quarterback, the Eagles held North to seven pass attempts with one interception. As the running back, he had 18 attempts for a total of 55 yards with one touchdown.
Pixley said that the Eagles will be concentrating a little more on defense this week, because he'd like to see them allow a few less yards from scrimmage.
"The mental mistakes hurt in ball games," Pixley said. "We had a few too many penalties, they just didn't capitalize on them. We've got to keep the ball in our possession."
The Eagles will have a week to work out the kinks, as they stay at home next week as well and face Cape Central at 7 p.m. on Friday evening.