(Brent Shipman, Staff)
Scoring back-to-back on a kickoff and fumble recovery, the Blackcats were able to quickly take 24-point lead early in the third after the Eagles had closed to within 10.
"We'd seen them in the playoffs last year and they had the turnover bug in that game," NMCC coach Arlen Pixley said. "Kind of the flip side of it tonight. We give up the kickoff return for a touchdown and two fumble recoveries for a touchdown and that was the difference in the ball game."
The turn of events all started after NMCC quarterback answered the Blackcats opening scoring drive in the third with a 66-yard run to left side of the endzone to bring the Eagle's deficit back to within 10.
Taking the momentum back within a matter of second, however, Fredericktown's Coley Mills took the ensuing kickoff back 80 yards to pay dirt, putting the Blackcats up by 16.
the end zone to put his team up 30-14 with 8:15 left in the third.
Compunding the situation was the Blackcat's Jon O'Neal, who picked up an Eagle's fumble early into the next drive, taking it back 20 yards to put NMCC down 38-14.
"It's a dagger to the heart," Stevenson said. "It's something we have to fix. We'll start off something good, but then we'll let up. It's a fixable mistake."
Not laying down after, NMCC went on to score three more times for 22 point in the final 15 minutes of the game.
Unfortunately for the Eagles, the Blackcats answered all three scoring drive to keep their healthy lead intact.
Up 50-36 in the closing minutes, Fredericktown's Jacob Farmer iced the game by running in a 47-yard score with 1:26 left in the game.
"We started off kind of low, but then we started stepping it up," NMCC's Zach Rucker said. "If we would have started off earlier I believe we would have had this game."
Giving the Eagles trouble all night, Farmer was the heart and soul of a Blackcats ground attack.
With for 281 yards on 23 carries, Farmer broke for touchdown runs of 30, 27 and 47 yards while adding another score in the passing game.
For the Eagles, it was Stevenson getting the brunt of the carries. Running for 223 yards on 21 carries, Stevenson found his way to the endzone of both 66 and 54 yard runs while going 11-of-19 for 81 yards in the passing game.
With his defense allowing 491 total yards, Pixley hopes to see his young squad grow as the season goes on.
"We're still green on defense," he said. "We've accepted that. We have three seniors on defense right now that are playing. We're just having to grow with our young guys.
"We know that they're going to make mistakes. Good teams like this our going to make a lot of mistakes and we have some young guys who learned a lot from tonight."
F -- Austin Smith 70 fumble recovery (A.P. Lewandowski run good), 6:10
F -- Jacob Farmer 30 run (Cody Smothers pass from A.P. Lewandowski good), 3:07
N -- Xavier McFerren 17 run (Zach Rucker run good), 8:55
F -- Jacob Farmer 27 run (Coley Mills pass from A.P. Lewandowski good), 8:44
N -- G'Darius Stevenson 66 run (G'Darius Stevenson run no good), 8:27
F -- Coley Mills 80 kickoff return (A.P. Lewandowksi pass no good), 8:15
F -- Jon O'Neal 20 fumble recovery (Jacob Farmer pass from A.P. Lewandowski good), 7:47
F -- Dylan Ellis 59 run good (Anthony Jablonowski kick failed), 3:25
N -- G'Darius Stevenson 54 run (G'Darius Stevenson pass no good), 2:46
F -- Jacob Farmer 11 pass from A.P. Lewandowski (Anthony Jablonowski kick blocked), 10:04
N -- Zach Rucker 6 run (G'Darius Stevenson pass no good), 8:11
N -- Zach Rucker 23 run (Damien Gillespie run good), 2:55
F -- Jacob Farmer 47 run (Anthony Jablonowski kick good), 1:26
Fredericktown -- Jacob Farmer 23-281, Dylan Ellis 8-105, Coley Mills 10-19. NMCC -- G'Darius Stephenson 21-223, Zach Rucker 13-85, Xavier McFerren 6-43, Jamareia Jones 2-13, Lamonte Nelson 2-5, Jayshawn McDaniel 1-5, Damien Gillespie 1-5.
Fredericktown -- A.P. Lewendowski 7-13-1 86. NMCC -- G'Darius Stephenson 11-19-0 81, Lamonte Nelson 0-1-0.
Fredericktown -- Jacob Farmer 3-30, Coley Mills 2-23, Codee Stamp 1-20, Cody Smothers 1-13. NMCC -- Lamonte Nelson 6-43, Adam Cooksey 1-24, Jamareia Jones 1-5, Zach Rucker 1-5, Damien Gillespie 1-4, Gabe Smith 1-0.