By Chris Pobst
CHARLESTON -- For the first time in four years, the Charleston Bluejays are headed back to the state playoffs.
A resounding 43-7 victory over the visiting Malden Green Wave on Friday also gave the Bluejays a chance to win the Class 2, District 1 crown outright next week against Caruthersville.
Charleston (5-4) capitalized on two crucial Green Wave mistakes in the first quarter -- a fumbled handoff and a snap over the head of punter Tanner Murphy -- which aided the Bluejays' to a 21-0 lead after the first quarter and a 29-0 advantage at the half.
Charleston relied on the two-headed monster that were running backs Maurice Moore and Jamaul Gray. The tandem rushed for a combined 270 yards and each scored two touchdowns.
The downhill running style of Moore led him to 154 yards on 23 carries while the more speedy Gray had 18 touches for 116.
Malden (5-4) gained a total of 240 yards, mostly on the arm of Murphy. Malden's quarterback threw for 129 yards on 6 of 11 passing.
The Green Wave were ousted from playoff contention with this loss against Charleston.