(Photo by Brent Shipman, Staff)
NEW MADRID -- After scoring only six points through their first two games, the New Madrid County Central Eagles' offense found its stride this past weekend as they picked up their first win of the season against visiting Kennett.
Mikeal Walker broke off a 58-yard touchdown run to give NMCC the lead before play was suspended on Friday and the Eagles followed that up with another three touchdowns on Saturday to hand the Indians a 31-7 loss.
"We felt great this week," NMCC quarterback Jashawn McDaniel said. "We were okay on offense the first week and it was our defense the second week (that kept us in the game), but we put it all together today."
Taking over on their own 41-yard line and with 9:02 left in the first quarter when play was resumed on Saturday, NMCC (1-2) proceeded to march down the field and take a 14-0 advantage on a 1-yard quarterback keeper and ensuing point after.
Though they stalled out on their next few drives, including once at the 1-yard line, the Eagles' defense continued to hold tight while NMCC went ahead 16-0 on a safety late in second quarter.
After the safety, McDaniel found receiver Devon Harrell open for a 17-yard touchdown pass that helped move them up 24-0 with 2:03 left in the half.
With time quickly dwindling in the first half, Wallace found Bron McPherson at the 1-yard line with only a tenth of a second left before the break. Taking the snap out of the shotgun, Wallace ran the ball in as time expired.
Keeping the game out of reach, the Eagles final score of the day came when McDaniel found Harrell once again uncovered for a 39-yard touchdown up the right side with 2:59 left in the third quarter.
"It was 25 mile per hour gusts blowing out of the north," Eagles' head coach Arlen Pixley said. "You get lulled to sleep watching all that run action then they dropped some coverage on the back end and we were very fortunate."
McDaniel only attempted five passes on the day with all three of his completions going to Devon Harrell for a total of 75 yards and two touchdowns.
"The cornerbacks kept shooting down and every time we'd do a pass play," McDaniel said. "He was wide open so I'd just throw it up there and he'd go catch it."
While McDaniels found success in the air it was Eagles' ground game that did the heavy lifting. Led by Walker, who rushed for 145 yards on 13 carries, NMCC rushed for 261 yards
"You have to give credit to our line," McDaniel said. "They pushed (Kennett) back."
On the other side of the ball NMCC's defense continued its solid start to the season in holding Kennett to only 122 yards from scrimmage, most of those coming on the Indians touchdown drive.
"That's two weeks in a row we've played well defensively," Pixley said. "I like how we played in spots when we played week one against Malden. We got on that film and we learned from our mistakes. I was pleased with our defensive effort today (as well)."
N -- Mikeal Walker 58 run (kick good), 10:57
N -- Jashawn McDaniel 1 run (kick good), 5:15
N -- Safety, 2:51
N -- Jashawn McDaniel 17 pass to Devon Harrell (Mikeal Walker run good), 2:03
K -- Declan Wallace 1 run (kick good), 0:00
N -- Jashawn McDaniel 39 pass to Devon Harrell (kick good), 2:59
Rushing -- Kennett, Darius Warren 9-18, Declan Wallace 18-49, Bud Hilburn 1-2, Rantrell Caruthers 1-0, Akeem Nelson 1-2, Brandon Meek 1- (-8). NMCC, Jashawn McDaniel 12-34, Mikeal Walker 13-145, Stanley Smith 5-11, TJ Clark 2-11, Corey Guest 7-22, Damien Glispie 1-6, Malik Stevenson 2-13, Austin Lynn 2-13, Marcus Price 2- (-10), Rhiley Smith 3-16, Drew Pikey 3-13, Daniel Mcray 1- (-9), Drew Palmer 1- (-4).
Passing -- Kennett, Declan Wallace 13-19-0 59. NMCC, Jashawn McDaniel 3-5-2 75, Austin Lynn 0-1-0 0, Drew Palmer 1-1-0 2.
Receiving -- Kennett, Treyvon Bradford 2-6, Bron McPherson 6-47, Ridge Diffine 3-2, Darius Warren 1-0, Cameron Harper 1-4. NMCC, Devon Harrell 3-75, Rhiley Smith 1-2.