(Photo by Chris Pobst, Staff)
CHARLESTON -- The Caruthersville Tigers proved they are more than just Darrell Monroe.
Despite their star player sitting on the sideline for most of the game, the Charleston Bluejays couldn't contain Tigers quarterback Tyler Grissom and the rest of their playmakers at Charleston High School.
Caruthersville defeated the Bluejays 34-12 Saturday evening after rescheduling their game due to thunderstorms that occurred Friday.
"I say it every week, Darrell is Darrell and he's going to get his but we've got a really good offensive line," Caruthersville head coach Nathan Morgan said. "They know their assignments and they've been doing it for a long time even though a couple of them are pretty young. We lean on them and they do a pretty good job.
"The guys that came in for Darrell did a great job and Grissom did an awesome job run game and passing game."
Charleston gained a total of 132 yards but actually had more than that at the end of the first two quarters. The second half was not kind to the Bluejays totaling a backwards -21 yards, three turnovers and no first downs.
"We did some good things in the first half and thought we were ready to play in the second half and seemed determined. They just didn't get it going," Charleston head coach Brett Blackman said. "When (Caruthersville) smells blood, they're like sharks. They just tear you apart. That's what they did in the second half."
Caruthersville (2-1) scored 20 unanswered points in the second half led by Grissom who punched two scores in from close range.
"He's a dual threat guy. But, with that being said, he's a 6-3, 220-pound load to bring down," Morgan said about Grissom. "He got downhill real good this week. He ate up yardage early and he made some good throws to keep their corners and safeties out of the box and that helped us.
"If he keeps that up, we'll keep clicking like we are."
Grissom ended the game with 53 passing yards and one throwing touchdown as well as 32 rushing yards to go with his two ground scores.
"Darrell is a big part of our offense. We mainly run through him," Grissom said. "Our passing game was there, we just didn't throw it much. We had a bunch of people step up and played a big part in our win today."
The Bluejays (1-2) moved the ball effectively and efficiently in the first half with junior Robert Bogan leading the way.
Bogan, a speedy 5-8, 185-pound running back, broke multiple tackles and whipped around Caruthersville defenders for 81 of his 87 total rushing yards in the first two quarters.
He was limited to three carries and -6 yards on the ground in the second half.
"Robert Bogan is a great player and we're trying to get him to do the little things right," said Blackman. "Once we do, I think he'll be okay. He had a bunch of tackles on defense too."
Bogan accounted for 140 yards both rushing and receiving, but Charleston's other losses, such as sacks and fumbles brought their total below his input.
"We just wrapped up and tackled better," Morgan said about their second half surge on stopping Charleston. "As we got into the flow of the game it got better. When we came out earlier, we just weren't finishing our tackles. We would get them behind or at the line and they'd slip away. I mean, they're good and give (Charleston) credit, they broke tackles."
The Bluejays struck first with a methodical, 7-play touchdown drive to open the gorgeous, fall-like Saturday game.
Deiontrail Winston capped the drive with a two yard dive into the end zone putting the underdog Bluejays up 6-0 quickly.
Grissom answered the Bluejays opening drive with a 30-yard strike to James Wright to tie the game at 6-6 nearly four minutes later in the first quarter.
Monroe, who ended up leading the Tigers on the ground with 74 yards and one touchdown on just five carries, was injured on his second touch of the game -- a 19-yard barrel up the middle.
His left shin took a shot by a Charleston helmet which left the 6-2, 220-pound junior with a noticeable limp.
He eventually returned to the game in the second quarter with his team tied 6-6 with Charleston. On his first carry following the injury, Monroe sped through Charleston's defense laboring his left leg along the way.
Despite his hobbling, Monroe went the distance for a 45-yard touchdown run to put the Tigers up 14-6.
He left the game with 1:30 left in the second quarter and never returned.
"We knew he was going to have some big runs," Blackman said about Monroe. "He's a good athlete and he's hard to bring down. We thought we had some good schemes to try and contain him, but you have to match him. Offensively, we just didn't do it."
Bogan put his Bluejays within two points following Monroe's injured heroics with a 14-yard touchdown run late in the second quarter.
Charleston had a chance to possibly go ahead with less than a minute remaining before the half but lost a fumble at midfield.
Charleston turned the ball over four times -- two fumbles and two interceptions.
"We've got to eliminate some mistakes," Blackman said. "The kids gave good effort, but you've got to give great effort against a good team."
Grissom put the game out of reach in the second half crossing the goal line once in each quarter. Freshman Peyton Faulkner scored with three minutes remaining in regulation to make up the final.
"They won the ball game up front in the second half," said Blackman. "We've got to better stronger, get quicker off the ball and learn to pick up blitzes a little better. A lot of those kids are giving me all they have up there and when we improve, we'll be okay."
Charleston will host NMCC (1-2) Friday at 7 p.m. in a SEMO South Conference matchup.
CH -- Deiontrail Winston 2 run (run failed), 8:39
CA -- Tyler Grissom 30 pass to James Wright (kick blocked), 4:49
CA -- Darrell Monroe 45 run (Monroe run), 6:31
CH -- Robert Bogan 14 run (pass fail), 2:52
CA -- Grissom 1 run (Steven Rodgers kick), 6:57
CA -- Grissom 3 run (Rodgers kick), 5:30
CA -- Peyton Faulkner 1 run (kick blocked), 3:03
Rushing -- Caruthersville, Darrell Monroe 5-74, Tyler Grissom 17-32, Myron Woods 2-10, Steven Rodgers 1-8, Hunter Trevathan 3-15, Rodrick Jones 6-24, Jeremy Grant 2-35, Hunter Dickey 1-0, Peyton Faulkner 3-(-1), Daniel Fugate 2-5. Charleston, Mike Hull 16-(-1), Robert Bogan 14-87, Deiontrail Winston 2-5, Darrion Henderson 1-(-5), Rontavious Clark 3-8, Team 1-(-20).
Passing -- Caruthersville, Tyler Grissom 6-8-0 53. Charleston, Mike Hull 4-8-2 58.
Receiving -- Caruthersville, Hunter Dickey 2-42, Hunter Trevathan 1-5, Steven Rodgers 2-4, Antonio Mackins 1-2. Charleston, Robert Bogan 3-53, Tyler Craig 1-5.