(Photo by Chris Pobst, Staff)
CARUTHERSVILLE -- Wiping away a fumble at the 1-yard line to end their first possession, the Caruthersville Tigers finally put everything together.
"Finally," Caruthersville head coach Nathan Morgan said. "We were clicking on all cylinders tonight. Our guys ran the ball well and we grabbed a lot of passes. Good to see us put everything together for the first time this season."
A balanced attack from the Tigers buried the visiting New Madrid County Central Eagles Friday at Hopke Field in Caruthersville, 41-14.
Caruthersville quarterback Tyler Grissom passed for 134 yards and ran for another 70 while scoring four touchdowns.
Caruthersville (4-1) scored the first 35 points and held a 27-0 lead at halftime.
"We gave up way too many big plays," NMCC head coach Arlen Pixley said. "Big plays have been killing us."
Caruthersville, who has been without standout tailback Darrell Monroe for the last two weeks because of an injury, experimented with junior running back Jamal Johnson.
Johnson filled in for their hobbled superstar quite nicely leading the Tigers on the ground with 143 yards and two scores on 14 carries.
"It worked out pretty well in practice so we were excited about how that was going to turn out," Morgan said about Johnson. "It turned out very well for us."
Most of Grissom's passing yards can be attributed to his athletic receivers.
A launch into the air by Grissom seemed almost assuredly caught by either Myron Woods or Steven Rodgers, by the receivers simply out-jumping their contention.
"With those catches, they really bailed (Grissom) out, but they were still decent balls," Morgan said.
Woods led all receivers with two catches for 42 yards. Hunter Dickey and Jeremy Grant each had two catches for 26 and 24 yards, respectively.
"They threw the ball up and their receivers jumped up and made some nice plays," Pixley said. "I tip my hat to them. They were hitting on all cylinders and we weren't. It's tough to defend a team that has multiple weapons like they do and they get to clicking like they did."
The Eagles (1-4) stalled on their first four drives and gained their first, first down in the second quarter with 1:14 left on the clock.
They ended the half by missing a 37-yard field goal attempt with 13 seconds remaining.
At the half, NMCC had seven passing yards and two yards rushing to go with two turnovers.
"We're our own worst enemy," Pixley said. "We put the ball on the ground twice. We just have to keep growing up and continue to learn."
Following the break, NMCC began to move the ball more efficiently.
Replacement quarterback Austin Lynn hit 6-3, 180-pound receiver, Devon Harrell, for a 20-yard strike which Harrell buzzed downfield for the remaining 50 for a 70-yard touchdown run and catch to finally put the Eagles on the board in the third quarter.
Harrell ended up with three catches for 98 yards.
"I thought we came out in the second half and put some positive things together that we can build off of," said Pixley.
Lynn, who ended up with 114 passing yards on 6 of 20 passing and one interception, filled in for regular starting quarterback, Jashawn McDaniel, who was not present at the game.
Lynn also ran in an 8-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.
"He got thrown in there, kind of in the last minute," Pixley said about Lynn. "I thought he did a pretty good job. He came right back after throwing a pick and moved us down the field."
NMCC totaled 183 yards and was led by TJ Clark on the ground who had 52 yards on five touches. They tallied four turnovers limiting their chances at putting together any offensive rhythm.
"We just have to hammer down on some of those big plays," Pixley said. "Mistakes have to be like water off a duck's back. We have to go on and keep playing and continue to get better."
C -- Tyler Grissom 13 pass to Jamal Johnson (Antonio Rodgers kick), 4:09
C -- Grissom 1 run (kick failed), 2:15
C -- Johnson 6 run (Grissom run), 9:45
C -- Grissom 23 pass to Myron Woods (kick failed), 4:33
C -- Grissom 3 run (Johnson run), 8:39
N -- Austin Lynn 70 pass to Devon Harrell (Adam Cooksey kick), 7:27
C -- Johnson 3 run (kick failed), 2:40
N -- Lynn 8 run (Cooksey kick), 9:35
Rushing -- NMCC, Mikeal Walker 9-14, Corey Guest 2-6, TJ Clark 5-52, Austin Lynn 4-(-22), Stanley Smith 4-19, Damien Glispie 1-0. Caruthersville, Jamal Johnson 14-143, Tyler Grissom 16-70, Jeremy Grant 2-1, Daniel Fugate 2-25, Mathew Hopkins 7-40, Antonio Rodgers 2-(-3), Peyton Faulkner 1-(-14).
Passing -- NMCC, Austin Lynn 6-20-1 114. Caruthersville, Tyler Grissom 9-18-0 134.
Receiving -- NMCC, Adam Cooksey 1-(-4), Devon Harrell 3-98, Stanley Smith 1-8, Jimmy Caldwell 1-12. Caruthersville, Myron Woods 2-42, Hunter Dickey 2-26, Antonio Mackins 1-5, Jamal Johnson 1-13, Jeremy Grant 2-24, Eric Villegas 1-24.