(Photo by Chris Pobst, Staff)
LAMAR -- The Caruthersville Tigers struck first, but it didn't take long for their luck to run short.
Caruthersville saw their state title ambitions dashed at the hands of the defending champions, Lamar, Saturday during a 69-12 rout in the Class 2 semifinals at Lamar High School.
Caruthersville ends their season at 10-3 after winning their fifth consecutive Class 2, District 1 championship.
After a quick field goal by Lamar, Caruthersville saw their only lead of the game after quarterback Tyler Grissom hit receiver Hunter Dickey for a 47-yard touchdown for a 6-3 advantage.
From then on, it was all Lamar. And a lot of them.
Moments following Caruthersville's score, Lamar running back Levi Petersen struck for a 30-yard touchdown run. After a Tiger punt, Lamar's Jared Beshore broke free for a 66-yard score to give the home team a 10-point lead.
Petersen, who ran for five touchdowns total, scored on another long run of 54 yards to make it 24-6.
Caruthersville scored their second and final touchdown when Steve Rodgers caught a touchdown pass from Grissom to cut the deficit to a dozen, 24-12.
Petersen continued his dominance with a quick-strike, 52-yard touchdown. He scored again from 21 yards away to give Lamar a 40-12 lead putting the outcome well in the favor of Lamar.
Touchdown runs by Brett McDonald and an interception return by Sam Bailey gave Lamar complete control at halftime with a 55-12 advantage.
The mercy-rule running clock was in effect for the second half as Lamar added two more scores to finalize their lopsided win.
Lamar will play Blair Oaks, who defeated Holden 46-32, Saturday at the Edward Jones Dome for the Class 2 state championship.
Caruthersville loses nine seniors after a three-loss season which included losses to Mountain-View Liberty, Ste. Genevieve and Lamar.