Chisom, Cape Central romp past North County, into Class 4 District 1 football semifinals
DESLOGE, Mo. -- Cape Girardeau Central senior quarterback Kway'Chon Chisom has been a member of Tigers teams that have started their path to district titles at home the past three seasons.
Chisom, who helped all three teams advance to the Class 4 semifinals and a state championship game appearance in 2014, is taking a different rout in his farewell year.
The Tigers brought a 4-5 record into Friday's District 1 opener, where they were seeded fifth and looking for a mild upset over a 6-3 North County team that had earned the No. 4 seed and right to host the first-round contest.
Chisom had some fun with the new scenario, scoring five touchdowns in the first half to lead Central to a 54-29 rout of the Raiders.
And if the Tigers are going to win a fourth consecutive district title, they will have to travel two more times.
"We've got to prove everybody wrong, cause everybody don't think we can do well," said Chisom, who rushed for 248 yards on 12 carries, passed for a TD and returned a kickoff for another six points. "We're trying to prove people wrong. Like I said, it's fun going to other people's houses, I feel like I'm on tour. We're having fun."
Chisom gave the Raiders a taste of things to come when he directed a 69-yard scoring drive off the game's opening kickoff, scoring on a 32-yard TD run over the left side, diving into the end zone near the pylon just 73 seconds into the contest.
After North County appeared up for the task by answering with a 79-yard drive of their own to move ahead 7-6 on a 7-yard run by Briley Smith, Chisom made sure the Raiders' only lead of the game did not last long.
In fact, it lasted all of 12 seconds, which was the time it took for the speedy senior to scoop the ensuing short kickoff and race 70 yards for a TD. When Aaron Harris ran in the two-point conversion, the Tigers led for good at 14-7 with 5 minutes, 59 seconds left in the first quarter.
The Tigers and Chisom were just warming up.
Harris scored on an 8-yard run on Central's next possession late in the first quarter, just before the Chisom show turned into a full-blown spectacle in the second quarter.
On consecutive possessions, Chisom reached over the top of a goal-line pile for a 1-yard TD, picked up a bad snap and turned it into an 82-yard TD run and busted loose on a 40-yard TD run, toying with one last stumbling Raider defender with a cut that allowed him to waltz over the goal line.
"He's just an athlete," Harris said. "There's nothing you can do about him. He just plays the hardest I've ever seen,"
By halftime, Chisom, who also plays defense, where he is an all-state cornerback, had 233 yards rushing with four of his nine carries going for TDs.
"He's the leader of our team, he's our best player," Harris said. "There's no secret out there. He's the heart and soul of our team and we rely on him a lot, and he did his job tonight."
Central coach Arlen Pixley relieved Chisom at quarterback with his team ahead 48-7 with a running clock in the fourth quarter, only to reinsert him after North County scored a pair of touchdowns in a span of 16 seconds.
Chisom quickly restored order with a 19-yard TD pass to junior Austin Parker for the Tigers' eighth and final TD.
"He's just a hard competitor," Pixley said. "That's what separates the guys that are good from the great ones. He competes every play."
Which was something Pixley also lauded about his team's overall play.
"I thought we played extremely hard," Pixley said. "I thought our intensity level to start the ball game was really good, and I thought [North County] matched it with the score, and I thought we came back and answered it. I thought we played harder a lot longer, and that's going to be the difference in 99 percent of the ball games that are played. From your national title people at Alabama to your little league programs.
"Those teams that play harder longer give themselves the best chance to win."
The Tigers hung up 361 yards of total offense in the first half. North County countered with 112 yards, but 65 of those yards and five of its seven first-half first downs came on its opening scoring drive.
"We made a few adjustments on defense, and then we started to do a lot better and stop them on third down," Harris said. "So we did a lot better."
Freshman cornerback Tyrus Reddin, listed at 5-foot-6, picked off two passes thrown by Raiders sophomore quarterback Kolten Poorman and nearly had a third -- all in the first half.
"I told him he looked like Patrick Peterson [of the Arizona Cardinals] out there," Chisom said with a smile. "He made good plays on the ball and he had good defense, and the dude was like 6-5."
Central finished with 476 yards total offense to 313 for North County.
"It's one of our best defensive performances on the year, and I lend that to itself," Pixley said. "We've seen some really great offenses. Jackson has a very good offense, Chaminade, the last couple weeks [the teams] we've seen have really elevated our eyes to what we identify as being the speed of the game.
"Coming off the field tonight, not being disrespectful or anything like that, it was 'Coach, it seems like this whole thing has really slowed down for us tonight.' And I'm like, 'It's because we've been playing really fast all season, so it's going to appear that way.' And we did that to try to get us set up for our district tournament."
Harris finished with 106 yards on 12 carries to go over the 1,000-yard mark for the second straight season. He finished with two TDs, including a 34-yard romp with 5:53 left in the third quarter to give Central a 48-7 lead.
"We wanted to set the tone," Harris said. "We're the fifth seed, of course, but we wanted to show them we could play with anyone out here and play with intensity and get better."
The Tigers will be on the road again this week when they play top-seeded Farmington (7-3), which beat Perryville 44-8. The teams already have met this season, with the Tigers winning 28-27 in overtime on the road in Week 3.
"We've got confidence," Chisom said. "I think we had the worst offensive game ever when we played at Farmington. I'm going to watch film tomorrow and I'm going to see everything we did wrong on the offensive side and just going to try to clean everything up and get back to work."
CC -- Kway'Chon Chism 32 run (run failed), 10:47
NC -- Briley Smith 7 run (Noah Umfleet kick), 6:11
CC -- Chisom 70 kickoff return (Aaron Harris run), 5:59
CC -- Harris 8 run (run failed), 2:07
CC -- Chisom 1 run (run failed), 7:27
CC -- Chisom 82 run (run failed), 4:54
CC -- Chisom 49 run (Harris run), 2:20
CC -- Harris 34 run (Chisom run), 5:53
NC -- Cole Ziegler 47 run (pass to Jason Mahuin), 5:22
NC -- Smith 16 run (Kolten Poorman run), 5:06
CC -- Austin Parker 19 pass from Chisom (kick failed), 2:27
NC -- Blake Decker 29 pass from Mahuin (pass failed), 1:03
RUSHING -- Cape Central, Chisom 12-248, A. Harris 12-106, Joseph Baker 1-(-1), Christian Mitchell 2-9, Blake Harris 1-4, Detric Merriweather 6-9, Team 2-(-20); North County, Poorman 11-41, Smith 21-68, Ziegler 5-76, Matt Black 2-4, Mahuin 2-24, Tucker Smith 1-(-1).
PASSING -- Cape Central, Chisom 4-10-0-121; North County, Poorman 7-12-2-64, Mahuin 1-1-0-29.
RECEIVING -- Cape Central, B. Harris 2-75, Iemeon Giles 1-27, Parker 1-19; North County, Black 5-29, Ziegler 2-35, Decker 1-29.