NMCC can't stop losing streak; will be on the road to start playoffs
NEW MADRID, Mo – A lot was on the line Friday night when New Madrid County Central hosted Caruthersville in both teams’ regular season finale.
With the Tigers sitting fourth in the Class 2, District 1 standings and the Eagles fifth, the final home playoff game in the opening round of the playoffs was on the line with the winner likely taking it home.
Though NMCC came into the game hoping to snap a four-game losing streak, early turnovers proved fatal.
The Eagles trailed by 28-points at the half before dropping the game 34-8 on a cold and rainy senior night.
“We were a little flat the first half,” Eagles’ head coach Tyler Fullhart said. “It kind of surprised me because I wish they’d attacked the first half like they did the second. All-in-all we preach about good character from our guys and that’s what we got.”
Caruthersville took the lead, 6-0, on just their second offensive play, an eight-yard run from Jermaine Alexander.
NMCC turned their first drive into a long-and-steady march down to the Tigers’ eight-yard line.
After failing to convert on fourth-down NMCC saw Caruthersville carry out and 88-yard drive that ended on the final play of the quarter.
Devin Russell put the exclamation point on the drive with a one-yard rush into the end zone with Micah Rogers ensuing two-point conversion run making 14-0.
Miscues started to pile up for NMCC in the second quarter, starting with a muffed fair catch on a kickoff that gave the Tigers the ball back after Russell’s score.
After forcing a Caruthersville punt later in the quarter the Eagles gave them the ball back when fumbling the return.
Nicholas Moore made good on the extra Tiger possession with a 25-yard run that made it 22-0 with 8:07 left in the half.
NMCC ended a third second quarter possession early on an interception and lost the turnover battle on the game 4-2.
Russell scored his second touchdown of the quarter and game with 1:24 left in the half, on a two-yard run, to make it 28-0 going into the locker room.
“Some of those maybe we could have done different,” Fullhart said of his team’s turnovers. “If we would have been a little bit better position to make some better plays I think that would have helped us out. We have to do a better job putting ourselves in good positions.”
Caruthersville was up 34-0 by time the Eagles broke up the shutout.
With 2:59 left in the game Quazavion Jackson broke off a 72-yard run for his team’s only score of the night. Jackson also ran in the two-point conversion to make up the 43-8 final.
“Back-to-back weeks playing in the rain, it’s kind of crazy.,” Fullhart said. “It’s something we have to do a better job of.”
Caruthersville out-gained NMCC 338-182 in total yards and converted 21 first downs to the Eagles’ eight.
Both teams did most their damage on the ground in the cold and rainy conditions.
The Tigers rushed 53 times for 272 yards while NMCC gained 158 yards on 39 carries.
Penalties plagues the Tigers all night, getting flagged 14 times for 105 yards. NMCC collected 10 penalties for 80 yards.
Before Friday’s game the Eagles had given up just 22 points in each of their last two games.
“Big plays have hurt us the last couple of years,” Fullhart said. “Hopefully we’ll get in, watch film and see what’s there and what we need to correct and correct it.”
With the loss NMCC now stands at 4-5 while the Tigers improve to 7-2.
C—Jermaine Alexander 8 run (run failed), 11:38
C—Devin Russell 1 run (Micah Rodgers run), 0:00
C—Nicholas Moore 25 run (Russell run), 8:07
C—Russell 2 run (run failed), 1:24
C—Alexander 5 run (pass failed), 7:14
N—Quazavion Jackson 72 run (Jackson run), 2:59
Rushing —Caruthersville, Devin Russell 24-136, Nicholas Moore 17-89, Ja’Marion Rodgers 7-35, Jermaine Alexander 2-13, Micah Rodgers 1-1, Danny Johnson 1-(-3); NMCC, Quazavion Jackson 31-154, Christen Phillips 4-32, Bryshawn Williams 1-7, Austin Davis 1-(-6).
Passing — Caruthersville, Devin Russell 4-9-0-66; NMCC, Christen Phillips 5-13-2-24.
Receiving — Caruthersville, Jermaine Alexander 2-34, Rahkeed Maxwell 1-22, Danny Johnson 1-10; NMCC, Mark Underwood 2-15, JJ Brown 1-6, Johnnie Walker 1-5, Quazavion Jackson 1-(-2).