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Football Recap: Blackcats break through; Trojans shock Dragons

Fredericktown quarterback Easton Wood (13) runs for a 62-yard touchdown during second quarter football action against De Soto on Friday night in De Soto, Mo. (Alan Kopitsky, Democrat-News)

DE SOTO, Mo. – Fredericktown regrouped from a disastrous special teams gaffe to end the first half by shutting out host De Soto during the second on Friday night.

Junior quarterback Easton Wood scored his third rushing touchdown from 4 yards out with 5:45 to play, and the Blackcats prevailed 27-25 for their first victory of the season.

De Soto began its final possession at the Fredericktown 47 following a skipped punt snap, but a 41-yard field goal attempt fell short in the final seconds.

Fredericktown (1-5) generated a go-ahead 79-yard drive to reward a defense that allowed just one first down over its first three series following intermission.

Wood moved the chains on a fourth-down keeper near midfield, then executed a clutch throw on third-and-19 after being sacked by Connor Siebert and recovering his own fumble.

Noah Holland muscled through interference to haul in a 26-yard catch at the De Soto 26, and Wood set up his eventual scoring run with a 22-yard draw on the next snap.

Wood rushed 17 times for 169 yards, and completed 10-of-23 passes for 115 yards. He connected with a wide-open LeeAndrea Catchings for a 46-yard scoring strike on the second play of the game.

De Soto (1-5) carried momentum and a sudden 25-21 advantage into halftime when Siebert bolted untouched around the edge to block a field goal and returned it 76 yards as time expired.

The Dragons missed a crucial chance to extend the margin after a 14-yard run by Eli Thebeau moved possession to the Fredericktown 19 on the initial play of the fourth quarter.

The next snap was bobbled, and Ethan Marler recovered to even the turnover count at two each. The Blackcats capitalized 12 plays and almost six minutes later.

De Soto reached the Blackcats’ 38 on its next drive, but Charter Cheaney stuffed a fourth-and-2 run. Dalton Queener had the other fumble recovery for Fredericktown.

Thebeau netted 134 yards on 28 carries, and notched his first of two scoring runs on fourth-and-goal from the 1 to bring the Dragons within 7-6.

Wood sidestepped pressure in the backfield before finding an alley down the left sideline on a 62-yard touchdown scamper, but Thebeau capped an 11-play, 71-yard answer by the home team.

The Blackcats stopped all three two-point conversion attempts by De Soto, which briefly jumped in front 18-14 when blown coverage left Colton Fischer all alone for a 65-yard touchdown catch.

D.J. Baca returned the ensuing kickoff 35 yards, and Wood regained the lead one play later by racing 35 yards on another effective keeper.

Catchings tallied 75 yards while equaling Cheaney with three receptions, and Dane Sensel provided two timely tackles for loss. Fredericktown will travel to Central next Friday.

De Soto quarterback Austin Missey was 3-of-14 passing, while both Brenton Drummond and Talan Lawrence added 44 rushing yards.

Potosi 29, Ste. Genevieve 28

POTOSI – One week after reveling in a coveted signature win for its program, Ste. Genevieve watched Potosi celebrate an even more stunning triumph at its expense.

The Trojans steadily crawled out of a 21-0 deficit on Friday night, and capitalized on a myriad of shaky miscues by the visiting Dragons to steal a thrilling 29-28 victory.

Potosi (2-4, 2-2) assumed its first lead on a touchdown pass and two-point conversion with just 45 seconds left, then received a saving boost from its standout two-way lineman.

Ean Eaton broke through a gap in the protection, and blocked a 29-yard field goal attempt as time expired. The Trojans stormed off the sideline in a jubilant frenzy.

Ste. Genevieve (4-2, 2-1) progressed quickly into Potosi territory, and had first-and-goal from the 10 with two timeouts remaining and the clocked stopped.

After the next play resulted in a tackle for loss by Easton Compton, the visitors elected to center the ball with quarterback Luke Ferranto kneeling for a potential decisive kick.

The Dragons wasted a golden opportunity early in the fourth quarter while still leading 28-21. With the ball resting inches from the goal line, a snap to running back Jack Farlow in the wildcat formation was bobbled to the turf and recovered by freshman linebacker Carter Pyatt.

Potosi narrowly avoided taking an ensuing safety before punting from the back of the end zone, and dodged another threat after Ste. Genevieve took possession at the 35.

Devin Flye suddenly turned back on a reception just as he reached the mark for a first down, and flipped a dangerous pitch back to Ferranto, who was immediately swarmed for a loss.

The seven-point difference remained after a 42-yard field goal try fell short, and the Trojans embarked on a memorable 80-yard march.

Potosi quarterback Jude Litton rolls out to pass during a preseason scrimmage against Central on Friday, Aug. 18, 2023, in Ste. Genevieve. (Matt King,

Sophomore quarterback Jude Litton made his first varsity start for Potosi, replacing injured senior Luke Brabham, and completed just one of his first seven passes.

But the next two throws found tight end Thomas Lambing, whose first catch gained 29 yards to the Ste. Genevieve 36, J.T. Cross then extended the the Potosi hopes by converting a fourth-and-1 run.

The Dragons secondary failed to cover Lambing when Litton lofted a 24-yard touchdown toss over the middle to bring the Trojans within 28-27.

Cross, who finished with 54 yards on 10 carries, would not be denied while diving past the left pylon on a toss sweep for the go-ahead points.

The outcome was shocking when considering how Ste. Genevieve totally dominated the first half. But costly injuries to multiple linemen and various lapses in judgment left room for a comeback.

Ste. Genevieve appeared to perfectly execute an onside kick out of halftime, but a questionable flag for illegal procedure forced a replay that Potosi controlled.

The Dragons were also tagged for three personal fouls, including two unnecessary shoves by seniors Gabe Willett and Aiden Meyer on players who were already well out of bounds.

Cross achieved carries of 11 and 14 yards before scoring from the 8 on the opening drive of the third quarter. But Ste. Genevieve overcame a holding call to respond.

Ferranto restored a 28-15 advantage on a 23-yard scamper for his second touchdown keeper. He compiled 92 yards on 12 carries, and completed 10-of-13 passes for 199 yards.

Litton countered on an 8-yard scoring run with 4:57 left in the third, and the Trojans obtained a massive takeaway after Meyer made a 39-yard catch down the right sideline.

Both defenses produced stops on their initial series, but Ste. Genevieve soon surged ahead 14-0 after Ferranto scored from 9 yards out and Wyatt Springkamper went 89 on an explosive screen.

Farlow shined on the next scoring push with six powerful carries for 51 yards, including an elusive 11-yard touchdown to make it 21-0. He ended with 81 rushing yards overall.

But sophomore Noah Walton persevered through several punishing hits to finish with 95 yards on 24 attempts, and sparked the Potosi comeback just before halftime.

He turned the corner on a 37-yard touchdown, perhaps with the help of a hold that was not detected, and tacked on the two-point conversion with 15 seconds left.

Potosi heads to St. Charles West on Friday after wrapping its conference schedule.

Springkamper netted 100 yards on two receptions, and Meyer had three catches for 78. The Dragons will next face Valle Catholic in hopes of sharing the MAFC White Division title.

Defensive end Ayden White highlighted the Dragons with three tackles for loss.

Festus 42, North County 14

BONNE TERRE – Hayden Bates compiled 207 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries Friday night as Festus triumphed 42-14 on Homecoming at North County.

Jeremiah Cunningham threw three touchdown passes on 9-of-15 overall, and connected with Landen Yates from 15 yards on a fourth-and-goal slant for a 21-7 halftime lead.

Festus (4-2, 3-1) punctuated drives spanning 96 and 92 yards before intermission, and Bates capped its opening possession with a 7-yard scoring run.

North County (1-5, 1-2) answered with a 65-yard march that included a targeting penalty on the Tigers plus receptions of 13 and 22 yards by Zane Huff.

Carson Logan punched in a 1-yard dive on fourth-and-goal, and the Raiders gathered momentum when their defense followed with a three-and-out series.

Huff was brought down on a horse-collar tackle after racing down the right sideline for 40 yards, and totaled 158 on seven catches overall.

But a completed throw on fourth-and-5 from the Festus 27 was stopped short of the mark, and the visitors soon seized command of the game.

Bates restored a 14-7 lead with a 73-yard burst, and Festus got a pivotal red-zone interception after Aaron Cook returned a kickoff 51 yards and the Raiders progressed to the 7.

Essien Smith completed two quick throws and scrambled for 13 yards before leaving the action with an apparent injury, and Cunningham finished the drive with his first scoring pass.

A 9-yard touchdown reception by Hunter Bates extended the margin to 28-7, and Landen Yates sprinted 7 yards on a receiver sweep play to score on the next Festus possession.

North County quarterback Henry Allebach countered with a deep 73-yard scoring strike to Huff on the first play of the fourth quarter to make it 35-14.

Jaxon Scherffius and Kollin Winch produced consecutive tackles for loss that Tigers overcame with a 25-yard touchdown toss from Cunningham to Will Reese.

The Tigers stopped North County on fourth-and-2 from the 13 in the closing moments after freshman Noah Lashley had a 40-yard kickoff return.

Allebach was 10-of-24 passing for 185 yards, and Hayden Barbarotto notched 60 rushing yards on five carries in the second half. The Raiders will hope to snap a three-game slide Friday at Windsor.

Cape Central 35, Farmington 0

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – Cape Central smothered the rushing attack of Farmington, and allowed only 51 first-half yards in a 35-0 conference shutout on Friday night.

Zai’Aire Thomas notched 146 yards and three touchdowns on nine carries, and Kayshawn Boyd tallied 171 yards and two touchdowns in the victory.

Shawn Shelton and Chayden Cross registered sacks, and Cape Central (3-3, 1-2) delivered a couple of stops in the red zone after fourth-down penalties had extended drives.

Farmington (3-3, 1-2) pulled previously injured quarterback Brett Drye before halftime, and struggled to create running lanes. All-conference back Kaesen McClain ended with 23 yards on 10 carries.

Boyd gained 30 on the first play from scrimmage before Cape Central punted. Thomas broke multiple tackles during a 31-yard run to open the scoring.

The lead increased on a 42-yard scamper by Boyd in the second quarter, and Thomas plunged in from the 1 to establish a 20-0 margin with 14 seconds left until halftime.

The Knights worked their way to the Tigers’ 15 early in the second quarter, following offside and pass interference calls, but a field-goal attempt was partially blocked to maintain a 7-0 difference.

Drye completed 4-of-7 passes for 25 yards, including a 14-pass to Sam Woodson before the second Farmington drive was punted away.

Thomas made it 27-0 with a 68-yard touchdown, and the Tigers protected the end zone when the Knights responded with a solid 14-play drive.

A 12-yard screen pass from Tinsley to Connor Rice and 11-yard sweep run by Gabe Giuliani helped Farmington reach the Cape Central 5. But a fumble was recovered by cornerback Mateo Rivers.

Boyd galloped 28 yards on the next play, and ran in the 2-point conversion after scoring his second TD of the night with less than seven minutes remaining.

Farmington will wrap the SEMO North schedule and welcome Poplar Bluff for Homecoming in week 7.


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