- Cape student sues, accuses school officials of slamming her to ground multiple times (04/28/16)42
- Bob Evans restaurant in Cape Girardeau among chain's 21 closings (04/26/16)9
- Missouri House votes to allow concealed weapons without permits (04/28/16)6
- Two hurt in motorcycle wreck on Interstate 55 (04/25/16)1
- Law firm requests information about Cape's traffic cameras (04/25/16)2
- Local lawmakers split over failed medical marijuana bill; voters may have a say (04/26/16)19
- Police report filed, but no charges in incident at Cape Central (04/29/16)31
- Tanker truck catches fire near Oak Ridge (04/24/16)7
- Local company makes eco-friendly kitty litter that cuts cat-box smell (04/25/16)
- Senator introduces bill for I-57 that would connect Sikeston with Little Rock (04/28/16)4
Central defeats Perryville, qualifies for playoffs
PERRYVILLE, Mo. -- Central enjoyed a 32-point lead at halftime, but there was plenty of nervousness in the Tigers' locker room at the intermission Thursday.
"Going in at halftime, we were all a little down hearing that Sikeston was down 13," Central senior Andrew Williams said. "Everybody was getting a little worried, thinking about that Farmington game when we left that one point on the board. Leaving it in other people's hands is a little scary."
The reason for the anxiety was that Central not only needed a victory, but it also needed help from Sikeston if the Tigers were going to clinch a playoff berth. Sikeston could lose to Farmington but only by 12 points or less. Otherwise Farmington would make the playoffs and Central's season would end.
Central's coaches kept working to get updates, including assistant coach Steve Williams furiously checking his PDA when not calling plays in the press box.
All the worrying subsided in the second half.
Central cruised past Perryville 52-13 and Sikeston rallied to knock off Farmington, which means the Tigers are playoff-bound for the first time since 2006.
"Going from 0-10 to the playoffs, that rarely ever happens," Central quarterback Christian Cavaness said. "I'm ecstatic that we're going to make it in there."
Central running back Keilon Moore said he wasn't worried at halftime, but some of his teammates were, like fellow senior James Poindexter.
"We were cool," Moore said. "James was the one, he was looking all sad. I told him, 'God's got us. Everything's going to work out.' Look at us now."
Perryville refused to roll over for the Tigers and put a little scare into Central with its opening drive. The Pirates drove 75 yards on 11 plays, capped by Lee Thaxton's 1-yard run, to grab a 6-0 lead.
"We tried to do some counter plays out of the spread, which we haven't done all year," Perryville quarterback Joey Bauwens said. "That really seemed to work well. Our running backs were running well and our line finally got a push."
Bauwens completed three passes on the drive and the Pirates converted a fourth down to keep the drive alive.
"That bothered me," Central coach Rich Payne said about the opening drive. "They punched us right off the bat."
Central's offense erased the worry with a 60-yard scoring drive that last 1 minute, 16 seconds. Central did not punt in the game.
Moore led the Tigers' attack with 141 yards on nine carries. That total pushed him over the 1,000-yard mark, giving him 1,014 yards this season.
"I just came out with a full head of steam since I didn't get the yards last week," he said referring to his 3 yards against Sikeston in Week 9. "The line blocked real great. The holes was big."
Central's first two touchdowns came on the ground, but then the Tigers attacked through the air. Cavaness completed three consecutive passes that went for touchdowns to push the Tigers' lead to 35-6.
"Our receivers were doing a good job of catching the ball and getting open," Cavaness said. "They were playing a cover-3, so you know you just have to look the safety off and throw the other way. It was pretty easy out there."
Williams hauled in two of the scoring strikes -- a 12-yarder and a 22-yarder. He finished with four catches for 61 yards.
"He's tall and we communicate really well," Cavaness said. "I know what he's going to do and he knows where I'm going to put the ball and he goes and gets it."
Central capped the first half with a 46-yard field goal by Andrew Hileman, his longest of the season. Hileman finished with the field goal and converted all seven of the extra-point tries.
James Poindexter also broke the century mark for the Tigers, finishing with 101 yards on seven carries.
Central outgained Perryville on the ground 384 yards to 29.
But the Pirates ended their winless season on a positive note. Bauwens hooked up with Jared Hotop for a 62-yard touchdown on the final play of the game. Bauwens finished with 187 yards passing.
"We finally got our running game going and that just opened up the short passing game," he said. "The short passing game opened up the deep passing game. The safeties were flying up for the run."
Central did suffer a pair of injuries to starters in the contest. Fullback Michael Reeder left the game early and traveled back to Cape Girardeau for X-rays before the conclusion of the game. Running back Deonte Jenkins suffered an injury to his left leg and was wearing a cast on the sideline.
Central will travel to De Soto for the opening round of the playoffs, which start Wednesday. The Dragons went 3-0 in Class 4 District 2 play, including Thursday's 41-13 win over Hillsboro. Central and De Soto played three common opponents. The Dragons beat Perryville 27-0, defeated North County 26-14 and lost to Festus 20-19. Central beat Perryville 52-13, knocked off North County 51-14 and took care of Festus 28-16.
"Just playing football all through high school and winning a combined three games before this season," Williams said. "This season is just amazing. Making the playoffs just adds on to the awesomeness of the season."
P -- Lee Thaxton 1 run (kick blocked), 5:31
C -- Rodney Reynolds 4 run (Andrew Hileman kick), 4:15
C -- Keilon Moore 23 run (Hileman kick), 10:38
C -- Andrew Williams 12 pass from Christian Cavaness (Hileman kick), 5:56
C -- Zach Boerboom 19 pass from Cavaness (Hileman kick), 4:03
C -- Williams 22 pass from Cavaness (Hileman kick), 2:06
C -- Hileman 46 FG, :00
C -- Reynolds 11 run (Hileman kick), 3:55
C -- Garan Evans 12 run (Hileman kick), 6:00
P -- Jared Hotop 62 pass from Joey Bauwens (Chris Zahner kick), :00
INDIVIDUAL STA TISTICS
RUSHING -- Central, Deonte Jenkins 4-69, Keilon Moore 9-141, Rodney Reynolds 4-25, James Poindexter 7-101, Christian Cavaness 3-36, Austin Martin 1-0, Garan Evans 1-12. Perryville, Lee Thaxton 6-3, Jared Hotop 7-17, Joey Bauwens 7-(-22), Garrett Flentge 9-22, Josh Braddy 2-9.
PASSING -- Central, Christian Cavaness 5-9-80-0. Perryville, Joey Bauwens 12-19-187-1, Garrett Flentge 0-1-0-1.
RECEIVING -- Central, Andrew Williams 4-61, Zach Boerboom 1-19. Perryville, Lee Thaxton 3-17, Jared Hotop 4-76, Cameron Wehmeyer 1-38, Garrett Flentge 1-27, Ryan Kassinger 3-29.