The Festus Tigers traveled to Pacific on Friday night looking to keep their perfect season intact. Tiger fans will tell you they didn’t disappoint, as they ran all over the Indians with a 40-24 win that kept that sterling 7-0 record shining like polished silver.
Running was the name of the game in this one as the Tigers used five rushing TDs to keep the Indians at bay. The first quarter started out with Kaian Roberts-Day ripping off a 12-yard run and a Stephen Darden kick to make it 7-0. A Pacific field goal cut the lead to 7-3 as the quarter clock ticked down, but the Tigers were far from done.
Cole Wagner opened the second quarter with a 20-yard scamper that gave the Tigers a 14-3 lead. After punching in one of his two touchdowns on the day he had this to say about the win, “Our teams ability to just fight no matter what is the core to our success. And then on the offensive side I can’t say enough about the line’s effort throughout the year.”
After Pacific returned the favor with a TD of their own, stud QB Cole Rickermann got to work and hooked up with Isaac Stucke for a four-yard score, giving Festus a 20-10 lead that they would not relinquish. That closed out the half and Rickermann had this to say about his team’s performance, “We have a great group of guys and we just work hard day in and day out. We just have good intensity to get good momentum going into the game. I felt like we played pretty solid. Of course everyone made mistakes but we were able to push through and get a win.”
Head Coach AJ Ofodile lauded his players saying, “A lot of different players have been able to step up when needed this season. Overall as a group we have displayed a very good competitive demeanor during games and it has carried over into different players being ready to contribute when necessary.”
The second half started out in Pacific’s favor after a five-yard TD run, but the Coles took over after that. Rickermann ripped off a 34-yard run for a score and then Wagner punched one into the endzone from the one yard line. In a blink it was 34-17 and the Tigers had doubled up the Indians.
An unfortunate pick-six trimmed the lead to 34-24, but the Tiger defense held strong the rest of the way, shutting out the Indians in the fourth quarter. And for good measure, Roberts-Day doubled up his scorecard with another rushing TD. This one from 16 yards out to put 40 on the scoreboard for the Tigers. That would hold as Festus remained perfect on the season with a 40-24 victory.
Rickermann was once again solid with 128 yards passing and a TD, while contributing 55 yards and another score on the ground. Wagner and Roberts-Day each had a pair of TDs and rushed for 80 and 68 yards respectively.
Dalton Yates led the team in rushing with 89 yards on just eight carries and championed his club by saying, “It was a good team effort Friday. Pacific played hard and gave us a battle so you have to tip your hat to them. It’s a good win but always things to work on and get better at. I’d thank the offensive line and give them credit for my rushing effort. They provide the seams and I try to take advantage of it and make the most of the opportunities. Because of injuries a lot of us are playing both sides of the ball, including lineman, so we have to continue to give a full team effort the whole game, work hard at practice and play hard all four quarters on game day.”
On defense Wagner led the team with eight tackles and captained the ship as the Tigers held on for the win. That was the theme of the night as everyone seemed to contribute one way or another on both sides of the ball.
The Tigers look to remain perfect next week, but will have a tough test as they travel to take on the 6-1 Farmington Knights. Coach Ofodile agreed by stating, “Farmington will be a great challenge for us. This game will really give us an idea of how we stack up with one of the better teams in the state.”