The Cape Central Tigers spread out their offense on Friday night and leaned on a defense that recovered four fumbles to wipe out the DeSoto Dragons 56-7. The win moved them to 5-3 on the season and they have now won three straight, which should help drastically with District seeding.

Some familiar names got this one started for the Tigers as Quarterback Morgan Diamond opened the scoring with a 28-yard touchdown pass to Marquel Murray. It appeared the Dragons had no answer for the pass or the run in this one, as Zai’Aire Thomas punched in his first of three scores from two yards out on the following possession.

On their next drive it was Diamond again, this time hooking up with Clayton McClard for a nifty 39-yard catch and run into the endzone. That made the score 21-0 after the first 12 minutes of play, and set the stage for what would be an insane second quarter.

On the opening possession of the second frame, Diamond found Tight End Max Vogel for a six-yard dart into the endzone for his third passing touchdown of the game. After that the run game was on display. Thomas ripped off back-to-back TD runs of 30 and 23 yards, before Keyshawn Boyd matched him with touchdown scampers of 44 and 23 yards.

Head Coach John Gibbs was impressed with his young back, saying, “I thought Boyd continued to show steady growth with two TD’s and a couple of impressive tough runs.”

How were the Tigers able to get such good field position and so many opportunities on offense you ask? It helps when after you score your defense hands the ball right back to you by forcing four fumbles and recovering all of them.

After that onslaught it was 56-0 at the half and it was time to bring in the reserves. The game was quiet for the remainder, but, according to Coach Gibbs, “it’s always good to be able to play as many kids as possible so they can grow as players for our future. We were able to play the entire 2nd half with our young kids.”

There was no additional scoring until late in the fourth quarter when DeSoto finally managed to find the endzone, making the final score 56-7. But anyone watching knew this game was over at the half.

Offensively, Diamond was 5-of-8 through the air for 105 yards and three scores, and the two-headed monster of Thomas and Boyd really shined in the backfield. Thomas led the way with 94 yards and three scores, while Boyd racked up 70 and had a pair of TDs. Vogel was the only receiver to catch more than one pass, as he had three for 38 yards and the aforementioned touchdown.

Defensively, it was a dream game for Central. The team forced the four fumbles, recovered them all, had four tackles for loss and sacked the QB twice in this one. Cayden Beuchaw played like a man possessed and led the charge with eight total tackles, forced a fumble and recovered the other three. Manny Kinder shared the team lead with eight tackles of his own.

This was about as good of an all around effort as a coach could ask of his squad. Here is what Gibbs had to say about his team’s performance. “Takeaways played a big part in the game. Our defense played aggressive all night and our defensive line controlled the line of scrimmage. We were very good at rushing the QB and pressuring him throughout the night. Offensively, after our first possession we were able to do the things we like to do. Our offensive line did a good job of picking up the DeSoto blitzes.”

The Tigers will look to keep the line moving next week as they travel to Potosi to close out the regular season. They’ll want another effort like this, as a win could change the configuration of the District seeding. Ball-Hawking Tigers Topple Dragons 56-7

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