Second verse, same as the first.
For the second week in a row, the Neosho Wildcats’ defense could not stay off the field and the offense struggled to keep up in a rout against an old conference rival.
The visiting Carthage Tigers secured a 49-7 victory to remain unbeaten and the Wildcats broke a scoreless streak of nine straight quarters which dated back to the second half of a 20-7 win over Branson and continued through a 41-0 loss to Webb City and concluded after the first three quarters Friday night against Carthage at Bob Anderson Stadium.
Neosho did not record a first down until the second half against Carthage.
Neosho, 2-2 overall and Central Ozark Conference, returns on the road Friday against Nixa, another one of the six 2-2 teams in the COC.
Carthage, 4-0 overall and conference, heads to Webb City for a battle of the lone unbeaten COC teams. Webb City held on for a 22-20 win against Branson.
Carthage scored on its first four offensive possessions in the first half and its first two in the second half for the 49-0 lead. The Tigers ran out of time in their fifth possession in the first half, taking over at their own 27 with 1 minute, 17 seconds remaining before halftime.
By the time of their seventh and final touchdown of the night, with 1:14 remaining in the third quarter, Carthage produced an 8 for 10 on third down and 2-2 on fourth, stats indicative of the inability of Neosho to keep Carthage off the field.
On the second play of the fourth quarter, Neosho earned its first moving of the chains offensively with a 23-yard pass from junior quarterback Gage Kelley to senior tight end Tre Letts. Seven plays later, senior running back Cade Lyerla closed out the scoring with a 5-yard run.
Carthage ran out the clock on the final possession.
The game’s basic pattern established itself on both team’s opening drives.
Neosho’s first drive ended in a three-and-out after five yards gained on three running plays.
Meanwhile, Carthage drove 81 yards in 12 plays and the Tigers burned a mere 4:24 off the clock. The Tigers converted a pair of third down plays on the drive, the key one a third-and-8 at their own 21 when senior quarterback Zeke Sappington connected with Jayden Morgan for a 12-yard gain and first down. Morgan’s 18-yard run and Sappington’s 19-yard run moved Carthage into Neosho territory, then Sappington capped it all off with a 3-yard score.
Neosho’s field position both offensively and defensively proved better on these first drives than it had the previous week against Webb City.
Carthage’s other first half touchdowns came on a Tyler Mueller 1-yard run, a Blake Schrader 6-yard run, a Sappington 13-yard run, and a Kale Schrader interception return.
Carthage opened the second half with possession of the pigskin and reserve sophomore quarterback Patrick Carlton closed out the drive with a 10-yard run.
Carlton scored a second rushing TD on a 32-yard run.
The entire second half played out in turbo clock mode.
Webb City and Carthage outscored Neosho 62-0 in the first half.