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Trojans pound Pioneers, extend winning streak to six

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Dyersburg's Connor McIntire stuffs a Pioneer ball carrier Friday night during the 50-8 victory.
DYER -- Playing on the road to start the final stretch of three regular-season games, the Trojans and Pioneers entered the contest both riding streaks on Friday night.

No.8-ranked Dyersburg looked to win its sixth straight game, while Gibson County was hoping to snap a losing skid that dated back to the 2008 season.

When the final horn sounded, both programs extended the current streaks.

The Trojans, after overcoming a somewhat slow start, pounded the Pioneers with seven touchdowns in a game where the TSSAA mercy rule was in force for the majority of the second half.

The end result was a lopsided, 50-8 victory for Dyersburg. Afterward, Trojan head coach Bart Stowe acknowledged that his squad may not have come out of the gate firing on all cylinders, but once they got going, they really got going.

"We started really sluggish and slow and a lot of that had to do with our kids being on fall break. The kids knew they were playing a team that hadn't won a game in a long time, so no matter what we said to them they knew the truth," said Stowe. "We had to wake up and once we did I thought we took care of business and that's the bottom line."

After punting on its opening series, Dyersburg (7-1, 4-1) made the most of the second offensive series. On first and 10 at their own 34-yard line, Trojan quarterback Will Bradshaw tossed to Oshawn Smith and Mr. Touchdown was off to the races on a 66-yard scamper.

Unfortunately, a penalty on the play negated the long run. Fortunately for Dyersburg, Smith had plenty of gas in the tank. Two plays later on second and 18 from the 26-yard line, the blazing speed of Smith was again on display, this time on a 74-yard sprint to pay dirt with no penalties. Evan Walden's PAT attempt fell short and Dyersburg led 6-0 with 42 seconds left in the opening quarter.

The Pioneers were able to move the ball deep into Dyersburg territory early in the opening quarter without capitalizing due to a stingy defensive effort from the Trojans. On their third series however, facing fourth and 35 from their own 4-yard line, the wheels fell off.

Deciding that a fake punt was a good option proved to be the worst mistake of the quarter. The Trojans weren't fooled whatsoever on the play and took over deep in Pioneer territory. One play later, Smith ran for his second touchdown of the half from four yards out before converting the 2-point conversion as Dyersburg led 14-0 with 5:48 left in the half.

After a quick three and out by the Pioneers forced a punt, Dyersburg's Carlos Caldwell broke free on a 57-yard scamper on the first play of the drive. Bumpas made the point after for a 21-0 advantage with 1:46 left in the half.

Another quick series by the Pioneers gave the ball back to the Trojans with under a minute to play. Firing on all cylinders against a winless team, the time left was more than enough when Montavious Lagrone rambled in from 23 yards away. Smith converted on the 2-point play as Dyersburg went to the half on top 29-0.

In the second half, Dyersburg's Lagrone added his second touchdown of the contest for a 36-0 lead with 9:20 left in the quarter. Leading by more than 35 points, the mercy rule was applied much to the delight of the Pioneers.

The Trojans added two additional scores in the half on a 44-yard run from Will Bradshaw and another on a 37-yard scamper by sophomore Nekoz Jackson.

The Pioneers prevented the shutout when Trey Murdoch scored on fourth and goal from the five early in the fourth quarter.

"We're getting better every week and continuing to build momentum," said Stowe. "We got out of here with nobody hurt and now we turn our focus to Ripley."

The Trojans will travel for the final time of the regular season on Friday to face the Tigers. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

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