Kansas City Center’s Yellowjackets not only rained on the Smith-Cotton Tigers’ Homecoming parade, they poured on it, stinging the Tigers 42-7 Friday night at Jennie Jaynes Stadium.
Center, who will battle undefeated Clinton for the West Central Conference championship this Friday, improved to 6-2 overall and 4-0 in the WCC. Center has lost to Hogan Prep, ranked #2 in Class 3 and Smithville, both by one point.
S-C moved the ball effectively on the ground on their first two possessions, but saw both drives stall when the Tigers failed to convert on fourth down inside the Yellowjackets’ 25-yard line.
Running backs Chance McMullen, Henry Contreras, Tyler Slawson and Trevor Rialti along with quarterback Dakota Brown were effective in picking up small chunks of real estate on the first two Tiger possessions, but the Center defense stiffened when the Tigers neared the red zone.
S-C picked up four first downs on each of those two drives, but had nothing to show for it.
Center wasted no time, as Greg King took the opening kickoff and raced to the ‘Jackets 44, nearly breaking it for the distance. S-C has shown poor kick coverage all season.
Center went on a 13-play, 56 yard drive as quarterback Ronne Hill scored from a yard out with 7:16 left in the first quarter. The extra point sailed wide as Center took a 6-0 lead.
S-C marched to the Yellowjacket 20, but gave the ball up on downs as Center took over at their own 20.
Three plays later from the Center 25, King got loose up the left sideline and raced 75 yards past the Tiger defense and scored with 57 seconds left in the first quarter. This time, Pierre Bellerice split the uprights with the extra point to put Center up 13-0.
Again, the Tigers drove to the Center 25 early in the second quarter. However, Brown’s pass intended for McMulen was picked off, his first of four interceptions in the game.
Center once again was looking at a long strip of green grass, exactly 74 yards from the endzone.
Center took six plays, including a 56-yard run by Hill to the Tiger 12. Two plays later, Hill connected with Isiah Maxi on a short scoring toss with 3:42 left in the half. Hill converted on the two-point conversion to give Center a 21-0 advantage.
Center was no near done in the first half as they tried hard to reach a 35-point bulge by halftime to start the running clock in the second half.
Brown was picked off again as he tried to connect with Bobby Johnson at the Tiger 46 and Center set up shop at the Tiger 40. Two plays later, Anthony Eskridge scored on an eight-yard run with 2:17 left in the half. The PAT was good and it was 28-0.
It was getting ugly and it would get worse, but McMullen picked off a pass and the teams went into halftime with Center up 28-0.
Pinned deep in their territory to start the second half, Brown tried to throw and was picked off again. Two plays later Eskridge scored on a one-yard run and it was 35-0, starting up the mercy clock.
Brown threw it right back to Center, who returned it for a TD to make it 42-0.
S-C got a late score on a three-yard run by McMullen. Timmy Lor kicked the extra point.
S-C will close out its regular season Friday with a West Central Conference game at St. Pius in Kansas City. Photos by Randy Kirby, Sedalia News Journal.