Was it the pounding, sheet-like monsoon of rain that hammered Louis Bozman Stadium Oct. 29, rendering the playing field into a quagmire of ankle-deep water?
Or was it the Thayer Bobcats, a squad so finely tuned and ready to roll that it turned visiting Cabool inside and out, hammering on the Bulldogs' heads with a typhoon-like force all evening long.
The rain made things uncomfortable for those gathered in the stands at Louis Bozman, but the Cats made things downright miserable for the Cabool Bulldogs, with Thayer winning 49-12.
With the 37-point victory, the Bobcats (8-1) are Class 1 District 3 champions for the third straight year, with their third straight undefeated district season. The Bulldogs finished the 2009 campaign with nine straight losses.
Thayer opened the state playoffs by hosting the Lockwood Tigers in the regional round Nov. 4.
Against Cabool (1-9), the Bobcats didn't let the slick and swampy turf, the equally slick football, or a 30-minute weather delay in the third quarter, detour their massive ground attack one bit. Thayer rushed for an eye-popping 588 yards against the Bulldogs, part of the team's 658 yards of total offense in the contest.
And as would be expected, Josh Huckabee led the way, racking up 289 yards on the ground, with 248 of those yards coming on just eight carries in the first half.
Huckabee was magnificent right from the outset.
On Thayer's first snap from scrimmage, the dangerous Huckabee exploded 78 yards down the right sideline for an unbelievably quick TD, giving the Cats a 6-0 lead with 10:24 left in the first quarter.
On Thayer's second snap from scrimmage, Huckabee ran for a 49-yard touchdown at the 8:13 mark of the first. Two snaps, two Huckabee touchdowns and a two-touchdown lead for the home team. Jared Foley ran in the two-point conversion and Thayer led 14-0.
The Cats struck once more in the first on a 24-yard TD pass from Foley to Ethan Leisenring, boosting Thayer out to a big 21-zip advantage after one.
The rain didn't let up one bit in the second quarter and neither did the Bobcats.
Cameron Carey ripped off a 64-yard touchdown to raise Thayer's lead to 28-0 with 9:49 left until intermission.
It looked like the Bulldogs were about to break through for a score as Lucas Dodson plowed through the line of scrimmage and was headed to the goal line. But Leisenring caught up with Dodson from behind, stripping him of the football. Carey recovered the ball for Thayer and the Cats were once again in business.
With 8:38 left in the first half, Huckabee blasted free for a 76-yard touchdown run that sent the drenched teams to the dry locker rooms with Thayer in front 34-zip.
Thayer's defense was on the mark as usual, holding the Bulldogs to a mere 62 yards of total offense in the first half.
Cabool got on the board early in the third on a 42-yard punt return from Donovan Baker. Jeremy Cabrales got his hands on the PAT, leaving Thayer on top 34-6.
There were plenty of fumbles at the hands of both teams in the third, with the playing conditions becoming worse by the minute. This led to a 30-minute weather delay with six minutes left in the third.
When play resumed, so too did Thayer's scoring spree.
Foley picked off a pass and ran it back 31 yards for a touchdown that shot Thayer to a 42-6 advantage after three.
Midway into the fourth, Foley logged his second TD of the second half on a 2-yard quarterback keeper on second-and-goal, giving Thayer a 49-6 lead.
Cabool got its second TD of the night with 3:57 left in the game on a 1-yard run from Clayton Manning that rounded out the Bobcats' convincing 49-12 rout of the Bulldogs.