The Portageville Bulldogs made their way to Thayer, from the eastern side of Missouri, to take on the Bobcats in week two of district football action.
And this one lacked any and all drama as the Cats dominated the beginning, middle and end, running their record to a perfect 2-0 in the district with a 55-0 shellacking of Portageville Oct. 22.
The victory also earned Thayer a fourth straight district championship, along with a berth in the upcoming Class 1 playoffs.
After recognition of their senior athletes, the Bobcats took the opening kickoff and took charge.
Senior quarterback Jared Foley lined up under senior center William Snethern, taking the first snap to hand-off to senior running back Cameron Carey.
Behind front line blocks from seniors Jacob Adams and Bryan Tate, along with junior Dylan Dennis, Carey tucked in behind junior fullback Jeremy Cabrales to pick up nine yards.
Adding a different wrinkle to the predominately run offense, Foley dropped back, looked right and then passed left for a reception and 13-yard pick up from junior end Derek Krieg.
The Bulldogs broke through to stop the Bobcats for losses on two consecutive plays before Foley was able to scramble to his left and toss a reception to tight end Dylan Dennis, just short of the first-down marker.
Deep in Portageville territory, the Cats went for it on fourth-and-3.
The Bobcat offensive line opened up enough of a crease to allow Carey to pick up about seven yards and a new set of downs.
Quick-hitting running plays up the middle of the line from Lucas Risner netted good yardage before a halfback pass from Risner to Cabrales fell incomplete to bring up another fourth-and-4 for the Bobcats.
Blasting over the right side of the Portageville defense and across the goal line, "Hammerin' Cameron" Carey scored six for the hometown Bobcats. Cabrales' PAT kick was true, giving Thayer a 7-0 lead with 7:21 on the first-quarter clock.
The Bobcat defense only allowed the Bulldogs a couple of short yardage pick-ups before Portageville's senior quarterback attempted a pass on third down. But Cabrales tipped the pass attempt straight up and right back down for a Bobcat interception, returning possession back to Thayer.
The Bobcats used a mix of pass plays, along with some very hard running from Carey to advance close to the goal before Foley threw a strike to a wide-open Conner Blair in the end zone to tack on six more for the Cats. The PAT kick from Cabrales split the uprights, putting the Bobcats out front 14-0.
Portageville got a good run-back on the kickoff from Tevin Walker, who almost burst free up an open seam in the middle. A Bobcat defender pulled Walker to the ground from the back, which may have saved a Bulldog touchdown, although a flag resulted in a 15-yard penalty and gave good field position to the Bulldogs.
A good run for a first down, coupled with a Bobcat offsides penalty, put the Dogs in third-and-short. A huge defensive push led by Cary set the Dogs back for a half-yard loss on third and a tackle 3 yards deep in the backfield from freshman defensive end Levi Hargrove on fourth down, turned the ball back over to the Bobcat offense.
Huge holes ripped in the Dogs defense by the right side of the Bobcat line and hard runs of 18 and 8 from Cabrales, with another 9 from Carey over the left, lined up the Bobcats deep in the Bulldogs end of the field to end time for the first quarter of senior night, with Thayer up 14-0.
Second quarter action began with fireworks as Foley tossed a reception to Austin Henry. Shedding defenders, Henry rambled 35 yards before being pulled down near the Bulldog 5-yard line. A pitch sweep allowed Carey to glide untouched across the end stripe for a Bobcat TD, moving Thayer on top 20-0.
After the Bobcat defense only allowed the Dogs one pass reception for good yardage, pressure through the middle from Dennis forced Portageville to punt. The Bobcats allowed the punt to roll dead at the 8-yard line, where the Green Machine started a long drive.
Carey gashed up inside the Portageville defense for big pick-ups, while Foley hit Dennis with a pass to pick up 35 yards before connecting with Kreig over the middle for a 15-yard TD reception. The PAT kick veered wide right, but the Bobcats were in control with a 26-0 lead.
As the saying goes, "your best offense is a good defense" -- well, the Bobcat defense may have proven that at Louis Bozman Field under the Friday night lights, for sure.
Dennis made a hit in the Portageville backfield to jar the pigskin loose, picked it up and advanced the ball to the 25. One play later, Bobcat Hammerin' Cameron zipped 25 yards, past would-be tackles, for another Bobcat touchdown.
But before the celebration could start, a yellow hankie indicating a penalty nullified the score.
After runs from Foley moved the Cats to the 12, Foley tossed to a wide open Risner, adding six to the scoreboard.
The extra-point from Cabrales was good, pushing the home team on top 33-0 with five and change left before the half.
The Bobcats' defense forced the Bulldogs to punt after three plays.
Jacob Alford's good punt return set up the Bobcats in good field position.
On the first play from scrimmage, Cabrales exploded through a huge hole for 30-plus yards, to add six more points and finish off the first half with a 40-0 lead for Thayer.
After five different Bobcat players saw the white chalk of the end zone, scoring touchdown in the first half, the explosive Green Machine offense tacked on one more long distance (86 yards) run from Carey on their first play from scrimmage of the second half.
The Bobcats played defense and brought on some fresh players to pound the ball down the field.
With a 47-0 lead after three quarters, the junior varsity held defensively and tacked on one score and the 2-point conversion to wrap up the 55-0 rout.