If you travel out into the Delta country, south and then west of Cape Girardeau, you'll find Chaffee, Mo., the home of the Red Devils.
The Red Devils made the three-hour trip to Louis Bozman Stadium in Thayer to compete with the Bobcats in the regional round of the Class 1 State Football Playoffs.
Unfortunately for the Red Devils, the trip back to Chaffee must have seemed twice as long after suffering a 47-19 shellacking at the hands of the homestanding Bobcats.
And it did not take long, just one play after the opening kickoff, for the Red Devils to realize they were just flat out-matched by Thayer.
Levi Hargrove picked up the low-rolling opening kick and advanced it all the way to the 41 for great field position to start the game.
Bobcat center William Snethern then snapped the ball to quarterback Jared Foley, who pitched the ball back to Cameron Carey. Wideout Derek Kreig blocked out, while Cody Ollar and Kendall Pittman blocked down. Bryan Tate and Jacob Adams pulled around the end and blew out the linebackers as fullback Jeremy Cabrales put the defensive back on his seat. Carey then jetted 59 yards untouched into the end zone, for a Bobcat touchdown. Now that's the way it is drawn up in the playbook and that is the way it was executed on the field, and the Bobcats set the tone for the night with only about 15 seconds off of the game clock. The PAT looked to be slightly tipped and was no good, but Thayer led 6-0.
On the Bobcats' first defensive series, Lucas Risner picked off a Red Devil pass attempt and returned the ball to the 5-yard line, to set up the Bobcats with a first-and-goal. After two short gains from Carey, Foley handed off to Cabrales who steamrolled into the end zone for the second early score and extra point for the Bobcats.
After a pass completion to Cabrales for a 20-yard gain, Foley connected with Dylan Dennis for a 35-yard TD pass reception at the 6:10 mark of the first quarter. The PAT made the score 20-0, Bobcats.
Offensive miscues and Bobcat defensive pressure forced the Red Devils backwards on three plays and into a fourth down and 23 to go.
Conner Blair returned the ensuing punt from the Thayer 35, to the Chaffee 35.
One play later, Carey blasted 36 yards into the end zone, only to have those yards and the six points wiped off the score board, due to a Bobcat penalty. Good defensive plays from the Red Devils pushed the Bobcats back into a third-and-23. Foley connected with Kreig for a 19-yard catch and run, bringing up fourth down and four.
So, Coach - what do you do?
How about a pitchout to "Hammerin' Cameron" around the left.
Carey was patient and followed the crushing blocks from Tate and Cabrales, then cut to the inside, faked a defender to the outside, spun around another Red Devil, striding across the chalk stripe for six more Bobcat points. After a delay of game flag for 5 yards, Cabrales kicked the PAT to stake Thayer to a 27-0 advantage to end the first.
An interception and runback by Risner set up the Bobcats for another short TD run from Carey. The Bobcat defense shut down any Red Devil offensive plays to take the ball back for the Green Machine. "Hammerin' Cameron" jetted another 36 yards for a Bobcat score at the halfway mark of the second quarter, putting the Bobcats up 41-0. At that point, coach Billy Webber inserted the entire junior varsity team to finish out the first half. Feeling comfortable with the substantial lead and having confidence in the abilities of the junior squad, the Bobcats' starting teams did not take the field or see any action the entire second half.
The Bobcat junior varsity got some good road warrior experience, only allowing Chaffee 19 points while adding a Dustin Howell touchdown to the Bobcats' total. The 2-point conversion was not successful, , making the final score, Bobcats 47, Red Devils 19.