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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Pierce City stays unbeaten, handles Greenfield

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

(Photo)
Drive killer. Garron Cantrell, a linebacker at Pierce City, collected two sacks that ended Greenfield scoring threats Friday night. Cantrell is one of three seniors on the Eagles team. [Photo by Traci Osborn]
Pierce City High School moved the kickoff of Friday night's Spring River Valley Conference football game to 5 p.m. in anticipation of inclement weather.

By the time the clock read all zeros, it was the Greenfield Wildcats who had their party rained on as the Eagles earned a 27-6 victory.

Pierce City's senior running back Cedric O'Hara showed why he is becoming a force to be dealt with. O'Hara rushed for 260 yards on 16 carries and found the end zone four times.

(Photo)
Breaking loose. Pierce City's Cedric O'Hara racked up 260 yards rushing and four touchdowns as the Eagles earned a 26-6 victory over Greenfield Last Friday. [Photo by Traci Osborn]
"Early on in the game we tried to use Cedric's speed to get to the edge," said Pierce City coach Matt Holt. "The conditions prevented us from having much luck. In the end, we had the most success just running him north and south."

The Eagles' offensive line of Logan Deems, Cody Cooper, Jake Smith, Dalton Boykin, Sam Crow and Garron Cantrell did precisely what Coach Holt wanted them to do; open seams.

O'Hara's performance was equaled by the play of the defense. Friday's game was a perfect example of a bend but don't break effort.

(Photo)
Getting rough. Pierce City sophomore Darren Cox throws Greenfield quarterback Brendan Black for a loss during the Eagles victory last Friday night. Pierce City travels to Liberal on Friday. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
"The defense played great," said Holt. "We gave up yards, but we forced the Wildcats to keep snapping the ball. In high school, it's hard to snap the ball 10 to 15 times consecutivley and not have at least one miscue."

Greenfield's seven first half possessions ended with a punt, Cantrell sack, O'Hara interception, turnover on downs, punt, Mike Vincent's fumble recovery and another fumble recovery.

Four times the Wildcats moved the ball inside the Eagles' 35-yard line only to be turned away.

On offense, the "big" play was Pierce City's best play.

After being forced to punt on their first two possessions, the Eagles' offense erased the goose egg off the scoreboard in one play.

After a Cantrell sack gave the Eagles the ball at their 47-yard line, O'Hara slipped a tackle on first down and outraced the defense to pay dirt. O'Hara kicked the point after and Pierce City led 7-0.

Three possessions later, O'Hara broke loose on a 65-yard jaunt to give the Eagles a 14-0 lead.

O'Hara's third score of the half was set up by Vincent's fumble recovery. O'Hara capped a 3 play, 26-yard drive with a 17-yard scamper to the house.

"I thought we did a good job of forcing Greenfield to play to our style," said Holt. "We made them play catchup and that forced them out of their comfort zone. Any time you can get a team to abandon their game plan it is a plus for your squad."

The Wildcats second half was the same as the first.

Greenfield took the opening kickoff, picked up two quick first downs before the Eagles defense stiffened and shut them down.

Pierce City went three and out and punted the ball back to the Wildcats.

This time, Greenfield marched all the way down to the Eagles' 15-yard line where they faced a fourth and 4. An incomplete pass took the wind out of the Wildcats' sails and two plays later O'Hara drove the nails in the game's coffin as he broke off for an 82-yard touchdown.

"We did what we needed to do to win," said Holt. "We are 2-0 and that feels great."

Greenfield would finally find the end zone on Jacob Long's 15-yard reception which capped a nine-play drive.

Pierce City travels to Liberal this Friday to face the Bulldogs. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

For his efforts against the Wildcats, O'Hara was named Chevy Dealers of the Ozarks Male Athlete of the Week.

This award is given to the best performance of any male athlete in southwest Missouri. O'Hara received a plaque and a tee T-shirt from Guy Newcome.



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