For the first time at Tiger Stadium in Sedalia, fireworks celebrated a Silver Tiger Trophy victory.
In its sixth-year defense of the Silver Tiger, Smith-Cotton methodically dismissed the visiting Warrensburg Tigers, 26-6 Friday, with a steady rushing attack and stout defense.
The game began with a Warrensburg false start and Smith-Cotton encroachment. They exchanged identical penalties three times Friday.
Warrensburg, however, was minus-three in turnover differential. The visiting Tigers lost three fumbles —one for a Korbin Scott, 53-yard touchdown return in its opening drive.
Smith-Cotton shut out Warrensburg in the second half. Mike Flores turned a dump pass from Ben McClung into a 41-yard Warrensburg touchdown with 3:03 left in the first half for its only score. Warrensburg trailed 13-6 at halftime.
Sedalia head coach Ryan Boyer said the defense simply “stayed the course” after a long touchdown.
“The defense scored,” Boyer said. “They created turnovers. There was one play where they get the screen for a touchdown. That’s a tough play, but it’s one play.”
Blake Grupe made a 20-yard field goal on the first S-C drive. He hit a 30-yarder in the second quarter to make the lead to 13-0.
Smith-Cotton out-paced Warrensburg 347 yards to 118. Sedalia collected 312 yards on the ground behind four players — Jaden Kendrick, Brice Pannier, Cage Young and Zach Powell — gaining 40-plus yards. Young led S-C with 95 yards rushing.
Two rushing touchdowns from Powell and Malik Davis were negated by procedural penalties in the third quarter. Smith-Cotton did not extend its lead until a Pannier 1-yard touchdown.
Kendrick was 6-for-7 passing for 35 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions. The junior quarterback rushed for 46 yards on nine carries.
Boyer said Smith-Cotton’s powerful rush attack justfied few passing plays for Kendrick.
“Right now, we’re very confident and successful in our run game,” Boyer said. “We want to throw the ball to keep them honest … but it’s one of those, if it’s not broken, don’t fix it type-deals.”
Smith-Cotton (2-1) opened the second half with a scoring drive capped off by a 1-yard Pannier touchdown.
The Tigers of Sedalia travel to Pleasant Hill on Friday, Sept. 9, while Warrensburg hosts Odessa.
Alex Agueros can be reached at 660-826-1000, ext. 1483 or on Twitter @abagueros2