WARRENSBURG — The Silver Tiger Trophy will remain in Sedalia for the fifth straight year as Smith-Cotton beat Warrensburg 35-23 Friday at Walton Stadium-Kennedy Field.
S-C took a 21-14 lead in the third quarter when Carlton Homan powered in from six yards out and Blake Grupe added the extra point. S-C never surrendered the lead the rest of the way.
S-C ran out about seven and a half minutes off the fourth-quarter clock on a long drive that ended with a Noah Aziere score from the 1-yard line. The extra point made it 35-23 with 3:35 remaining.
“You want to be able to ground and pound,” said Smith-Cotton coach Ryan Boyer. “You want to be able to do that any time, but especially when you need to control the clock at the end.”
Warrensburg couldn’t get anything going on the ensuing drive, so S-C forced a turnover on downs and kneeled it down to seal the win.
Both teams entered the game relying mostly on running the football, but both teams utilized a deep passing game right off the bat.
Warrensburg completed a nine-yard pass to set up a first down on the S-C 11-yard line on the first drive of the game.
Koby Wilkerson then ran it in for the score and Warrensburg added the two-point conversion to lead 8-0 with 7:42 remaining in the first quarter.
On the ensuing drive, Caleb Reed completed a 13-yard pass to Corey Bond and later found Blake Jackson for 34 yards down the right sideline.
Reed capped off the drive with a one-yard TD run. Homan ran it in for two points to tie the game at 8-8 late in the first quarter.
Wilkerson quickly answered for Warrensburg as he broke free for a 67-yard touchdown run to put Warrensburg up 14-8 with 2:45 remaining in the first quarter.
But Reed connected to Jackson for 79 yards down the middle of the field to tie the game at 14 apiece.
“I just gave them a move and went,” Jackson said. “Caleb was able to put the ball right there and I was off.”
Warrensburg put a stop to the fast and furious pace in the first half by pounding the ball with its running game for nearly the entire second quarter.
S-C had its lone drive of the second quarter end with a punt after six plays.
Warrensburg started the ensuing drive on its own 23-yard line with 9:27 remaining in the half and 18 plays later Warrensburg was at the S-C 7-yard line with less than 10 seconds remaining in the half.
Homan was able to stop a Connor Burton run on third and goal. Warrensburg elected for a 25-yard field goal attempt, but it went wide left to keep the score tied at 14 at the break.
Warrensburg’s longest run on that drive was 13 yards by Wilkerson to convert a third-and-8 into a first down, but most of the runs were between two and six yards.
Wilkerson also turned a fourth-and-1 into a first down with a two-yard run to keep the drive alive late.
The field goal attempt came three plays later.
Smith-Cotton (3-0) will host Pleasant Hill next week.
Jason Strickland can be reached at 660-530-0147 or on Twitter @J_Strick_Sports.