Sacred Heart scored 11 touchdowns and followed mistakes with big plays to defeat Norborne-Hardin Central 67-0 at Tiger Stadium in Sedalia to secure a rematch with Greenfield in the 8-man, District 4 final.
The Gremlin offense was in high-octane mode from the start. RaeQuan Williams broke off a 56-yard run on the first play from scrimmage and completed the score two plays later.
After taking over on an Aggies four-and-out, Micah Tanguay picked up 30 yards and positioned the Gremlins at the Norborne-Hardin Central 5-yard line. Nick Cashman finished the drive, hauling a touchdown reception on a play-action bootleg.
Tanguay, who scored four times, squashed the first promising Aggie drive with a 65-yard pick-6, and the Gremlins led 19-0 after a wide point-after attempt.
In scoring three receiving touchdowns, Tanguay said he exploited a height advantage on his defender. His pick-6 was a product of self-awareness.
“We’ve had troubles with the screen pass all year long,” Tanguay said. “I sniffed it out and was like, ‘Whew, this is coming,’ and I’ve always wanted a pick-6 … It was a long run.”
Despite the shutout, Sacred Heart was far from perfect Friday. A first-half scoring drive represented the Gremlins’ few, self-inflicted troubles against Norborne-Hardin Central.
On first down at its own 4-yard line, Trent Lyles scrambled the length of the field for a touchdown. The score was negated for a holding penalty. Trent again scrambled for 47 yards, and had better position after an Aggie horse collar penalty, setting up Williams’ second rushing touchdown.
Trammell clanked in a point-after attempt off the left post. A penalty negated this score, and the Gremlins settled for an extra-yardage 2-point conversion.
Gremlins head coach Ben Lyles said he anticipated sloppiness after a bye week.
“A little frustrating,” Lyles said. “I expected a little bit with the bye week, and we really haven’t been on the field in a couple weeks, so I expected a little bit of rust … All-in-all pretty pleased, after the bye week, to come out and play like we did.”
Trammel was 4-for-8 in PATs, and said he is becoming more comfortable place kicking every day. The Aggies, however, blocked his first attempt Friday.
“I’ve only worked on it for about two or three weeks now, so I’m still getting used to it,” Trammel said. “In 8-man, I don’t have as much time. I have to do everything a couple steps faster.”
Nick Cashman extended the first-half Sacred Heart lead to 33-0 with a 7-yard touchdown reception.
Norborne-Hardin Central running back Zac Smith found the edge for the first time in the second quarter, and gained 30 yards on the ground. After a Gremlins timeout, the Aggies lost possession after four downs.
A 7-yard Trent Lyles rushing touchdown and Trammel extra point made it 40-0, and a last-minute, 20-yard Tanguay touchdown on a slant route put Sacred Heart ahead 47-0 at half.
Tanguay collected his fourth touchdown reception on a hitch route in the third quarter. Trent Lyles passed for his fifth aerial touchdown with 5:53 in the third — a 61-yard catch-and-run to Cashman. Trent passed for six touchdowns Friday.
Alden Harding scored in a similar fashion from 65-yards out, and when Sacred Heart fell on an Aggie fumble with under a minute to play, the Gremlins secured a 67-0 shutout victory and another shot at Greenfield.
Sacred Heart’s leading receiver Friday said he, and the team, are excited to right mistakes made in a 48-32 loss to the Wildcats in week two.
“I want to play them and I want to beat them,” Tanguay said. “They got us last time … I feel like we’re more prepared now. I feel like last time we just didn’t really have our heads strapped on. Weve been preparing and I think we’re ready.”
Alex Agueros can be reached at 660-826-1000, ext. 1483 or on Twitter @abagueros2