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Caruthersville Denies Crystal City Comeback - St. Louis Post Dispatch

Posted Friday, November 10, 2006 by Joe Harris
Caruthersville denies Crystal City comeback
By Joe Harris
It was a memorable homecoming Wednesday for Caruthersville football coach Brad Gerling.

A former three-year starter at Northwest, Gerling saw his team turn three Crystal City turnovers into two touchdowns in the first half and then saw his defense stop the Hornets on fourth down with 50 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter to secure a 28-22 win in the Class 2 sectional playoffs.

"Any time your family is able to come and watch you when they are 20 minutes down the road, it's always great," Gerling said.

The Gerling clan had some anxious moments in the fourth quarter as Crystal City stormed back from a 28-14 deficit. The rally started when Hornets quarterback Dominique Hall found Michael Schembre for a 17-yard touchdown pass with 9:11 left. Cody DeRousse ran in the 2-point conversion to make it 28-22.


Crystal City (9-2) got the ball back for one final attempt with 3:43 left. The Hornets drove 52 yards on nine plays before DeRousse was stopped 1 yard short at the Caruthersville 7 on fourth down.

The defensive stand preserved a dominant first-half lead built by the Tigers, who turned three Hornets turnovers into 16 points. The Caruthersville running attack controlled the first half as the Tigers carried the ball 32 times for 154 yards and held the ball for more than 16 of the game's first 24 minutes.

Caruthersville running back Kendrickus Reed, an all-state player, finished with 201 yards on 41 carries with two touchdowns.

DeRousse led the Hornets with 135 rushing yards on 23 carries and a touchdown. Hall added 88 yards rushing on 17 carries.

"This team could have folded at halftime and they could have folded down 14-0 after the first quarter," Crystal City coach Dan Ridgeway said. "Sometimes it's easier to lose by 40 than on fourth down inside your opponent's 10."

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