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HS Football: Pirates power past Dragons

<p>photo by GEORGE “CLAY” MITCHELL</p><p>Cedarville’s Kendall Pittman runs past his teammates during Friday’s season opener at Glen Wisely Field as he returns an interception 93 yards to give the Pirates the first score in the 51-6 win over Mountainburg.</p>

photo by GEORGE “CLAY” MITCHELL

Cedarville’s Kendall Pittman runs past his teammates during Friday’s season opener at Glen Wisely Field as he returns an interception 93 yards to give the Pirates the first score in the 51-6 win over Mountainburg.

Cedarville quarterback Dylan Shelton was pretty efficient Friday night at the Pirates defeated its Crawford County rivals 51-6 at Glen Wisely Field.

Shelton hit Alex Cantrell five times for 207 yards of which four were for touchdowns. Shelton finished with 9 of 12 passing for 226 yards, one interception, four touchdowns and he had seven carries for 80 yards.

Cedarville’s offense finished with 403 yards and held the Dragons to 196 yards (with just 68 yards in the second half).

“I’m just happy that we played well,” said coach Mark Shelton. “We challenged the team at halftime to finish the game. There were times last season we would get a lead and then slack off.

“Coach (Tom) Harrell came right at us in the second half and he does a heck of job with those kids. It was good to see our offense and defense rolling.”

The Pirates and the Dragons hit the road next week as Cedarville travels to Conway Christian and Mountainburg faces its first conference opponent, Union Christian.

Kendall Pittman got things rolling for Cedarville when he intercepted a Josh Skattebo pass and returned it 93 yards for the first score.

“Kendall did a pretty amazing job on returning the ball,” said coach Shelton. “We definitely are going to have to get him the ball a bit more.”

The Pirates went three-and-out on the first possession of the game, but scored on their next seven.

Shelton connected with Cantrell with touchdown passes of 71, 33, 79 and 25 yards.

Corey Fincher, Austin Soehlman and Cody Cooper each had touchdown runs.

Cruz Rhea was 2 of 5 in PATs for the Pirates.

Jake Sharum returned an interception for Cedarville 40 yards to the Mountainburg 1, to set up Fincher’s touchdown with 48.2 second left in the first half as the Pirates led 39-6.

The only touchdown for the Dragons was Skattebo capping a 9-play drive with a two-yard run with 8.4 seconds remaining in the first quarter to cut Cedarville’s lead by eight, 14-6.

Skattebo, who was injured late in the second quarter and sat out the duration of the game, finished with 15 yards on eight carries and was 3 of 6 passing for 73 yards.

Sophomore Samuel Copeland had five totes for 31 yards and senior Chris Robbins added 33 yards on eight carries.

It was the first time for Cedarville to win back-to-back games over Mountainburg since 2007 and 2008. The Pirates have only won consecutive games four times during the series and their largest win string is three consecutive wins dating back to 1991.

The margin of victory is not only the largest Cedarville has over Moutainburg, but it’s the largest in the series since the Pirates won 39-0 back in 1984.

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