Last year, Cedarville pushed Charleston to the final seconds of their 3A-4 battle.
This time, Charleston quarterback Ty Storey and his Tigers teammates were having none of that. Storey accounted for five touchdowns in the first half as Charleston mauled Cedarville, 46-6.
“We had a lot of respect for Cedarville because of what the did to us last year,” Charleston coach Greg Kendrick said. “We were prepared for a tough football game.”
Storey passed for four touchdowns in the first half. He hit scores 26 yards to Colton Ward, 25 to Chance Shelby, nine to Ward and 31 yards to Dylan Jones. Storey also ran in a 1-yard TD. Storey passed 13-of-18 for 302 yards, all in the first half.
“They came up tight on the line to stop our run game,” Kendrick said. “Not many people have done that in a while and Ty has done a good job of being patient and taking the short stuff and the runs. He was loving it tonight because they were playing that tight press coverage and we were getting some guys open down the field. He just had to make the throws and he did.”
Charleston (9-0, 6-0) struck quickly, with Storey hitting Ward at 10:05 of the first quarter to go up 7-0. A 25-yard scoring pass to Shelby with 7:38 left in the first quarter made it 14-0 and Charleston went up by three touchdowns on a 9-yard pass to Ward. Charleston bobbled the snap on the PAT and Shelby ran in a 2-point conversion that made it 22-0.
Cedarville finally got on the board in the second with a long drive. Charleston stopped several chances at the goal line. But with the help of a penalty that gave Cedarville a first down, Dylan Shelton tossed a 1-yard pass to Corey Fincher. The PAT kick failed, which left Charleston up 22-6 with 9:38 in the second quarter.
Charleston regained momentum quickly. Storey hits some more big pass plays, including a 50-yarder to Shelby to set up a 2-yard touchdown plunge by Storey that made it 29-6 with 5:25 to play before the break.
Storey then found Dylan Jones on a 31-yard scoring pass that made it 35-6 with 1:25 left before the half.
Charleston only needed a couple of runs from Austin Pittman to punch in another score to start the second half and invoke the Arkansas Activities Association mercy rule.
Cedarville (2-7, 1-5) began the year with high expectations but had to forfeit three games and also has had a slew of injuries after starting the season 5-0.
“It has been a very tough last four weeks,” Cedarville coach Mark Shelton said. “We have had a lot of drama and then about that same time we had a bunch of people getting hurt. We are playing for pride now.”
Shelton said while his team has taken a step back he was impressed by the improvement Charleston has made from last year.
“Last year, they were a good team but they were one-dimensional,” Shelton said. “This year they are multi-dimensional and they are a lot better on defense. They are an awfully good team, but we just have to get over that mental hurdle that we can play with them.”