Three straight turnovers in the third quarter helped Nixa pull away from Republic for a 34-7 victory, in the season opener for both teams. The Eagles were led by running back Jordan Keeney, who racked up 189 yards on the ground and 219 total yards.
The Tigers were in danger of falling out of the game early, after Nixa took a two-touchdown lead in the first half. But Republic countered with a 5-yard touchdown run by Colton McCarty (video) to cut the lead in half. They stopped the subsequent Nixa drive as time expired in the first half, and went to the locker room with a little momentum, down by seven.
After both teams failed to score on their first possessions of the second half, the wheels came off for the Tigers. Republic fumbled on three straight possessions — all in its own territory — and Nixa reeled off three quick touchdowns to grab a 34-7 lead, putting the game out of reach.
Republic’s offense moved the ball fairly well, when it managed to hang onto the ball. The Tigers had 182 rushing yards and 46 yards through the air. They were led by Ryan Sifferman, who had 87 yards rushing, and 110 all-purpose yards. Colton McCarty ran for 59 yards, and Blaze Carano ran for 19. Carano also completed 5 of 12 passes for 54 yards. The Republic offense had 14 first downs, but its four turnovers were the difference in the game.
Nixa racked up 381 total yards, including 272 yards on the ground. Besides Keeney’s 189 yards, Nixa got 57 rushing yards from Ben Fisher. Nixa managed 16 first downs, and two turnovers.
The Tigers will be back in action next Friday at home against Bolivar. Kickoff is 7 p.m.