Republic football Tigers beat Nixa in home opener

Republic overcame a slow start in its first home game of the season, stringing together three straight touchdown drives to earn a 25-14 win over Nixa Friday. Quarterback Lucas Hayes accounted for more than 240 total yards. He completed 15 of 26 passes for 169 yards and a touchdown, and he ran for 73 yards on 19 carries to lead the offense.
For the first 18 minutes of play, the Tigers looked like they were in for a long night. After scoring two points on a safety after Nixa snapped the ball over its punter’s head, Republic failed to find many positives for the next quarter and a half. On their first six drives, the Tigers managed just one first down and had to punt six times. Coach Dustin Baldwin even tried in- serting Jarod Hughes at quarterback to enliven the offense, but that didn’t work either.
“I put Jarod in just to try to get a spark,” Baldwin said. “It wasn’t all Lu- cas’ fault. That’s just the nature of it.”
Nixa took advantage of several big plays to build a 14-2 lead. Eagles quarterback Reid Potts completed four passes for more than 30 yards each, and the Eagles even scored after fumbling the ball forward into the end zone and falling on it.
But an interception by Hughes midway through the second quarter sparked Republic and turned the mo- mentum back to the Tigers. Republic drove 72 yards for a score. The drive included a 3rd-and-15 completion to Josh Sterling, and it ended on a 26-yard pass from Hayes to Landon Porter. Nixa blocked the extra point to keep the score 14-8.
On Nixa’s next possession, Tommy D’Andrea stripped the ball from Potts and Haiden Moody covered it up to give
Photo submitted Above, Dalton Parks makes a diving at- tempt to trip up Nixa’s Kolyn Eli on a kick return. Left, Riley Sigman congratulates Josh Sterling after Sterling’s 3rd-down completion kept a Republic drive alive in
the first half
the Tigers the ball back. Hayes scored a minute later, and an extra point gave Republic a 15-14 halftime lead.
Republic scored its third straight touchdown early in the third quarter. The Tigers drove 66 yards in six plays, scoring on another Hayes touchdown, to make the score 22-14. The Tigers put the game away in the fourth quar - ter with a 13-play drive that consumed more than six minutes. It ended with a 25-yard field goal by Marco Donjuan.
In total, Republic racked up 298 yards – 131 on the ground and 167 through the air. Lucas was 15-of-26 for 169 yard and a touchdown. He also threw one interception on a tipped ball that deflected to a Nixa defender. He rushed 19 times for 73 yards and two TDs.
Landon Porter caught four passes for 61 yards and a touchdown.
Riley Sigman carried the ball 11 times for 56 yards. Four other receivers – Sigman, Claye White, Gavin Walker, and Sterling – caught passes, as well.
Republic is 1-1. The Tigers travel to Carl Junction this week. Nixa is 0-2.

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Lawrence County Record

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