Republic Tiger football close regular season on high note

James Rexroat (6) hauls in a touchdown catch during Republic's win over Carl Junction. (Photo by Steve Rackley)

Now 6-3 overall, team looks to first district playoff contest against Parkview, Friday.
Republic football ended its regular season with a win, knocking off Carl Junction 35-17 on Senior Night. The Tigers out-gained Carl Junction 429 yards to 235, rushing for 347 yards against a Carl Junction defense that has typically excelled against the running game.

"I felt like the kids came out and played hard and played well," said coach Ryan Cornelsen. "That was a good football team. I've known all year it was going to be a tough matchup (because) they're really good against the run. As a whole, that's a really quality win for us."

The Republic defense showed big improvement over the previous week against Nixa, helping fuel the victory.
"I thought the defense played much better. There at the end, we missed a bunch of tackles, but we've got a lot of guys undersized who are playing 100 miles an hour, and they just wear down a little bit, so that's going to happen in the later part of the game," Cornelsen said.

Republic scored three times in the first half. A 19-yard touchdown run by Wyatt Woods put Republic ahead 7-0 with 3:25 left in the first quarter. After a Bulldog field goal, Republic scored again on a 26-yard touchdown pass from Woods to James Rexroat with 4:57 left in the second quarter. Carl Junction scored a touchdown on its next possession, but Republic finished the half with another TD. This time it was a one-yard run by Kanon Krol to put Republic ahead 21-10.

In the second half, the Tigers got another one-yard TD run by Krol and a four-yard touchdown run by Woods to stretch the lead to 35-10. Carl Junction scored a late TD to account for the final margin.

Before the game, Republic honored its seniors in their final home game of the regular season.

"A lot of those guys played last year, and a lot of them have played this year, and we've worked hard at it. They started before I even lived here. We started working and we worked all summer for two summers now, and before school all year long. So this group, not just our seniors, but all of our kids, they're paying a price to be successful," Cornelsen said. "It makes me proud, and I hope it makes our community proud of them — that they're successful, but also... they paid a price to be able to win those games. That's good leadership. They're hopefully setting the tone for us, not only this year, but as we move forward."

Republic improved to 6-3 and will host Springfield Parkview (1-9) in the first round of the playoffs Friday.


Lawrence County Record

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