SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- In what Nevada Tiger Football Head Coach Wes Beachler called "an outstanding team effort on both sides of the ball," the opportunistic Nevada Tigers football squad mauled the Springfield Central Bulldogs on the road Friday night to prevail 49-19 and go 5-2 on their increasingly encouraging season.
Fleet wingback Dalton Hendren demonstrated his by-now familiar strong will to win by running for three touchdowns through the Tigers' big offensive line and the team's hard-to-handle blocking schemes.
The contest's opening minutes belied what was to happen later in the game with the Bulldogs drawing first blood by reclaiming the ball shortly after Nevada took the opening kickoff, getting a touchdown pass and kicking the extra point to go up 7-0.
Limber-armed Tigers quarterback Alex Payne quickly struck back with a touchdown toss of his own, after which the extra point kick went awry and left the Nevadans down 6-7.
The strenuous evening took on an entirely new ambiance a short time later when Springfield, apparently poised to pad the lead, was intercepted in the endzone by Tigers defensive back Johnathon Ireland, who brought the ball out to the 15-yard line.
Hendren served notice that a wingback of special note was in the house with a 77-yard dash for cash, then popped a 55-yard burst that big tightend Tyler Whitworth capped with a 2-point conversion dive with 1:01 left in the half.
Refreshed by the intermission, Hendren seemed to realize that he had relished that particular distance from the goal and flew 55 yards yet again for his third TD of the night, followed by fullback-kicker Lucas Denman's boot and the scoreboard saying, "35-7."
Hampered by penalties and incomplete passes throughout, the Bulldogs surrendered a 49-yard pass from Payne to surehanded wide receiver Nathan Colopy.
The officials began letting the clock run with the score having reached 42-7 and Beachler sent his younger boys into the bash-fest for experience that will prove valuable next season.
The Springfield 11 claimed a 33-yard TD pass and after penalties on both sides and a couple of exchanges of the ball, wrapped up their scoring with a another 7-yard run into the endzone, making the score 42-19.
The Tigers recovered an on-side kick at mid-field and Beachler sent starters back onto the field and with the running clock still ticking and about two minutes to go, quarterback Alex Payne took a knee and the Bulldogs called a time out.
On the next play, Beacher's squad opted for a dramatically different plan to fill the remaining time on the clock; and wingback Bradey Denney got 6 more points from 53 yards out. Lucas Denman's kick for the extra point brought the final score to 49-19 and the kickoff gave the ball back to the Bulldogs with less than a minute to go.
The Springfield Central Bulldogs' record fell to 3-4.