WARDSVILLE, Mo. - It's not often the final score in a 60-7 rout can end up as the play of the game, but that's what happened Thursday night.
Blair Oaks' Cody Alexander got the ultimate treat on Halloween night, as the freshman set a school record when he ripped off a 99-yard touchdown run in the Falcons' district-opening win against Tolton.
With the Falcons in control of the game and facing a third-and-11 at their own 1-yard line, the goal was simple: Get enough room to punt the ball back to the Trailblazers.
Tolton got the ball back, but it came on a kickoff following a score instead.
Alexander, a 5-foot-7, 130-pound quarterback, took the ball to the left side and somehow emerged with a chance for a big gain. He went a step better, racing down the sideline before picking up a key block on his way to the score.
"I've got to give credit to (Garrison) Castor, he's the one that made the block that sent me to the end zone," Alexander said.
Alexander added the big play started with a simple goal.
"I was just trying not to get tackled for a safety," he said with a smile.
The run is the longest play from scrimmage in Blair Oaks history, surpassing the 97-yard run reeled off by Steve Loethen in 1988.
"I was speechless after it," Alexander said. "At first I didn't know I broke a record and then everyone was running at me telling me I broke it."
Blair Oaks coach Brad Drehle said Alexander's speed made the play happen.
"The way (the Trailblazers) were shifting the defense, I really thought (Alexander) would jump out of there and get us to the 5-yard line and we would punt," he said. "Then all of a sudden, Cody came running out of there and it was like, "Uh oh.' He's one of our fastest kids and once he got to the side, even though he's a freshman, he was able to make something happen."
The big carry seemed fitting on a night where the Falcons were running the ball at will. Blair Oaks had a 100-yard rusher after one quarter, nearly had three 100-yard rushers by halftime and ended up with 458 yards on the ground on 53 carries.
"This time of year, you have to be able to run the football," Drehle said. "It has got to be an emphasis."
Still, the Falcons' first score of the game came via the air, as their first drive ended when Jordan Hair hit Haydn Lock with a 21-yard scoring strike.
After a Tolton punt, Blair Oaks was at it again. The first of six straight rushing touchdowns came when Caleb Bischoff rumbled into the end zone from 40 yards out.
Tolton fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Blair Oaks recovered, scoring three plays later on a 17-yard run by Dominic Jamerson.
Lock then snagged an interception on the Trailblazers' next play from scrimmage, and the Falcons scored after three more plays on an 8-yard run by Bischoff.
Then it was Jamerson's turn to pick off a pass, which set up the Falcons' next score, which came on a 28-yard run by Hair on the first play of the second quarter. That made it 35-0 just seven seconds into the period.
Blair Oaks added an 11-yard scoring run later in the frame by Bischoff, who had ended the first quarter with an even 100 yards rushing on just eight carries.
Hair then made it 48-0 heading into intermission when he scored on a 6-yard run.
"Our kids came out and did a good job," Drehle said. "A game like this, our goal was to get out of here healthy, to play fast and physical early and hopefully take control of the ball game. We were fortunate enough to be able to do that and get off to a fast start."
With the running clock in effect due to the mercy rule for all of the second half, and with the reserves playing the whole half, the Falcons managed to come up with two scores. The only one other than Alexander's big run came on another big play, this one in the third quarter. That's when Jacob Wilbers threw a 71-yard scoring pass to Chris Cooper.
"They're loading the box and you've got kids out there that haven't done anything, so you give it a shot and you don't think it's going to go for a score and it does," Drehle said. "You don't want to embarrass your opponent, but at the same time, you want to give your kids an opportunity to have success."
Bischoff ended up leading the Falcons with 134 yards on 13 carries, while Alexander ended up with 120 on three carries. Jamerson had 15 carries for 98 yards and Hair had his biggest rushing night of the year with 83 yards on 11 carries.
"(Jordan) was able to do some things and made the right reads tonight," Drehle said. "It's something that's a process, it's not something that's going to happen overnight. Dominic and Caleb are able to take care of him a lot, so he gets comfortable just handing off the football. Sometimes he's got to read, and he made a couple nice reads tonight."
Christian Elliott, the quarterback for Tolton (2-8) and the Trailblazers' leading rusher managed just 19 yards on 10 carries.
"Our starting defense is giving up less than 3 yards per rush," Drehle said. "It's something our kids take a tremendous amount of pride in and I think our defensive line was able to make the difference in that tonight."
Blair Oaks (9-1) now advances to the semifinals of the Class 2 District 6 Tournament to take on Hermann (6-4), which got a touchdown and a 2-point conversion in the final minute to beat Hallsville 34-27 on Thursday.
"It's great to have somebody new to play this season and have a new challenge," Drehle said. "Hermann obviously has done some good things in that Four Rivers Conference, because everybody they play is so much bigger than them."
Notes: Mikel Drehle, the Falcons' second-leading receiver, did not play due to a high-ankle sprain. ... Hayden Haney, a two-way starter at lineman for Blair Oaks, missed the game due to suffering concussion symptoms following last week's game.