Republic’s defense held Neosho to 200 total yards, and they even got in on the scoring in a 33-15 romp over Neosho on the road.
Quarterback Zach Hall went over 1,000 yards passing for the season, completing 10 of 21 passes for 183 yards. His primary target was Garrett Metscher, who had five catches for 78 yards. Metscher added 35 rushing yards on four carries.
“I remember my sophomore year, I just played defense. Last year, they moved me to receiver. It was kind of a new position, and I was just feeling it out,” says Metscher. “This year, it’s a lot more natural. We have a great quarterback in Zach Hall. It’s throw and catch with him. It’s pretty easy.”
Republic scored on its first possession, going 65 yards in 12 plays. Kerik Crouse scored on a two-yard run to make it 6-0. The extra point was no good.
The score stayed that way until 8:34 left in the half, when TK Brigance ran the ball in from the three yard line. The two-point conversion was no good, and the score was 12-0 Republic.
After Metscher recovered a fumble on defense, the Tigers drove for another score. The drive ended with an eight-yard pass from Hall to Metscher. The extra point was blocked and it was 18-0.
Neosho got on the board with 3:03 left in the half when Justin McKee ran for a 40-yard touchdown to cut the lead to 18-7.
Republic answered, driving the length of the field and punching the ball into the end zone on a 1-yard run by Kerik Crouse with 10 seconds left in the half. That made the score 25-7 at the break.
The game was scoreless in the third quarter, but early in the fourth, the defense struck. Colton Peltz got a clean shot on McKee to force a fumble. Grant Hancock picked up the ball briefly, lost possession, and the ball ended up in the hands of freshman Darion Hall. Hall ran it 42 yard to pay dirt to make the score 33-7 with about 12 minutes left in the game.
“I was in a great spot, and after I hit him, he dropped the ball and Darion did a great job as a freshman, picking the ball up and just hauling to get to the end zone,” says Peltz.
On a blitz like that one, Peltz says he tries not to over-think things when he has a quarterback in his sights.
“I’m just running as fast as I can, hoping he doesn’t throw it,” says Peltz.
Neosho scored again with less than three minutes left on a 45-yard run by Davin Bentz. That made the final score 33-15.
Republic improves to 4-4, and keeps Neosho winless at 0-8.