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CHARLESTON -- The Ozark offense started fast and never let up against Charleston on Friday.

The Hillbillies amassed 589 yards in 56 plays to roll their Franklin County rival Tigers 54-21 at Alumni Field.

Ozark (2-1) gained 534 of that on the ground, including three 100-yard rushers, in dominating Charleston (1-2). The Hillbillies now lead the overall series 28-22-5.

"We're starting to play a little bit better each week," Ozark Coach Jeremie Burns said. "We did start fast tonight. We felt we could run the ball tonight."

After touchdowns on their first two possessions, Ozark used its defense to force two turnovers that were converted into touchdowns. It was 28-0 midway through the second quarter.

"They were just better than us tonight," Charleston Coach Ricky May said. "We didn't help ourselves as we made a lot of mistakes early on. [Ozark] is a pretty good football team.

"We had to start fast and we didn't."

Ozark quarterback Harper Faulkenberry finished with 179 yards rushing and four touchdowns. Eli Massengale added 107 yards and a score, and reserve running back Christopher Neissl added 107 yards and 2 touchdowns on 3 carries.

Faulkenberry also was 4-of-7 passing for 55 yards and a touchdown.

"Faulkenberry is a stud, and he showed it tonight," May said.

Ozark's offense dominated the first half, gaining 290 yards.

Faulkenberry paced the offense with three rushing touchdown (100 yards on 11 carries) and threw a touchdown pass to Sebastian Ross.

Ozark took the opening kickoff and scored four plays and 64 yards later on Faulkenberry's 26-yard keeper for a 6-0 lead less than two minutes into the game.

Charleston faced a fourth and 3 at the Ozark 43, but Tigers quarterback Brandon Scott was sacked by Massengale to end the threat.

The Hillbillies then marched 50 yards. Faulkenberry had a 19-yard third-down completion to Keystan Durning to the Tigers' 1. Faulkenberry scored on the next play for a 12-0 Ozark advantage with 5:11 left in the first quarter.

The Ozark defense then forced two turnovers that led to a pair of second-quarter touchdowns. Faulkenberry threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Ross after the first turnover, then added an 18-yard keeper for the other score.

"[The defense] set us up in the second quarter," Burns said.

Charleston got as close as 28-14 early in the third quarter on a 43-yard keeper by quarterback Brandon Scott, but a Massengale 25-yard touchdown run followed by an 8-yard keeper by Faulkenberry put the Hillbillies up 40-14 with 9:34 left.

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Ozark (2-1) ^12 ^16 ^6 ^20 — 54

Charleston (1-2) ^0 ^7 ^7 ^7 — 21

First Quarter

OZARK – Faulkenberry 26 run (run failed), 10:15.

OZARK – Faulkenberry 1 run (run failed), 5:11.

Second Quarter

OZARK – Ross 12 pass from Faulkenberry (Faulkenberry run), 11:54.

OZARK – Jones 3 run (Morales kick), 3:39.

CHARL – Ketter 5 pass from Scott (Taggart kick), 3:26.

Third Quarter

CHARL – Scott 43 run (Taggart kick), 10:18.

OZARK – Masingale 25 run (run failed), 6:45.

Fourth Quarter

OZARK – Faulkenberry 8 run (run failed), 9:34.

OZARK – Wright 38 run (Leavell kick), 4:27.

CHARL – Smith 3 run (Morales kick), 2:40.

OZARK – Wright 77 run (Leavell kick), 1:33.


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