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story.lead_photo.caption The North Callaway defense tries to bring down Mark Twain junior running back Landon Moss (34) during the Thunderbirds' 47-12 EMO rout of the Tigers on Friday night at Kingdom City. Photo by Amy Craghead/Special to the Fulton Sun

KINGDOM CITY — North Callaway head coach Don Boulware couldn't have been more thrilled with the thorough effort from his Thunderbirds.

Senior running back Cody Cash accounted for five touchdowns — including one on defense from his safety position — as North Callaway tormented the Mark Twain Tigers in a 47-12 Eastern Missouri Conference rampage Friday night.

The victory was the second in a row for the Thunderbirds, who raised their season record to 5-2 and improved to 4-2 in the EMO. Mark Twain suffered its second straight loss in dropping to 2-5 overall and 2-4 in conference play.

"Offense, defense, special teams — it was probably one of our most complete games of the season," Boulware said. "We had so many guys contribute. Everybody pulled together and that's always satisfying to see."

Cash scored on a 3-yard touchdown run with 7 minutes, 6 seconds left in the first quarter Friday night to give North Callaway an early edge. Junior running back Manny Moreno followed with another 3-yard touchdown run to extend the Thunderbirds' advantage to 13-0 with 3:06 to play in the quarter.

Moreno then made a special-teams impact when he blocked a punt and returned it 20 yards for a score with 11:49 remaining in the second quarter. Cash gave North Callaway a 27-0 lead when he took a pass from sophomore quarterback Braydn O'Neal and bolted 85 yards for a touchdown with 4:12 to go in the first half.

After the Tigers got on the scoreboard with :04 left before halftime, Cash's 18-yard touchdown run and two-point conversion with 6:33 to play in the third quarter put the Thunderbirds on top 35-6.

Cash then profited on defense when he picked off a pass from Mark Twain junior quarterback Payton Hawkins and ran it back 70 yards for a touchdown with 4:48 remaining in the quarter.

Cash and O'Neal hooked up for the second time on a 23-yard touchdown pass with 9:56 to go in the game to wrap up North Callaway's scoring.

Moreno paced the Thunderbirds with 59 yards rushing on seven carries, while Cash finished by gaining 57 yards in seven attempts. O'Neal completed 5-0f-7 passes for 138 yards.

North Callaway ends the regular season next Friday night with a trip to neighboring rival Montgomery County for an EMO clash. The Wildcats (6-2, 6-1 EMO) stretched their winning streak to five games with a 51-6 conference romp at Van-Far/Community on Friday night.

Montgomery County currently sits as the No. 2 seed in Class 2, District 5 with 40.59 points, less than two ahead of the No. 3 Thunderbirds (38.62). Hallsville is the No. 1 seed with 42.46 points.

The top two teams in the six-school district will receive first-round byes Oct. 30.

"This is a big game for us and it has big implications in the district," Boulware said. "We also want to end the regular season right."

Ryan Boland can be reached at (573) 826-2422, or on Twitter @FultonSunSports.

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