PAXTON — Sutherland sunk all aspirations the Tigers had in winning their home opener on Thursday.
The Sailors relied on a stout ground game to rout Paxton 50-8 for their second win of the season in as many games.
"I know Paxton is a little low on numbers this year, but I thought they really played hard for four quarters," Sutherland head coach Brendan Geier said. "For us, I thought we were able to put down some drives, run the ball well and wear them down."
Led by Connor Floyd’s 146 rushing yards and three touchdowns, the Sailors amassed 206 of the team’s 228 total yards on the ground, while holding Paxton to just 43 yards of total offense on 29 plays for the game.
Most of the Tigers offense came in the first quarter, where they accrued three consecutive first downs before giving it up on a fourth-down attempt in Sutherland territory.
The Sailors drove 35 yards down the field, but an interception by Keegan Schow in the Paxton end zone abruptly ended Sutherland’s first attempt at a score.
Consecutive penalties side-tracked the Tigers, who punted on their second drive, setting up a 43-yard touchdown carry by Floyd to put Sutherland on the scoreboard with 2 minutes, 11 seconds left in the first quarter.
Floyd didn’t slow down.
The Sutherland senior added another touchdown on a 30-yard carry to end the Sailors’ first drive of the second quarter.
"I thought we started a little slow, but then we turned it up blocking-wise," Geier said. "Our backs started hitting the holes, and that opened up a lot of things for us."
Floyd also led the Sailors defensively, recording 5 ½ tackles, and was a catalyst in most of Sutherland’s defensive stops in the second quarter. That included a Paxton safety on their first drive of the period, extending the lead to 16-0.
The Sailors then added two more touchdowns before the end of the first half.
The first happened on a 16-yard pass from Tayton Schuster to Noah Holm with 3:24 left in the half. Schuster, who finished with 22 passing yards on 2-of-4 completions, then gave Sutherland a 28-0 lead heading into halftime on a 4-yard scramble.
Despite a comfortable cushion at halftime, the Sailors kept their foot on the gas pedal.
They wasted no time in putting up more points in the second half, scoring on a 75-yard kickoff return by Holm to start the third quarter.
Paxton came within 10 yards of their first points, but the Sailors defense stuffed them on a fourth-and-16 to keep the shutout intact in the third quarter.
In turn, Sutherland drove down the length of the field, finishing the drive with a 52-yard touchdown run from Floyd.
The Tigers, however, kept knocking on the door.
With a running clock in the final period, Paxton scored their first touchdown of the season against the Sutherland reserves on a 14-yard carry from Jared Fox with 38 seconds left.
Sutherland returned the favor, scoring on a 75-yard kickoff return from Chance Elwood to end the game.
"I’m happy for the kids," Geier said. "It feels good to be 2-0 heading into a bye week. We’ve got some things we need to work on, but I like what we’ve got going."
Sutherland (2-0) 6 22 16 6 — 50
Paxton (0-2) 0 0 0 8 — 8
S: Floyd scored on a 43yrd run (2pt conversion is no good)
S: Floyd scored on a 30yrd run (2pt conversion is good)
S: Schuster to Holm on a 16yrd pass (2pt conversion is no good)
S: Schuster scored on a 4yrd run (2pt conversion is no good)
S: Holm on a 75yrd kickoff return (2pt conversion is good)
S: Floyd on a 52-yard run (2pt conversion is good)
P: Fox scored on a 14yrd carry (2pt conversion is good)
S: Elwood on a 75yrd kickoff return (2pt conversion is no good)