NEWCASTLE — The absence of injured senior sensation Paco Moore didn’t keep Tuttle from making another statement Thursday night. Quarterback Sterling Koons made sure of that.
One week after beating fellow Class 3A powerhouse Clinton for the first time in school history, Koons and top-ranked Tuttle ran through rival Newcastle 33-2 in front of a capacity crowd at Racers Stadium. "It’s always great to beat rivals,” Koons said. "This is special.” Even without Moore, the Tigers’ rushing attack proved unstoppable. Five different Tuttle runners racked up 291 yards — led by 162 on 15 carries from Koons — and four touchdowns to lead Tuttle in its fifth straight win over the Racers. Koons had 98 rushing yards in the first half, 76 of which came on one scoring drive, and touchdown runs of 20 and 60 yards in a game that Tuttle dominated from start to finish. Koons also picked off a pass in the second quarter in Newcastle territory that led to another score. Tuttle remained unbeaten at 7-0 overall and 4-0 in District 3A-1. "If Sterling can get it done with his legs and not his arm, then whatever,” said Tuttle coach Phil Koons, who is Sterling’s father. "They (offensive line) opened up some gashes for him. This is somewhat of a bitter rivalry, and the loser has to hear about it for the rest of the year.” Even Newcastle’s points were courtesy of a bad snap that Tuttle punter Brody Sims kicked out of the back of the end zone. By halftime, fourth-ranked Newcastle (6-1, 3-1) had already surrendered more points than it previously averaged per game.