CARL JUNCTION — Jack Bowers’ triumphant return to Ozark’s offensive backfield helped make coach Jeremy Cordell’s Tigers debut a winner Friday.
Bowers, who missed all of last season with a broken wrist, totaled four touchdowns to trigger a 42-22 Ozark victory against Carl Junction.
The Tigers never trailed, after never leading in a 42-21 season-opening loss to Carl Junction a year ago.
Bowers had two touchdowns in the first half, with his second score coming on a kickoff return to give Ozark a 20-7 halftime advantage.
Bowers rushed for two more touchdowns in the second half.
Bowers finished with 131 yards rushing on a dozen carries. In addition, he had six catches for 57 yards.
Jace Whatley also has six receptions for 40 yards.
Peyton Russell’s first start at quarterback was highlighted by an 11-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Russell was 16-of-20 passing for 157 yards without an interception.
The Tigers totaled 206 yards rushing on 30 runs.
Ozark’s defense turned in a score, as cornerback Sam Clark recorded a pick-six.
It's Ozark’s first season-opening win in four years.
For Carl Junction, it extended the Bulldogs' streak of games decided by three touchdowns or more to 12.