MARYVILLE, Mo. — The Maryville High School football team had no problem with its first-round opponent as it coasted to the next round of the Class 2 District 8 tournament.
The Spoofhounds (8-1, 6-0 MEC) trounced the visiting St. Joseph Lions 62-0 in the No. 1 versus No. 8 matchup.
“I’m happy with our efforts,” coach Matt Webb said. “I thought our kids played hard. The goal this week was to come out and execute like a No. 1 seed in a tournament and I thought we did that. We had a lot of one play scoring drives. That means you’re blocking downfield and it’s getting blocked correctly up front.”
Maryville scored early and often as the Hounds were able to find the endzone on their first three plays from scrimmage. Senior running back Aiden Cullin scored on both plays. The first play was a 59-yard run where Cullin ran untouched into the endzone. On the next drive, junior quarterback Ben Walker found Cullin running across the middle of the field for a 36-yard touchdown pass.
“Every play, obviously, you’re looking to score,” Cullin said of his first two touchdowns. “We saw the opportunity so we took it. We just did what we do. Made all our blocks and scored.”
The Hounds were nowhere close to finished as junior running back Trey Houchin took a handoff 48 yards for a score on the third play from scrimmage. Quickly Maryville found itself up 21-0 before it had to put together a drive longer than one play.
Freshman running back Caden Stoecklein even got in on the action as he rumbled his way to a 16-yard touchdown to create a 28-point gap on the visiting Lions.
“It feels really good,” Caden Stoecklein said about his first varsity score. “I’m just glad I got the opportunity to play and I’m looking forward to the next round of districts.”
Junior running back Connor Weiss became the fourth Spoofhound of the night to score as he ran in a 9-yard score. The following drive, senior Gaven Gray scooped up a St. Joseph Christian fumble and took it 15-yards to the north endzone.
“We just came out and did what we did,” Weiss said. “We were able to get the younger guys in and get a little more experience under their belt. It was just a great all-around team effort win.”
A 48-0 lead was taken into the half by the Hounds and coaches and officials agreed to shorten the game.
Unfortunately for the Lions, it didn’t stop Maryville from scoring. Sophomore running back Kyle Stuart and Stoecklein would both add touchdowns before the clock expired on the game.
“I think it’s good execution,” Webb said. “Our running backs are talented and I don’t think we talk about our guys blocking downfield whether its the receivers or the running backs. … I think we’ve noticed our guys doing a good job of that.”
Maryville’s running back big three of Cullin, Houchin and Weiss once again ran rampant scoring four touchdowns in the game. Cullin, the lone senior in the trio, explained the threat of the running back corps makes the Spoofhounds a tough team to handle.
“I think its harder for teams to gameplan for,” Cullin said. “Because there’s not just one of us, there’s three of us. All of us can do it all so it’s really nice (to have those guys).”
For the game, the Maryville coaching staff wore shirts supporting Big Brothers Big Sisters of Nodaway County. Each black shirt contained the Big Brothers Big Sisters logo on the front and “#BeABig” on the back in white.
Webb said the team supports the organization and its mission and couldn’t think of a better way to help spread its mission and show they do good not only in Maryville but Nodaway County.
Next week, the Spoofhounds will once again be at the Hound Pound as the Lawson Cardinals will attempt to break the 66 home-game winning streak.
“We know them well, they know us well,” Webb said. “They’re certainly not going to be intimidated to come into Maryville.”