9-5-19 Weiss

Junior running back Connor Weiss gets the carry from junior quarterback Ben Walker in Maryville's game against Blair Oaks at William Jewell College, Aug. 30. Weiss contributed 19 yards on six carries as the Hounds put up 62 yards on the ground against the Falcons.

MARYVILLE, Mo. — The Maryville High School football team hasn’t started a season with two losses often and it does not intend to in 2019.

The last time a Spoofhound team went winless in its first two games was 2005.

After falling to reigning Class 3 state champion Blair Oaks 23-14 in their season opener, the Hounds will take a 264-mile round trip south of Kansas City to take on Harrisonville (0-1) for their final scheduled non-conference matchup of the season.

“He (coach Matt Webb) told us don’t dwell on (the loss),” junior quarterback Ben Walker said. “One loss doesn’t define our season. We can come back. We just have to keep our heads held high.” 

Walker threw for 156 yards and a touchdown in Week 1 as he completed 13 passes on 26 attempts. But the Spoofhounds couldn’t get much going on the ground as they only collected 62 rushing yards as a team. Senior Tate Oglesby hauled in 81 yards on seven receptions to give some life to the Spoofhound offense.  

Additionally, Maryville did not allow a point to Blair Oaks for the remaining 39:12 in the game and outscored its opponent 14-0 in the second half. For Webb, he said he thinks his team is adjacent to where they need to be.

“There are some positives you really get from that film,” Webb said. “I think one positive is that we’re really close in a lot of ways on both sides of the ball. It’s not a big-picture issue it’s kind of a block here and a block there and finishing a play that turns a four-yard gain into a seven or eight-yard gain.”

A large problem for Maryville in its opening game was penalties. The Spoofhounds forfeited 50 yards in fouls as they were flagged 12 times, doubling the number of times the dirty laundry was thrown against the Falcons. 

“Those things are fixable,” Webb said. “When we watched film it just kind of confirmed that we can fix what needs to be fixed and we’ll be better in Week 2 because of the corrections we made off of Week 1.”

On the defensive side of the ball, junior defensive end Marc Gustafson recorded five tackles and three tackles for loss and two sacks for Maryville as he aided the defense in its second half shutout. Senior Quin Collins chipped in along with Gustafson, registering four tackles, one tackle for loss and one sack.

Webb said his focus for Week 2 is going to be much like his Week 1 message of expecting the unexpected after conceding such an early lead. 

“We can’t allow teams to have a start like that,” Webb said. “We did not do a good job of — and it falls on myself — expecting the unexpected. That was one of our goals, but they came out in some stuff that we weren’t prepared for. We were able to make some adjustments, but I think it took too long.”

After a rough Week 1 for the Spoofhounds, the Wildcats are coming off of a similar game to Kearney where they lost 34-14. The Bulldogs were able to hold Harrisonville to 114 rushing yards on the day after a slow start from both teams. 

Junior quarterback River Riley threw for 189 yards and a score on 17 completions while sophomore running back Jace Reynolds led the rushing effort with 106 yards for the Wildcats. 

Riley also has senior running back Brice Percival as a receiving threat. The 5-foot-9 senior caught six of the sophomore quarterback’s passes while collecting 104 yards and a touchdown through the air.  

“Harrisonville is an excellent football team,” Webb said. “… I’m very impressed with Harrisonville’s offensive attack. They’ve changed offensive schemes to where it’s more of a spread attack now and their tailbacks are excellent runners. So, you might think they’re spread and throwing it all over the place but … it really opens up running lanes from their talented tailbacks.”

Webb also said Harrisonville runs a college-type offense where the Wildcats will try to put speed in space. With talented running backs like Reynolds and Percival, Harrisonville hopes to spread out the defense to create running lanes for its talented backs.

Maryville’s offense will prepare for an equally aggressive and stout Wildcat defense. Harrisonville allowed 113 passing yards and 219 rushing yards to Kearney and took a 6-6 tie into the halftime break. 

Webb explained Harrisonville’s assertive tendencies with blitzes could open up lanes for the Spoofhounds on offense.  

“They’re not just going to let you sit back and dictate blocking angles and formations,” Webb said. “They’re going to blitz us, so we’re going to have to be really sharp and take care of their blitz game. There are some spots where hopefully we can fix some stuff and like I said that’s the goal this week.”

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