MARYVILLE, Mo. — South Holt/Nodaway-Holt and Southwest Livingston both came into the season with hopes of building on their success from last season. But the opening weekend of high school football may have humbled the two teams, as combined, the two schools were outscored 148-55. Both teams will try to get back on track Friday night in Oregon.
The Spartans were very confident going into their game against last year’s runner-up for the state title, Worth County. Though they had to replace three key starters from a season ago, SHNH felt that their offense could hang with the Tigers.
The Spartans jumped on Worth County early in the game with Drew Quinlin picking apart the Tigers’ secondary. SHNH led 13-7 early, but Worth County took control of the game from there.
Head coach Josh Petersen’s new no-huddle offense was on full display and though his Spartans lost big to a good Worth County team, he doesn’t plan on changing. The SHNH offense featured multiple new weapons in the loss and will need those players to shine against a Southwest team that they scored just 22 points against a season ago.
The Wildcats will feature all-everything quarterback Mack Anderson. Anderson passed for 32 touchdowns last year while also rushing for 33 touchdowns. The senior quarterback rushed for 1,730 yards and passed for 1,856.
Southwest’s season-opener saw East Atchison hold Anderson and the Wildcats in check the entire night. Anderson completed just 47 percent of his passes, while throwing three interceptions. Southwest was held to just 209 passing yards and just 87 yards rushing. This from an offense that averaged over 400 yards per game last season.
Anderson will handle most of the carries Friday night, but sprinkled in will be Chase Neptune and Dagun Bassett. Like SHNH, the two young players will be counted on to have a bigger impact than they did last year.
Wildcat wide receiver Parker Keeney led the team with eight receptions for 88 yards last week against East Atchison. Neptune and Bassett combined for five receptions last week and Ethan Hoerr added two more receptions. The four receivers combined last season had just six receptions.
Hoerr and Neptune led the Southwest defense in tackles last week with Hoerr notching 10 tackles and Neptune with nine. The 68 points allowed to East Atchison last week wasn’t exactly a fluke, for as successful as the Wildcats were last season, the defense allowed 34 points per game.
The two teams have split their last two meetings with neither game being close. The Spartans will need a big performance from their defense after allowing a young Worth County team to run all over them a week ago. The SHNH offense should have its opportunities to keep it close against a Wildcat defense that allowed 472 yards last week.