Lessman

Maryville offensive line coach Ryan Lessman speaks to his unit on Saturday at the Hound Pound. 

MARYVILLE, Mo. — The Spoofhound football team saw its season end on Saturday afternoon at the Hound Pound with a 49-23 state quarterfinal loss to Richmond.

“You get to this point of the season where there are 8 teams left, you’ve got to play your best, and I don’t think we did that in the first half,” Maryville coach Matt Webb said. “They made plays and we didn’t.”

It was definitely a tale of two halves, as the Maryville Spoofhound football team made a furious third-quarter comeback, only to see it slip away in the final quarter.

The first half couldn’t have started much worse for Maryville, as they struggled from the opening kickoff to move the ball against a tough Richmond defense. After a quick 3-and-out, Richmond took the ball over on their own 28-yard line.

The multidimensional senior quarterback from Richmond, Keyshaun Elliott put all of his skills on display from very early on in this game. Elliott accounted for all 72 yards of the Spartans touchdown drive, with 47 on the ground and 25 coming by way of the pass. He capped off the drive with a touchdown run around the right side for an 8-0 lead midway through the first quarter.

Another quick offensive series by the Spoofhounds gave the ball back to Richmond whose drive stalled after a key third-down tackle for loss by senior defensive lineman Kort Watkins. The only first down of the half came on the Spoofhounds next series which came from the shotgun formation. Senior quarterback Connor Drake connecting on a quick pass for 15 yards was the lone offensive highlight of the first half.

Richmond was able to take the following possession and score on a 32-yard halfback pass, making the score 15-0 early in the second quarter. Another quick Spoofhound possession allowed the Spartans to take control of the ball with eight minutes left in the half and methodically drive the field for another score, making the halftime tally 22-0 in favor of the visiting team.

The Spoofhounds came out of the halftime break looking like a different team, and senior linebacker Drew Spire scooped up a fumble and returned it for a touchdown on just the fourth play of the second half, pulling the score closer at 22-8. The defense answered the bell on the following drive, forcing a punt that should’ve been downed at the 1 yard line, but instead was carried into the end zone for a touchback.

Maryville re-established the running game on an 80-yard drive that took up most of the third quarter. The drive was finished off on a 9-yard Drake touchdown run, pulling the score to within one score at 22-15.

However, the high powered Richmond offense, led by Elliott, was able to strike quickly. Elliott found senior wideout Layne Cavanah for a long touchdown catch and run that seemed to shift momentum back to the visiting team.

“You get to a point in the 3rd quarter where it’s 22-15,” Webb said. “We had momentum and felt like if we would’ve gotten a stop there, who knows what would’ve happened, but we didn’t get the stops.”

The Spoofhounds were able to make one last big offensive splash when Drake found sophomore Don Allen for a 40-yard pass which led to a 9-yard touchdown run by Cooper Loe. That would be the end of the scoring for Maryville.

“That was a very physical football team,” Webb said. “They did a really good job, including the offensive line, they pushed us around. You play good teams in the playoffs and that’s a good team, they came in here and got the win.”

In an emotional postgame, Webb offered high praise to his graduating class.

"I’m very proud of our eight seniors, they did a lot of very good things, not only making plays but also their leadership with the younger guys,” Webb said. “The reason teams get so excited when they win in Maryville during the quarterfinal round, is because it doesn’t happen very often and that’s a credit to our seniors. They’ve been a part of a lot of great tradition. And hopefully along the way they’ve learned more than just the wins and losses.”

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