The Maryville Spoofhounds football team was unable to amass enough momentum to overturn the first quarter 19-0 Blair Oaks lead in their 35-38 loss to the Falcons August 24 at William Jewell College.
Between missed tackles and offensive blunders, the Spoofhounds looked a little too fresh to the field. Meanwhile, the Falcons came in ready to return the favor after Maryville knocked them out in the state semifinals last season.
“They’ve got a new coaching staff running a style we’ve never seen before,” Maryville Head Coach Matt Webb said. “The first three scores were off of one play, and once we got that stopped, we didn’t have the opportunity to move the chains on offense. It’s just one of those things where we gotta be better on box, coming out of the chute. They were extremely motivated and I don’t think we were, and that’s my fault.”
A 19-0 run by Blair Oaks over the course of the first quarter stunned the Spoofhounds, who struggled to escape their own half of the field. It wasn’t until the final minute of the opening quarter that Maryville put things into motion. An 85-yard screen pass play from quarterback Ben Walker to Eli Dowis resulted in the Hounds’ first score of the game.
Maryville operated a little more closely to their usual selves in the second quarter, finding their bearings both defensively and on offense. Tyler Houchin punched in a three-yard touchdown run up the gut and Maryville trailed just 14-19 behind the Falcons with 1:02 left in the first half.
It looked to be a game of two halves as the Falcons got off to a rough start offensively in the third quarter. A hit by Trevor Townsend on the Blair Oaks quarterback flipped the ball into the hands of Jason Bagley for a pick-6 to give Maryville their first lead of the game at 21-19.
But as quickly as it came, Maryville’s lead vanished when Blair Oaks scored a few minutes later on a 51-yard pass play down the middle. The Falcons would score again a few minutes later to blow their lead back up to double digits with a 31-21 advantage with two minutes to play in the third quarter.
“A lot of that momentum comes down to effort and attitude,” Webb said. “We had that awesome play with Bagley getting the strip and runs it in there for the lead. You got what you want, but then the next series they go down the field and take the lead back from us.”
A 37-yard pass play from Walker to Dowis led to a first and goal, setting up a one-yard touchdown run by Houchin late in the third quarter to make it 31-28.
Fast forward to six minutes left to play in the game and Blair Oaks found themselves in a fourth and goal situation on the Maryville five. A false start sets the play back five yards, but the wiley quarterback of the Falcons bests the Spoofhounds again with a rocket up the gut to the awaiting receiver in the endzone to bring their lead back up to 38-28 with just 3:20 left to play.
With the clock ticking down into the final minute, the teams traded possessions, including Maryville marching down the field only to have an interception in the endzone turn over a crucial possession. The Falcons returned the favor, but were unable to close out the clock and Maryville took over with under a minute remaining. A 43-yard touchdown pass from Walker found Tate Oglesby at the one, with the receiver able to backpedal into the endzone for the score with 2.4 seconds on the clock.
A squib kick by the Hounds nearly succeeded in a last-ditch turnover effort, but Blair Oaks fell onto the ball and were able to kneel out the clock for the 38-35 win.