MHS v Blair Oaks

Junior running back Trey Houchin rushed for one touchdown in Maryville football's 23-14 loss against Blair Oaks Aug. 30.

The graduating class of 2020 was getting ready to head into its first days of preschool in 2005 the last time Maryville football started a season 0-2. Sept. 6, the Spoofhounds (0-1) will look to avoid that when they hit the road to take on Harrisonville (0-1).

Maryville, which fell 23-14 to Blair Oaks in Week 1, faces traditionally one of the hardest teams remaining on the rest of its schedule in the Wildcats Sept. 6. This matchup is a rematch of last year’s Week 2 meeting between the schools, in which, the ‘Hounds pitched a 36-0 shutout against the Wildcats.

One of the things that Maryville coach Matt Webb thought his team lacked against the Falcons was focus, specifically pertaining to penalties and small mistakes; something that Webb knows has to be fixed sooner rather than later.

“Good teams don’t commit the amount of penalties that we had in that game; they really hurt us on both offense and defense,” Webb said. “The penalties are obviously something that we can coach up and fix; those are things that we can fix.”

The Spoofhounds, who rarely find themselves in the losing column, face a similar situation to last year when they started the season with a loss to Blair Oaks and then preparing to play Harrisonville. Webb knows that despite the non-ideal circumstances, “One game doesn’t make a season, never has.” The message has a strong resonance throughout the locker room, especially for junior quarterback Ben Walker.

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

The Spoofhounds get a close to ideal matchup in the Wildcats, who allowed Kearney’s running back to plow for 208 yards rushing in Week 1. With the ‘Hounds’ traditionally run-based offensive attack, junior running back Trey Houchin could be primed for a breakout performance Friday.

“(Harrisonville allowing that many yards) is exciting to hear,” Houchin said. “With that being said, I believe they’ll have a game plan set up for us. As a football team, we have to execute very well this week if we want to beat this powerhouse football program.”

Webb knows that offensively, the Wildcats are going to bring a spread-offense that has elusive backs and other talented players in skill positions as well. This could create problems for the Spoofhounds’ defense if they can’t clean up the little things that didn’t play out the way they wanted it to against Blair Oaks.

“We’re really close in most spots,” Webb said. “If we’re just able to emphasize that we can get this one thing — we’re in the right spots most of the times, just being able to get that one extra person that’ll really spring things for us will go a long way.”

Despite Webb’s message of one game not defining a season, it’d be quite a different outlook compared to previous seasons if the ‘Hounds fall again Friday. With the message this week being to clean up the little things, Maryville will have a test as to what type of team they’ll be looking forward towards the rest of the season.

“I’ve coached for over twenty years, and it doesn’t matter if you win or lose the first game,” Webb said. “Football teams make the most improvement throughout a season between Week 1 and Week 2. … We’ve got a great opportunity to go play Harrisonville, but the focus will be on ourselves and fixing those mistakes that we can fix.”

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