Maryville football continued its season with another step forward Sept. 7 at Bearcat Stadium. The Spoofhounds (2-1, 1-0 MEC) cruised past Chillicothe (0-3, 0-1 MEC) for a 47-0 victory.
The 47-point showing represented the highest point total the Spoofhounds have produced this season. The shutout is the second in a row for the Maryville defense, the last coming against Harrisonville Aug. 31
The rival Hornets showed minimal life in the game, as they have all season. Chillicothe has failed to score a point in 12 quarters of football so far this year.
The offensive attack was once again led by the senior running back tandem of Eli Dowis and Tyler Houchin for the Spoofhounds. Sophomore quarterback Ben Walker connected with Houchin through the air for the first points of the game. Houchin rushed for a second score, and Dowis added three touchdown’s of his own, all coming via the run.
“It feels really good,” Houchin said. “We’ve been working really hard on offense the past week.”
The reliance on the duo has become a common theme for the Spoofhounds, a team built on controlling the run game. After struggling in a Week 1 loss to Blair Oaks, the ‘Hounds offensive line seems to have found its rhythm.
“The offensive line’s been doing a better job than the first week,” Houchin said. “We keep improving and improving, and week by week we’ll get better and better.”
Coach Matt Webb was satisfied with the effort from the O-Line. Maryville’s reliance on the run makes the offensive line’s performance paramount to the Spoofhounds’ success.
“Our protection was a little more solid tonight,” Webb said. “They’re coming together just fine, and I’m very please with how they played.”
Walker and company found more success through the air than they had in previous weeks.The quarterback threw for three touchdowns, connecting with Houchin, junior Tate Oglesby and sophomore Caleb Kreizinger. Kreizinger’s touchdown, an impressive leaping grab, was the first of his Maryville career.
“I was excited for Caleb to get his first touchdown reception,” Houchin said. “Watching that kid grow up, from really young to getting bigger and bigger, and now he’s out here catching those balls, that was really exciting.”
The defense was once again robust for the Spoofhounds. Along with holding the Hornets scoreless, Maryville’s defense forced a number of turnovers, often setting the offense up with a short field, deep in Chillicothe territory.
“For the most part tonight, we played really assignment-sound football,” Webb said. “(The defense is) playing really hard, and they’re listening to coaching and executing our scheme.”
The forced turnovers provided an ideal situation for the offense, and the Spoofhounds were able to capitalize. In some ways, winning the turnover battle has been pivotal for the ‘Hounds.
“(The turnover differential) is the No. 1 statistic that dictates wins or losses, whether you play high school football, college football, CFL, European Football or the NFL,” Webb said. “If you can have the ball more times than the opponent, you have a better chance of scoring when you’re on offense. That’s a huge part of our process and it’s been a huge part of our success.”
A year ago, the Spoofhounds suffered their first loss of the season to Chillicothe in Week 3. After getting revenge in the Class 3 District 8 title game in November, the ‘Hounds sought more. For Maryville, beating the rival Hornets again under the bright lights at Bearcat Stadium carried with it a distinct nuance.
“This one feels pretty good,” senior Jason Bagley said. “We wanted to make sure we didn’t play like last year, come out and lay an egg. We wanted to make sure we started fast and stayed on ‘em. It feels really good.”