KANSAS CITY, Mo. — With under four minutes remaining in the game, Maryville football trailed St. Pius X, 20-14 Sept. 18.
The ’Hounds’ defense lined up across the Warriors’ offense on third-and-12, looking for a chance to get the ball back and score on a potential game-winning drive.
Warriors’ junior quarterback Jack Mosh stood back in shotgun formation, with junior running back Robbie Sharp lined up to his right. On the snap, Mosh was quickly forced out of the pocket and rolled out to his left, where he avoided a shoestring tackle from Maryville junior defensive lineman Blake Casteel.
Mosh, feeling the pressure of pursuing Spoofhounds, heaved the ball downfield, where senior wideout David Deters jumped up in triple coverage and came down with the ball on Maryville’s 8-yard line. Deters tiptoed in the endzone, in which the score served as the dagger to the heart of the Spoofhounds.
Maryville (2-2) went into the Week 4 matchup attempting to extend an unblemished 15-0 record against St. Pius (4-0) since 2010.
The Spoofhounds failed to do so, with the Warriors taking a 26-14 win on their Senior Night Sept. 18.
Deters, the Warriors' standout offensive player, pestered Maryville's defense throughout the entirety of the contest.
“We had a couple ideas against him and they didn’t work,” Maryville coach Matt Webb said in a phone call after the game. “He had a really good game, and we didn’t do a very good job. He’s a very good player, and all credit goes to him, but we didn’t do a very good job defending him."
The Spoofhounds’ inability to contain Deters proved to be Maryville’s kryptonite. Deters first struck the endzone on the Warriors’ second possession of the game on a 24-yard receiving touchdown. While Deters kept his presence felt throughout the night, he again rose to the occasion on a 12-yard touchdown catch moments before halftime.
Amid attempting to contain Deters and the rest of the Warriors' offense, the Spoofhounds were also facing another opponent: themselves. Maryville handed the Warriors free yards throughout the night via penalties.
A holding penalty in the second quarter, a facemask on fourth-and-11 and a Marc Gustafson unsportsmanlike conduct flag kept the Warriors and Deters on the field.
“We have to be better than that. I take full credit in that, we weren’t very disciplined,” Webb said. “It’s a lot easier when you don’t give them opportunities.”
Time of possession was not kind to the Spoofhounds either. In the second and third quarters, collectively, Maryville had four offensive possessions.
“We have to be able to get off the field on defense,” Webb said. “We let them control the clock, and we needed to keep the ball on offense.”
The stout Maryville defensive line, which allowed 7 points in the Week 3 matchup against Chillicothe, was jolted by St. Pius’s physical offensive line.
While Sharp never found himself running into the endzone, he contributed by finding the gaps created by his offensive lineman. Sharp kept various drives alive, including a 34-yard screen, a 16-yard drive saving run in the fourth quarter, and a 22-yard catch to set up a touchdown passing before halftime.
“We have to be able to stop the run first, and play better technique, it all starts on the line of scrimmage,” Webb said. “On the defense, we didn’t play very good defensive line, they did, and all the credit goes to St. Pius — they’re better than us.”
Maryville’s offense, which scored a combined 112 points in the first three weeks of the season, could not get its running game going against the Warriors’ interior defense. Despite scoring on an 11-yard rush via senior running back Connor Weiss on their second possession, errors and the inability to get off the line of scrimmage haunted the Spoofhounds.
An erred snap pinned the Spoofhounds on a third-and-33 on their third possession. With the Warriors leading 10-7 in the second quarter, Maryville was set up first-and-goal on the St. Puis 2-yard line. Four straight running attempts were stuffed at the line of scrimmage, and the ’Hounds left their trip to the red zone empty-handed.
“We have to win the line of scrimmage, and we didn’t,” Webb said. “Our offensive line has to play better. Anytime you have an opportunity to score inside the 2, we have to be able to push their defensive line back.”
Weiss was the lone highlight for the Spoofhound offense. Trying to revive his team down 17-7, he found an open crease for a 78-yard rush. Setting up camp inside the St. Pius 5-yard line, Weiss punched the ball in for a 3-yard rushing touchdown, his second on the night.
The Warriors first-year coach, Anthony Simone Jr., brought in a new defensive scheme that has shown to be a problem to opposing teams during the first four weeks of the season. The Warriors have not allowed a team to put up more than 25 points against them all season, a streak that continued with Maryville.
While the Warriors brought new threats than what the Spoofhounds are used to, Webb doesn’t want to use that as an excuse for losing.
“They didn’t do anything we didn’t expect, we just didn’t play very well,” Webb said. “St. Pius, you give them all the credit, but it wasn’t anything new we weren’t prepared for, we just didn’t play very good. They played better than us.”
The road has not been kind to the Spoofhounds, as they’re now 0-2 in away games. The loss also brings Maryville to 1-1 in the Midland Empire Conference.
The Spoofhounds will hit the road again in Week 5 to face the Cameron Dragons (3-1) Sept. 25 in Cameron, Missouri.
“Go beat Cameron, that’s our message,” Webb said. “You can’t do anything but win one game at a time. The message is to go try and do the things to win a football game that we didn’t do tonight.”