Maryville football cruised past St. Joseph-Benton for its fifth-consecutive win Sept. 28, beating the Cardinals 58-8. On a chilly Friday evening in late September, the Spoofhounds stayed hot.
The ‘Hounds (5-1, 4-0 MEC) got off to a fast start in the game, something that has developed into a common theme for the squad. After scoring three times in the first minute a week ago against Cameron, the ‘Hounds once again got on the scoreboard within the first minute versus Benton (1-5, 1-3 MEC).
The scoring opened on a 14-yard rush by senior running back Eli Dowis. A failed two-point conversion attempt left the ‘Hounds lead at 6-0 just 53 seconds into the game.
“I was very happy with our start,” coach Matt Webb said. “Eli Dowis is electric and Tyler Houchin is running very determined. Those are two seniors, on senior night, that really took advantage of this opportunity.”
Maryville celebrated 15 seniors in pre-game festivities and relished in its 56th-consecutive home win. For Webb and the senior class, the game offered a moment to look back on a long journey that is nearing completion.
“It’s awesome,” Webb said of senior night. “These kids, they were in middle school when I got here. To watch them mature through our middle school, and then up to high school; those guys have played in two state championships (and) won one. They’ve never lost a football game on (our) home field. They’ve got a lot of pride and a lot of tradition.”
Fittingly, the scoring for Maryville early on was led by Dowis. The running back followed up his opening score with a 63-yard touchdown run and another one for 65 yards. The first three Spoofhound touchdowns came from the legs of Dowis.
“The (offensive) line was really executing tonight,” Dowis said. “The backs were blocking for the other backs. It just so happens that I was the one that got the ball on the plays that scored.”
After nearly four years with the program, like every senior, Dowis’ time in a Maryville football uniform is winding down. The senior is excited for the future, but reminiscent about the past.
“It feels good, but at the same time it’s kinda sad, because I know my high school football days are coming to an end,” Dowis said. “I’ve spent four years with the program, and I don’t know if I’m quite ready to be done yet. It definitely gives me the drive to want to win another state championship, because I’m trying to go out on top.”
The remainder of the ‘Hounds scoring highlighted fellow seniors while simultaneously showing flashes of the future. Sophomore quarterback Ben Walker connected with sophomore Connor Weiss on a 16-yard touchdown pass for the ‘Hounds fourth touchdown.
In all, Houchin, the senior, scored two touchdowns on the night. Walker threw for a score and rushed for one of his own. Weiss caught one touchdown and rushed for another. Lastly, sophomore Trey Houchin ran for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
The scoring summary alluded to the excitement the current Spoofhounds’ roster brings with it while signifying the promise of the future. In the midst of it all, Tyler Houchin was recollective of the past.
“I’ve grown up with these guys since I was in Pre-K,” Tyler Houchin said. “To get to play on senior night with these guys for four-straight years of high school, I mean, we’ve had a couple new guys come in, but they’re my brothers now, and I love every second of it.”
In some ways, the game was a reflection of what defines the Spoofhounds: They played well on both sides of the ball, they celebrated a tradition, and they won a football game at the ‘Hound Pound. There was no one standout, moreso a combined effort from a number of players.
For one more week, Maryville’s win streak grew further. For one more week, the ‘Hounds have looked to be a league of their own.
“After the first week at Blair Oaks, we got all together, and we said we’re not gonna do that ever again,” Tyler Houchin said, referencing the team’s Week 1 loss. “Five games in a row we’ve been winning, (we’re) doing really well.”