With a 2-1 record after three straight road games to start the season, Maryville football returns to the ‘Hound Pound, Sept. 20, with not only an opportunity to play in front of its home crowd, but to extend a home game winning streak to 62 consecutive contests.
After a 49-12 beatdown of conference foe Chillicothe, Sept. 13, the No. 5 Spoofhounds carry the weight of a streak that dates back to the fall of 2011 — the last time fans witnessed Maryville football lose a game at the ‘Hound Pound. That streak predates coach Matt Webb’s tenure at the helm of the Spoofhounds.
“That place is called the ‘Hound Pound for a reason,” Webb said. “It’s exciting.”
The Spoofhounds will play host to another familiar opponent Sept. 19, the Warriors of St. Pius X (2-1). Since the turn of the decade, the Spoofhounds are 14-0 against the Warriors, outscoring the Warriors by a compiled total of 649-107. Those 14 games include a 56-0 dismantling on the road against St. Pius a season ago.
The counter-productive run defense that the Warriors have provided thus far this season gives the Spoofhounds’ offense an ample opportunity for another offensive clinic in their home debut. Maryville, a traditionally run-based offense, has seen things open up for the rest of the offense as well, due to the success that has come on the ground so far this year.
“We’re operating just on what a defense is giving us,” Webb said. “We’ve got enough on offense to say, ‘OK, they’re giving us this,’ and call a play, and then it’s executed.”
Webb mentioned all of the different ways that the offense has been successful so far in the season. Noting that whether it be senior running back Aiden Cullin or junior running back Trey Houchin breaking long runs to draw defenses in, or junior quarterback Ben Walker finding senior wideout Tate Oglesby downfield, the offense was going to just take whatever the defense gave them.
The Spoofhounds have put up 105 points in the last two weeks of the season after only scoring 14 points in their season opener against Class 3 powerhouse Blair Oaks. The scoring spree has come primarily through the running game, but with some help via the arm of Walker.
Over the last two weeks, Walker has thrown for 380 yards and four touchdowns while completing 60% of his passes. Maryville’s two primary backs, Cullin and Houchin, have combined to pile up 403 yards rushing and five touchdowns on 42 carries since the Week 1 stint.
“(Success in the run game) feels really good,” Cullin said. “It’s pretty easy running behind that offensive line. … It’s good to hit my swing Week 3 — hoping to do more.”
The Warriors bring in an offense that is spearheaded by sophomore quarterback Jack Mosh. Mosh serves as a dual-threat option for St. Pius, in which the Spoofhounds faced a familiar talent in Week 1 against Blair Oaks’ Dylan Hair. Throughout the first three games of the season, Mosh has thrown for 301 yards with four touchdowns and as many interceptions on 25-of-49 passing. His legs have been good enough for 164 yards on 30 attempts.
Mosh will be accompanied by his prime target in junior wideout David Deters. Deters is coming off of a Week 3 matchup against Cameron High School where he compiled 111 yards receiving and two touchdowns on as many catches. Maryville had a Week 3 performance where it allowed a minimal 17 yards passing, making this an interesting matchup to watch for.
“(St. Pius coach) Rick Byers is in the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame for a reason,” Webb said. “They’re very well-coached. … He’ll have his team ready to play.”
Despite the three road trips to start the season, the white-noise that comes with a home debut and the looming cloud of an eight-year-old streak on the line; the Spoofhounds are using the matchup against the Warriors as another stepping stone towards the ultimate goal.
“This week we’re looking forward to being 1-0,” Webb said.
Although Webb is focusing on the matchup at hand. Cullin hopes this week helps Maryville play as late into the fall as possible in his senior campaign.
“We’re just going to keep rolling and rolling. Hopefully, we go get state,” Cullin added. “Maybe.”