It takes a lot of work to keep grass football fields looking good. Following the games, grass is visibly trampled, run over and torn through to dirt throughout the field. After Week 5, Maryville’s field maintenance crew will likely spend most of their time in the end zones.
The grass in the end zones of the ‘Hound Pound became even more used to the bottoms of the Spoofhounds’ shoes, thanks to the ‘Hounds blowout win over Midland Empire Conference foe, Cameron, Sept. 24.
After suffering a narrow one-point loss to St. Pius X at home in Week 4, the ‘Hounds (2-3) responded with a 52-0 win over the Dragons (1-4).
Maryville coach Matt Webb said he felt like this game was a prime opportunity for his players to bounce back after a heartbreaking loss.
“It’s hard to not let a loss like that affect the next week, preparation and game,” Webb said. “You don’t want to turn one loss into two.”
Webb said the team was able to do something tonight that it wasn’t able to do in the previous four weeks — executing in all phases of the game.
The Spoofhounds scored their highest point total in a game for the 2021 season, with seven touchdowns against the Dragons. The ‘Hounds scored six times on the ground, and one through the air.
The biggest contributor in Maryville’s high-scoring game was senior running back Tyler Siemer. After scoring on a 67-yard run in Week 1, Siemer failed to reach the end zone for three consecutive weeks. However, Siemer had no issues crossing the goal line in Week 5.
Siemer’s cleats tore through end zone grass on three rushing touchdowns, the most touchdowns in a game by a Maryville player this season.
“I think I just ran really well tonight. We all did,” Siemer said. “There was tremendous blocking by the offensive line and I’m super proud of them.”
The Maryville offensive line provided opportunities for more Spoofhounds than just Siemer. Junior running backs Caden Stoecklein and Adrian McGee both received their fair share of glory, on their way to two scores of their own, with both of McGee’s being on the ground and one of Stoecklein’s being a 50-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Connor Drake.
Stoecklein said the team needed to be physical tonight to get the win, and he said they were exactly that.
“We were consistent on offense, and that was one of our biggest goals throughout the week for this game,” Stoecklein said.
“I feel like we’re playing with a lot more confidence, we’re coming together as a team and we’re finally getting back into the rhythm of things,” McGee said.
As successful as Maryville was on offense, Cameron had a polar opposite result.
For the second time this season, the Dragons scored zero points the entire game. Maryville’s defense prevented the Dragons from earning a first down until two minutes left in the third quarter. By that time, all of the Spoofhound starters were watching the game with grins from the sideline.
Siemer said the Spoofhounds had an increased focus on defense all week, and he credited the junior varsity for being able to simulate Cameron’s offense well during practice for the varsity players.
Webb said the focus was to stop Cameron’s run game. He said they run the ball better than they pass it so he wanted to make it one-dimensional and force the Dragons to throw the ball.
Passing the football ended up not working well for the Dragons, either, as one of the few passes they attempted was intercepted by junior defensive back Drew Burns. Following that interception came one of Siemer’s touchdowns.
“I thought we tackled better tonight, and that’s been an emphasis all season,” Webb said.
The Spoofhounds were able to score a touchdown on all but four drives all night, which included one punt, two kneel downs and one field goal.
Stoecklein said this win felt much sweeter after their first regular season loss in the ‘Hound Pound since 2010. He said the players’ mindsets are just getting better every week.
“Last week, we felt like we should’ve won,” Stoecklein said with a serious tone. “We made mental mistakes that stopped us from doing that, but this definitely gives us a lot of confidence to finish out these last four weeks. We needed this game tremendously because we were lacking confidence and just having this win really boosted it back up.”
Webb said it was great to see the players piece it all together and to regain some confidence they lost after the 1-3 start to the season.
“Every win is sweet,” Webb said. “We’ll handle it just like we do all of them and get ready to move onto Benton.”