Matt Webb

Coach Matt Webb enters his ninth year at the helm of the Spoofhounds. Maryville fell to Blair Oaks 23-14 Aug. 30. 

LIBERTY, Mo. — Maryville football, looking to avenge a loss from last year’s Week 1 rematch with Blair Oaks, fell short to the Falcons 23-14 Aug. 30 to start its 2019 campaign.

A 38-35 loss to Blair Oaks left a bad taste in the Spoofhounds’ mouth for the past 371 days, something that they were hoping to change Friday evening.

After a three-and-out to start the game, the Spoofhounds’ (0-1) defense found themselves falling into a hole quickly. Blair Oaks’ (1-0) freshman quarterback Dylan Hair was able to use his arm, legs and untimely Maryville penalties to lead the Falcon’s offense down the field. The drive ended in a 23-yard strike from Hair to sophomore running back Reid Dudenhoeffer.

Blair Oaks found themselves with the ball back in their hands just moments later after forcing another three-and-out. Hair ran free on a 40-yard run through the Spoofhounds’ defense moments after. This run not only added salt to the wound that was Maryville’s inept offense, but put the Falcons up 14-0 with 6:28 left in the first half.

“(Hair is) a good player, obviously he’s just a freshman,” Maryville coach Matt Webb said. “For him to be able to play that way as a freshman it’s very impressive. It doesn’t surprise me at all. Like I said, they’re well-coached.”

To expand the already big gap, Hair was able to find senior running back Riley Lentz down the sideline to stretch the Falcon’s lead to 20-0 by the end of the first quarter.

A slow second quarter for both teams was highlighted by a Falcons’ field goal, giving them a commanding 23-0 lead over the ‘Hounds at the half.

“(In the first half) they were just executing, they brought it a lot,” junior quarterback Ben Walker said. “We should be able to pick (defensive alignments) up and do something to stop that.”

The Spoofhounds, with their backs against the wall, sent their defense out to start the second half. Much like the rest of the night, an infestation of penalties on the ‘Hounds kept the Falcons’ drive alive. For the first time in what felt like forever, Maryville was able to force a punt on Blair Oaks’ opening drive of the second half.

After a short drive for the Spoofhounds, they were able to force a turnover on defense when Hair lost the ball mid-scramble, setting the Spoofhounds up with a chance to get on the scoreboard late in the third quarter.

The Spoofhounds’ found their first swing of momentum on the night as they approached the red zone, only to be halted on a fourth-and-9 due to a failed trick play.

This pattern continued for both teams for most of the second half. A long pass; penalty. A scramble for a first down; penalty. A drive deep into enemy territory; failed execution. It wasn’t until late in the fourth quarter that the crowd at William Jewell showed signs of life again.

The ‘Hounds stopped their drought on the scoreboard when Walker found senior receiver Tate Oglesby for a 6-yard touchdown with 3:18 left in the game.

To Maryville’s surprise, and Blair Oaks alike, the ‘Hounds recovered the ensuing onside kick, setting their offense up in Falcons’ territory once again.

Late game heroics on another pass from Walker found it’s way into the hands of senior receiver Deon Metezier, that connection set up the ‘Hounds inside the Blair Oaks’ 5-yard line. A few plays later, the Spoofhounds added to the scoreboard on a 3-yard touchdown run from junior running back Trey Houchin, bringing Maryville within 9 points of the Falcons with 1:40 left in the game.

Defying the odds, Maryville recovered the next onside kick attempt, setting up the ‘Hounds offense with another chance to score.

An eventual effort fell short for the ‘Hounds, leaving the final score from William Jewell 23-14 with Blair Oaks on top.

“They just executed better than we did,” Walker said. “We’re going to practice, we’re going to get better and you won’t see that again.”

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