During the course of a football game, there are a multitude of plays that take place, but when the ball hit the ground to signal the end of a play with 33 seconds left in Maryville football’s Week 5 matchup with St. Pius X, it signified much more than just moving onto the next down.
Three minutes and 39 seconds remained in regulation, and Pius was clinging to a 14-7 lead.
Staring down a third-and-11 from the Warriors' 22, Pius senior quarterback Jack Mosh was hoping to pick up a first down and all but seal a win.
The play prior, Maryville senior linebacker Tyler Siemer sacked Mosh, who was hoping to capture his first career win in the ‘Hound Pound.
The ball was snapped, and Mosh dropped back to pass. Seeing nothing that pleased him, he took off with the ball. The tackle was, once again, made by Siemer, and Mosh was still 6 yards away from a new set of downs. The Warriors punted the ball away to the ‘Hounds and tackled junior running back Caden Stoecklein almost immediately.
However, there was a yellow flag sitting on the grass, signaling a false start on Pius. The Warriors, once again, attempted a punt, but the snap went over the punter’s head. He was able to recover, but it was far too late for anything good, and he kicked the ball 6 yards to the Warriors’ 31.
First down, Maryville, with 2 minutes and 38 seconds left on the clock.
After a series of runs and passes, the ‘Hounds made it to the Pius 8-yard line. Stoecklein was handed the ball on first down, but the play resulted in no gain. Second down came and went when Maryville senior quarterback Connor Drake had a pass fall incomplete.
Then, third down, Drake looked to pass, but eventually decided to tuck the ball and ran it the 8 yards for the score. Touchdown, Maryville, and Pius was left clinging to a 14-13 lead.
“The mindset was we just got to be us and execute,” Drake said.
The Spoofhounds, of course, lined up to kick the point-after attempt, and they elected to kick for the tie instead of attempting a 2-point conversion for the win.
The ball was snapped, and the kick was up, but not for long. Pius broke through Maryville’s line and blocked the kick. The ball came to rest on the field, and the play was over,
Pius players cheered with 33 seconds remaining in the game, and the score remained 14-13. Maryville’s offense didn’t touch the ball again, and the game ended with a kneel down by Pius, marking the first loss at home in the regular season at the ‘Hound Pound for Maryville since the 2010 season.
“You’re at home, you go for two or you go to overtime,” Maryville coach Matt Webb said was the question after the Spoofhounds’ late-game touchdown. “Simple decision, you go for overtime when you’re at home.”
Webb said the coaches, players and himself discussed the option of going for two. However, they all decided the extra-point attempt was the way to go and felt confident in their kicker, freshman Noah Bellamy, to make it happen.
“It’s certainly not on him. I mean, gracious, a freshman kicker and I’m very proud of him,” Webb said. “Boy, there were a lot of guys there in his lap, so we didn’t protect very well.”
Drake said he wasn’t worried a bit about Bellamy, who was previously perfect on point-after attempts, and added that it takes guts for a freshman to walk out there to try for the game-tying point.
The majority of three quarters before the blocked kick, Maryville (1-3) was on the 8-yard line, too. Stoecklein was given the ball and, in contrast to the end of the game, took it in for the opening score of the game. The kick on this attempt went right through the uprights, and the ‘Hounds led 7-0, midway through the first quarter.
The Warriors (4-0) wasted little time and responded on the next drive with a touchdown — an 11-yard run from Mosh to even things out at 7 That score stayed for the remainder of the first half, marking the fewest amount of points scored by Pius in a half so far this season.
It wasn’t until 6:35 was left in the game when the Warriors gained the lead they eventually held until the final whistle.
The Warriors stay on top of the Midland Empire Conference, and the Spoofhounds have a 1-1 record against MEC opponents after a Week 3 win against Chillicothe.
Although Webb may have been worried about a blowout before the game, the close game did not satisfy him.
“A loss is never acceptable,” Webb said.
Drake said it was awesome that the defense was able to hold Pius to 14 points — the Warriors’ lowest offensive output this season. He said the Spoofhounds did great things on offense, too, and there were just small, timely things needing improvement.
Drake said a loss always hurts, but this one stung a little more for him since it was the home opener at the ‘Hound Pound.
“We just got to be tougher — mentally and physically — and we can’t take plays off,” Drake said amid tear-filled eyes.
The Spoofhounds will get an opportunity to get back on track next week, when they host MEC foe Cameron (1-3).
“We’re fortunate to be able to play at home again. This crowd is amazing,” Webb said. “We have to get consistency and not keep hurting ourselves.”