Ben Walker was lined up in the shotgun with 13 seconds left in the first half of Maryville football’s matchup with Lawson. The ball was on Maryville’s 43-yard line.
The junior quarterback signaled for senior wideout Tate Oglesby to motion across the formation. As Oglesby approached Walker, the ball was snapped and handed to the receiver on a jet sweep, one that would take Oglesby 57 yards to the end zone and take the Spoofhounds into halftime with a 21-0 lead.
The touchdown served as the second scoring play from Oglesby in a first half that lacked much of anything aside from turnovers. It was also the swing in momentum that put Maryville (9-1) on its way to a 47-0 win over the Cardinals (7-3) Nov. 8 at the ’Hound Pound.
“Obviously we wish that we would’ve come out a little bit better,” Oglesby said. “To be able to work back into it, it’s good for us. I mean, if we start different it probably goes different. But we just had to lock-in.”
A second-half that came with plentiful scoring was accompanied by a first-half that paled in comparison.
Aside from the play made by Oglesby with the clock winding down before halftime, both teams had compiled 14 points with no contribution to that from Lawson. A first quarter that was plagued by lulled drives and turnovers saw the first points of the night when Walker connected with Oglesby on a drag route for the duo’s initial 57-yard score, which came with 3:48 left in the first quarter.
After both teams traded fumbles, and Lawson gave the ball back to the Maryville offense after failing to convert on fourth down, junior running back Conner Weiss reached the end zone for an 18-yard score. The touchdown marked the fourth time in three weeks that Weiss has reached the end zone.
The team’s path to success in the game was to stay invested despite early struggles, Oglesby said. The Spoofhounds, of course, proved to tackle the task throughout the rest of the game.
Those scores, along with Oglesby’s second score of the game, put the Spoofhounds closer to a goal that has been set since Week 1.
“We’ve had a goal since the beginning of the season — to win districts,” Oglesby said. “I mean, it’s coming to reality now.”
The offense played its part in accomplishing the most recent step of reaching the Spoofhounds’ goal. Oglesby and company scored 26 points in the second half to propel Maryville to the next round of the postseason.
The defense, Webb said ahead of the matchup, was going to have its hands full trying to contain Lawson’s senior quarterback Andrew Stephens. The dual-threat quarterback, at times, was successful with his legs against Maryville. Other times, Stephens was lying on the grass in the backfield, surrounded by Spoofhound defenders.
“(Stephens) is a super talent,” Webb said. “We always talk about swarm. Those defensive linemen that maybe don’t get stories written about them, they miss a sack but there’s always another guy that’s behind them.”
The shutout was good enough for the second in as many weeks and the team’s third of the season. The last time the program accomplished back-to-back shutouts was when Maryville did it in three consecutive weeks during the early going of the 2018 season.
Maryville’s success in all three phases of the game was similar to the dominance that the Spoofhounds showed in the Week 10 win over St. Joseph Christian. Both wins set the Spoofhounds to have a matchup in the MSHSAA Class 2 District 8 Championship against Lathrop (11-0) Nov. 15 at the ’Hound Pound.
As soon as the game was over against Lawson, Oglesby said, the focus shifted to the district championship game against the Mules. The expectations, of course, are higher next week than they ever have been to this point in the year. The stakes are, too.
“We don’t show it a lot but, I mean, our coaches are on us to get prepared for next week,” Oglesby said. “It’s a big game, what’s coming in. They’re dominant, they haven’t lost a game this season. They’re going to come in hungry and ready to end this streak, we’ve known that for a couple of weeks now. It’s kind of just, on us, to lock-in throughout the week and get the job done.”