Eli Dowis

Senior running back Eli Dowis puts out a stiff arm, bracing for a defender while returning a punt for the Spoofhounds in their 72-12 victory over Cameron. 

CAMERON, Mo.-- Maryville football dominated once again Friday night, waltzing to a 72-12 win over Cameron Sept. 21. The Spoofhounds (4-1, 3-0 MEC) defeated the Dragons (2-3, 0-3 MEC) handily, raining on Cameron’s proverbial parade as the school celebrated homecoming.

To describe the Spoofhounds’ start as fast could be considered an understatement, or perhaps, an injustice to the word “fast” itself. After senior running back Eli Dowis returned the opening kick off, sophomore linebacker Connor Weiss recorded a pick-six on Cameron’s first offensive play.

Those plays, coupled with a pair of two-point conversions involving Dowis and sophomore quarterback Ben Walker, had the Spoofhounds up 16-0 before recording an offensive snap.

The disastrous start for the Dragons sped on. On Cameron’s second offensive snap, the Spoofhounds’ defense forced its second turnover of the night, a strip from Weiss. One play later, Walker found junior receiver Tate Oglesby in the corner of the endzone for the Spoofhounds’ third score.

Dowis completed a halfback pass to senior tight end Cade Gustafon for a two-point conversion, the Spoofhounds held a 24-0 lead. The game clock read 11:07.

“I was really pleased with our ones (starters) being able to start fast,” coach Matt Webb said. “The blitzkrieg to start was exactly the mentality that we wanted.”

By itself, the 24-point outburst within a minute of football is impressive. Perspective, however, makes the statistic all-the-more wild: Maryville scored more points in its first minute of football against Cameron (24) than it has allowed in its last four games combined (12).

“Our ones did a really good job,” Webb said.

For Maryville, the offensive burst continued beyond the first minute. Senior running back Tyler Houchin, Weiss, senior running back Korbin Koch and Dowis all added additional rushing touchdowns before the end of the first quarter. The scores, paired with a perfect night from sophomore kicker Nic Garner, gave the Spoofhounds a 52-0 lead heading into the second quarter.

“It’s big for us,” Dowis said of the team’s fast start. “It’s getting into the midseason and we’ve got to stay fresh. It’s nice to be able to get the twos and threes to work them in.”

In a game dominated by a relentless running attack and a turnover-hungry defense, the most important facet of the game for the Spoofhounds may have been the reserves. Webb has repeatedly stressed the importance of second and third-stringers logging minutes in games, and as the ‘Hounds took a 66-0 lead into halftime, the second half provided ample opportunity for non-starters to record meaningful playing time.

“It helps for the future,” Dowis said. “This is my last year here, and I want to be able to help (younger players) as much as I can so that the program keeps going up when we’re gone.”

While the reserves registered playing time that could be vital for their own development, the sidelined starters did not mentally checkout. While resting for a majority of the second half, the starters watched intently. They cheered, they shouted, and perhaps most importantly, they coached.

“I think it shows this is a very tight-knit team,” Webb said. “They’re friends and they’re accountable to each other. They’ve really got a good camaraderie and brotherhood that they’re playing with, and I’m really proud of them.”

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