MHS Football, Oglesby

Junior Tate Oglesby catches a touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Ben Walker in Maryville’s 56-0 win over St. Pius X. Oglesby finished the game with two touchdowns.

Entering its conference matchup with Cameron Sept. 21, Maryville football finds itself in optimal form. After a Week 1 loss to Blair Oaks, the Spoofhounds (3-1, 2-0 MEC) have won three consecutive games, though their record only hints at the dominance of the stretch.

In the Week 1 loss, Maryville did not resemble the team that won the Class 3 State Championship a year ago. Since then, the Spoofhounds have taken form.

Over the last three games, wins against Harrisonville and conference foes Chillicothe and St. Pius X, the Spoofhounds have not allowed a point. In 12 quarters of football, equating to 144 minutes of play, Maryville’s defense has been unyielding.

Over the same stretch, the Spoofhounds’ offense has output 139 points, an average of 46.33 points per game. By any measure, the team has been superb. In some ways, the 2018 Spoofhounds make the state title team from a season ago look second-rate.

Consider this: throughout the course of their season, the 2017 Spoofhounds never shut out even two opponents in a row and only held their opponent scoreless three times all season. Regardless of the superiority of his team’s current hot streak, Maryville coach Matt Webb cares little about point differentials.

“We believe in the process and we believe that every week is a new season,” Webb said. “You don’t look at the numbers from week-to-week to realize that you’ve got to play your best every week. You really don’t look at the points. Wins are a result of playing well and having a good week at practice.”

Maryville will prepare for the Hornets (2-2, 0-2 MEC) just as they would for any other team, with its focus on improving fundamentally, not widening the score margin.

“I look at the way we won, 56-0 (over St. Pius), and I thought we got a lot better,” Webb said. “I think good teams know how to prepare well regardless of what your opponents’ record may be or what the scoreboard says. We find ways to get better every week.”

The same ideology expounded by Webb was echoed by his players, per usual. Junior wide receiver Tate Oglesby, who caught two touchdowns in Maryville’s win over the Warriors, cited perfecting the process as the key to defeating Cameron.

“Execution: that’s all we’ve got to work on throughout this week,” Oglesby said. “Execute, execute, execute.”

Both of Cameron’s losses have come to teams that have already crossed paths with the Spoofhounds. The Dragons are fresh-off consecutive losses to St. Pius and Chillicothe, by scores of 28-14 and 34-8, respectively. Over the last two weeks, Maryville has beat those same teams by a combined score of 103-0.

“You see some common opponents, especially in conference play,” Webb said. “I think what we focus on is, on offense, looking and seeing what type of schemes that they’ve done against similar looks that we have. They’ve got a lot of confidence right now at Cameron.”

With peripheral numbers and statistics on their side, and riding a three-game win streak, the Spoofhounds will head to Cameron in hopes of continuing what has been an absurd stint of football.

“To prepare for (Cameron), all we do is what we do every week,” Webb said. “If we operate the way we should, we’ll come out with another win.”

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