MARYVILLE — For the second year in a row, the Chillicothe High School football Hornets' schedule had them visiting the Maryville Spoofhounds Friday night. For the second time in a row, things went very poorly for them.
After losing at Maryville 56-13 last year, their biggest margin of defeat by the 'Hounds in the long history of the rivalry, CHS' Hornets managed to shave one point off that gap Friday, falling 49-7 in a game which unfolded very much like the 2011 teams' clash.
Not quite 11 months ago, the Spoofhounds took a 28-0 halftime lead while running virtually at will on their way to the runaway win. Friday, Maryville made the entire second half operate at an accelerated pace by scoring a touchdown with 1:38 to play in the first half to be on top 35-0 at the mid-game break.
With the "running clock" in effect from the outset of the final half, Maryville upped the lead to 42 points with a 7-plays, 69-yards drive to open the third period.
Once Spoofhounds reserves were in on defense in the fourth period, a mixture of Chillicothe starters and backups generated a 9-plays, 80-yards touchdown drive which gave it the option of trying for a 2-points conversion which could have restored the game clock to normal operation with 5:18 to go. However, the Hornets coaching staff decided such bravado could be ill-advised and opted instead to kick the extra point, keeping the spread at 35 points. The choice effectively proved moot anyway as, even with the clock not stopping, Maryville's offensive reserves bested CHS' defensive depth players to the tune of a final 9-plays, 67-yards scoring march which set the final 49-7 score with just under a minute left.
Maryville's clear dominance was established the first time its offense touched the football.
After Chillicothe got a 31-yards, game-starting kickoff return from freshman Aaron Baker and managed one first down to get the ball into Maryville territory, a third-down pass attempt was deflected higher into the air by a pass rusher and was grabbed with a dive by Spoofounds linebacker Ridge Yount at the MHS 42.
On the first Maryville offensive play, when a Hornet missed a chance to tackle or at least slow up MHS running back Derek Stiens as he began a sweep of right end, the ballcarrier easily turned the corner and shot straight up the field for a 58-yards touchdown run 12 seconds after Yount's theft.
Later in the first quarter, MHS senior quarterback Jonathan Baker capped an 11-plays march which began at the 'Hounds' 18 with a 14-yard zone-read keeper up the middle from the "pistol" formation and the hosts were up 14-0.
Continuing to score on every possession of the opening half, Maryville went 67 yards on nine plays early in the second stanza, Stiens' 21-yards run up the middle making it 21-0.
The next time, the Spoofhounds went "quick strike," breaking free wingback Peyton Mizera on a reverse for a 70-yards scoring run two plays after a short CHS punt 3:55 before halftime.
After CHS went three and out even after another excellent 28-yards kickoff return up the middle by Baker put them at the MHS 45, the 'Hounds reached the "magic" 35-points lead before halftime when it zipped 71 yards on four plays in only 1:10. On the next snap after wide receiver Kyle Leslie made an outstanding adjustment and catch on Baker's "back-shoulder" fade-route throw for a 36-yards gain on third-and-5, Baker hit tight end Trent Nally for a 30-yards touchdown pass. Nally juggled the ball as it arrived at the goal line, but secured it, allowing placekicker Boston Schneider to come on and boot his fifth point-after of the half for the 35-0 margin.
In the first half, Maryville unofficially out-gained Chillicothe 365 yards to 45, even though CHS snapped the ball three more times. The Spoofhounds had 227 ground yards on only 17 carries, averaging over 13 yards a carry, and Baker nailed eight of his 10 pass attempts for 138 yards. Stiens racked up 152 first-half yards on 13 rushes and, despite having a would-be 55-yards scoring trek in the third quarter nullified by a holding penalty, ended the night with about 175 yards rushing.
Aside from having freshmen Baker and Mason Hayward combine for 95 kickoff-return yards on three runbacks (and another 43 from sophomore DeEll Midgyett), Chillicothe's highlight was its final-period scoring drive.
Gillen Gates made a diving catch of Tyler Clampitt's deep throw for a 31-yards gain to convert a third-and-9 situation and Tyler Long, like Gates seeing his first game action of the season due to a summer legal scrape, followed with four-straight carries from the fullback's spot which gained 10, eight, 11, and seven yards, respectively. The last one on a stretch play off right tackle put Long in the end zone standing up. With No. 1 placekicer Zach Alperin on the sideline with an arm injury and regular holder Mason Palmer missing the entire game with injury, backup kicker Johnathan Stanfield lined the conversion kick low, but through, from the hold of sophomore reserve quarterback Jared Lauhoff.
Thanks to that final 80-yards touchdown drive against the Maryville backups, Chillicothe was able to boost its total offense for the game from 50 to 130 yards.
Chillicothe again will seek its initial 2012 victory next Friday when it has Homecoming against also-winless Cameron. After its starting quarterback went out for the night with an injury in the first quarter, Cameron faded and eventually lost to St. Joseph: Bishop LeBlond, 39-13, Friday. It was the first Midland Empire Conference for Bishop LeBlond (3-0), which will host Maryville next week, since it rejoined the MEC five seasons ago.