AREA ROUNDUP: Carrollton to shade Fayette behind Claud TD run, pass, Marceline also off on right foot – especially Cullen Bruner's. Southwest Livingston can't keep up with strong East Atchison squad Friday
Just as occurred a year ago, C-T-area high school football teams cumulatively produced just less than an even split of their 2019 season debuts last Friday – three winning and five falling – with the margin between a 50-50 showing being a 7-6 loss for the Brookfield Bulldogs.
Edged by a point by the Palmyra Panthers on the road in its 2018 opener, Brookfield welcomed Palmyra to venerable Burlington Field this past Friday, but, despite changing the scenery, couldn’t change the result – or even the score.
After BHS’ Bulldogs produced the game’s first touchdown in the third quarter, it did not convert the extra-point opportunity. When Palmyra immediately answered with a TD and kicked the point-after, the stage was set for the eventual replication of last year’s outcome and score.
Brookfield was joined in taking it on the chin to begin 2019 by area 8-man programs Southwest Livingston and Braymer and 11-man teams Trenton and Polo.
Emerging triumphant on soggy foreign soil to start the new football year were Hamilton’s Penney High Hornets – 40-20 at Maysville/Winston, Carrollton – 14-6 at Fayette, and Marceline – 22-12 conquerors at Scotland County.
East Atchison 68, Southwest Livingston 22
LUDLOW, Mo. — After squeezing past the Tarkio/Fairfax co-op club on the road last year, Southwest Livingston’s less-experienced Wildcats were no match for the eastern Atchison County squad at home in this year’s season and Highway 275 Conference opener.
East Atchison blew the game open with four second-quarter touchdowns to turn a 6-6 game after one stanza into a 36-14 margin at intermission.
No individual statistics for Southwest Livingston were reported. Online statistics posted by EAHS’ coaching staff show Jack McEnaney having passed for an even 100 yards and one touchdown (46 yards to running back Briacin Bywater), while also running the ball 14 times for 133 yards and four scores. He also excelled on defense with a team-high 11 tackles – 10 solo – with one for loss while also making two of his team’s four interceptions.
Bywater, a senior like McEnaney, ran for 163 yards on 26 attempts, scoring twice, in addition to his one reception. Merriweather, a sophomore, matched McEnaney’s 11 total stops, 10 unassisted with one behind the line, and interception. On offense, he scored twice while gaining 76 yards on seven carries.
Even though Southwest snapped the ball 10 more times than its guest, East Atchison had a 23-13 advantage in first downs.
SLHS’ Wildcats will go to Oregon this Friday for more league play against South Holt/Nodaway-Holt lost to Worth County 80-33 in its opener.
Hamilton 40, Maysville/Winston 20
MAYSVILLE, Mo. — The host co-op Wolverines led briefly on Jake Redman’s 20-yards scoring run in the first period, but Hamilton junior All-State running back Sawyer Morrow asserted himself behind the largely-reconstructed Hornets offensive line to score on runs of 23, 24, and 72 yards and rush for 153 yards on 15 carries as the visitors rang up 40 unanswered points before Maysville/Winston scored twice more late.
Hamilton senior quarterback Ryan Cook, also a returning starter, threw a 1-yard TD pass to Kevin Williams early in the second quarter and dashed 51 yards to paydirt to cap the Hornets’ scoring in the fourth frame. Cook finished with 128 ground yards on only 11 attempts, like Morrow averaging double-digits yards per carry.
The other Hamilton touchdown came on Tucker Ross’ 7-yards run.
Eli Harper’s 12 tackles – five unassisted – and Andrew Rich’s eight stops – four by himself and one for a loss – and fumble recovery paced the winners’ defense. Freshman lineman Fisher Nixdorf made a notable debut with five tackles – three solo and one behind the line. Cook picked off a pass and Morrow had a fumble recovery.
Hamilton has its 2019 home opener this Friday, welcoming neighboring rival Gallatin, which walloped North Platte 32-12 in its opener.
Carrollton 14, Fayette 6
FAYETTE, Mo. — Junior quarterback Gavin Claud connected on 10 of 19 throws for 106 yards, including a third-quarter 16-yards scoring hookup with sophomore wide receiver Treyton Bennett that delivered the winning points to help lift Carrollton to its season-starting success last Friday.
Bennett was one of four separate targets Claud found. Gage Fitzpatrick hauled in four, Cedar Metz for a team-high 51 yards, and Darrik Diamond one.
Although he netted only one yard on three carries, Claud scored the other CHS touchdown on a 3-yards run in the last stanza.
Carrollton might have won by more, but both fumbled the ball away after a pass reception in FHS territory and threw an interception in the Falcons’ end zone in the fourth quarter while nursing its 7-6 lead.
The Trojans’ running game was led by junior Dillon Staton’s 66 yards on only 11 attempts. Classmate Xavier Yoakum added 39 yards on eight rushes, coach Scott Finley reported.
Carrollton will welcome Westran for its home opener this week. Westran dispatched archrival Salisbury 40-15 in its debut.
Palmyra 7, Brookfield 6
BROOKFIELD, Mo. — It was an unhappy case of “been there, done that” for the host Bulldogs Friday.
After they and Palmyra combined for five turnovers and multiple penalties - one of which wiped out a would-be 10-yards scoring run by BHS running back Dawson Baker – in what ended as a scoreless first half, Brookfield finally drew first blood late in the third quarter.
Gabe Rodriguez, who helped lead the defensive effort with two pass interceptions, scored on a 7-yards run with just under 4-1/2 minutes remaining in the third stanza, capping a 71-yards BHS drive. However, just like last year at Palmyra, the Bulldogs were not able to convert after their score and it cost them.
On Palmyra’s ensuing series, it matched Brookfield’s 71-yards march, but after Dakota Compton’s 6-yards game-tying run, it booted the extra point that proved decisive again.
“We had to get a stop, and we couldn’t do that,” Scott Stevens, BHS third-year head coach, said of being unable to sustain the momentum created by the Bulldogs’ touchdown.
The Bulldogs coach also lamented the failure to cash in on the first-half chances.
“If you look at it, I think we had five ‘red zone’ opportunities (inside the PHS 20) in that first half, ” he added. “Not being able to convert will get you beat.”
Next in Brookfield’s daunting early schedule will be a visit to Monroe City this Friday. Monroe City was crunched 35-6 at Centralia in its opener.
KCK: Christ Prep Academy 42, Polo 0
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Always publicly optimistic and full of faith-buttressed hope, second-year Polo Panthers head coach Reid Stephens couldn’t be blamed if, in private moments, he might mutter the lament, “If it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all.”
Having seen several 2018 near-miss outcomes saddle his first pack of Panthers with a winless season, Stephens had to be dismayed when, a week before PHS’ challenging 2019 season opener at defending home-schools national champion Christ Prep Academy in KCK, saw defensive starter and backup quarterback/running back Quentin Umbaugh sustain a broken leg during one of the Panthers’ “jamboree” scrimmages.
Despite that Friday, Polo trailed only 14-0 at halftime and, having been held without a first down in last year’s clash with Christ Prep, had a couple of nice drives he said his club “just couldn’t finish.” The Panthers had about a half-dozen first downs in the first two quarters alone this time against the Kansas team.
“I thought we played really well in the first half,” Stephens saluted.
Then the third quarter happened.
Six plays into the second half, PHS starting quarterback/linebacker Cody Blackwell sustained a dislocated shoulder, Stephens reported, leaving the team without what had been, only eight days earlier, its top two quarterbacks.
With sophomore running back Caleb Thompson thrown into the breach to run the offense, not only did any reasonable chance Polo had of rallying vanish, but the game turned into a rout with Christ Prep Academy posting three third-period touchdowns and adding another in the fourth quarter.
As for positives, Stephens assessed that Gavin Fitzwater and Trysten Wolf ran the ball well. Defensively, Wyatt Segar had a team-best nine tackles and safety Thompson an interception.
Polo will play its home opener this Friday against Slater, which blanked Alma: Santa Fe 41-0 in its opener at home.
Marceline 22, Scotland County 12
MEMPHIS, Mo. — Thanks to Cullen Bruner’s “big” kicking leg and a big third quarter, Marceline didn’t leave Memphis singing the blues last Friday.
Bruner kicked a 49-yards field goal after MHS had netted a safety to hold an unusual 5-0 lead after each of the first two quarters. Before Scotland County got on the scoreboard in the third period, the guest Tigers sandwiched another safety between their first two touchdowns of the season to open up a 22-0 lead they easily protected down the stretch.
In addition to his two 3-pointers, Bruner ran 26 yards around right end for a touchdown and kicked the extra-point after Wyatt Molloy’s 27-yards TD reception of an Alex McCauslin throw. Senior Bruner also caught a pass for 24 yards in addition to rushing for 55 yards on 12 carries.
McCauslin, in his debut as starting quarterback after being a first-string wide receiver in 2018, hit on five of his 17 throws for 62 yards.
Defensively, returning veteran starting linebacker Colby Sims had a huge night by MHS statisticians’ tracking. He was in on 20 tackles, making 13 by himself.
Fellow senior Freddie Bascus added two sacks among his eight solo tackles, Hunter Nelson joined Bruner in notching seven total tackles – including one for loss by each – and McCauslin had an interception.
Next for Marceline will be its home opener Friday against another Lewis and Clark Conference foe, Knox County.
Lathrop 42, Trenton 14
TRENTON, Mo. — As anticipated, last year’s Class 2 state runnerup made things miserable for the host Bulldogs in Kevin Hixson’s debut as Trenton head coach Friday.
Lathrop’s Mules scored on their first offensive series and capitalized for another score one play after Trenton snapped the ball over the head of its punter on the Bulldogs’ opening possession.
The visitors went on to hold a 21-0 lead after one period, a 28-0 spread at intermission, and put the “running clock” rule into use barely 4-1/2 minutes into the last half.
Trenton (0-1) finally scored twice in the last seven minutes on quarterback Sam Schilling’s 11-yards run and, with just less than a minute to go, a 3-yards run by Canyon VonBurg.
Trenton will travel to Lexington this Friday. The Minutemen, who traveled all the way out of state for their opener against Quincy, Ill.: Notre Dame, came back with a 28-12 loss.
Stanberry 42, Braymer 13
BRAYMER, Mo. — Although Braymer’s season-starting loss was one-sided, it did have its minor “victories.”
The full game was played, rather than being a runaway that led to a mutual decision to halt at halftime, and the host Bobcats did put the ball in the end zone twice in interim head coach Lyle Laffoon’s debut as BHS head coach.
No details were reported.
Having dropped its Grand River Conference-West opener, the Braymer/Breckenridge squad (0-1) will journey to Pattonsburg to face the Panthers’ potent pass attack this Friday. The Pattonsburg/Gilman City/North Daviess co-op clobbered 8-man football newcomer St. Joseph: Bishop LeBlond (coached by former Southwest Livingston coach Eric Fairchild) 66-26 in week one.