(Week 5 review) Carrollton absorbs first defeat of year in league opener, while Southwest Livingston, Marceline post fourth wins

A weather-prompted amalgam of game days and start times marked the middle week of the 2019 regular season for C-T-area high school football teams this past weekend. The array of logistical adjustments couldn’t alter the almost-monotonous, season-long trend of less-than-desired results for the eight area squads, however.
Through the first five weeks of the 9-weeks regular season, the best composite showing area teams have produced in any single week has been a 4-4 ledger. This past weekend, however, saw a new level of struggle as, after the other three prior weeks had generated three wins and five losses, last Friday and Saturday saw six area clubs saddled with setbacks.
Even as that was taking place, however, three of the eight area squads headed into the backslope of the season possessing 4-1 overall records.
Southwest Livingston’s Wildcats posted a fourth victory in a row, routing visiting Stewartsville 48-0 in a Highway 275 Conference contest begun at 5 p.m. and called at halftime, about 20 minutes before thunderstorms moved across the game site just outside Ludlow.
Later Friday evening, well to the south at Knob Noster, where the weather apparently was not an issue, the Carrollton Trojans joined Southwest Livingston at 4-1, but that meant tasting defeat for the first time this fall. After four weeks of play against fellow Class 1, non-conference teams, the Trojans began the Missouri River Valley Conference-East slate of five games against Class 2 opponents with the not-unanticipated 65-7 blowout loss at undefeated Knob Noster.
The following day, having postponed their contest in its entirety Friday, the Marceline Tigers hammered the visiting Paris Coyotes 41-6 in Lewis and Clark Conference action to pump up their overall mark to 4-1, while continuing to be perfect in the L&C at 4-0.
Coming away on the short end for the fifth time in as many 2019 outings were the Braymer Bobcats, Trenton Bulldogs, and Polo Panthers. Braymer lost to nearby “as the crow flies” foe Hardin-Central 56-8 in 8-man ball and Polo was blanked by Gallatin 41-0 and Trenton lost to Princeton/Mercer 21-7 in Grand River Conference-East 11-man action.
The two area teams between those extremes – Hamilton: Penney (2-3, 1-2 conf.) and Brookfield (1-4, 0-3 conf.) – both were drilled by league opponents.
In a game begun 90 minutes earlier than its originally-scheduled time, Hamilton was behind Mid-Buchanan 35-0 early in the third quarter of their KCI Conference clash when the stormy weather arrived and, with the “running clock” mercy rule already in effect, the host Hornets conceded, rather than either wait out a delay of indeterminate length or suspension of the action until the following day, when field conditions likely would have been bad.
Brookfield had no weather problems at Centralia, just problems with the host Panthers, who drilled them 34-0 in the Clarence Cannon Conference.
Southwest Livingston 48, Stewartsville 0 (2Q)
LUDLOW, Mo. — With a decisive Southwest Livingston triumph a real possibility going in, it was hoped the 5 p.m. kickoff would give the teams a chance to play at least a half in dry weather and, if the outcome was in no doubt at that time, the teams and fans could head home without being in any jeopardy from lightning.
Fresh from their stunning blowout win over defending 8-man state champion Mound City/Craig the week before – a game which saw Mound City/Craig reportedly without one of its better players, that’s exactly how things played out as the Wildcats (4-1, 4-1 conf.) scored nearly at will, punching the ball in from a variety of distances on all five of their first-quarter possessions before adding two more TDs in the second while essentially playing out the string.
Blue-and-white senior star Mack Anderson rushed 27, 45, 55, and 75 yards for scores while throwing scoring strikes of 14, 21, and 42 yards to junior end Chase Neptune.
Statistically, for the abbreviated game, Ma. Anderson produced 203 rushing yards on only four carries – going the distance each time – and connecting on 10 of his 12 passes for 139 yards and the three TDs. One of his two misses was intercepted for the only SHS Cardinals (1-4, 1-3 conf.) highlight.
Neptune found paydirt on three of four receptions that totaled 79 yards. Defensively, he also had an interception and made five tackles, head coach Oren Magruder reports.
Additionally, Dagun Bassett had six tackles and one quarterback sack, while Patrick Warren made three stops behind the line of scrimmage – two of them sacks. Parker Keeney, like Neptune, made four catches for 50 yards, Owen Oesch had a sack, and Hunter Colliver picked off a SHS pass.
Next on the menu for the Southwest Livingston/Hale/Tina-Avalon co-op squad is a visit to league foe South Nodaway next week.
Knob Noster 65, Carrollton 7
KNOB NOSTER, Mo. — Although entering undefeated and deceptively ranked in the top 10 in Class 1 after posting wins over four mediocre or worse smaller schools, Carrollton (4-1, 0-1 conf.) began its rugged journey through the MRVC-E with the thumping from former league doormat Knob Noster (5-0).
Quarterback Gavin Claud had the only Trojans touchdown on a run.
Statistically for CHS, it managed only about 200 yards of total offense, including only 78 from its primary weapon – the passing game. Claud made hookups only eight times in 18 passes, finding both Gage Fitzpatrick and Treyton Bennett three times each.
On defense, Fitzpatrick had a fumble recovery, while Wyatt Rowen led the tackling with nine.
The silver lining for Carrollton – as it will be for all four of its remaining conference games that consume the rest of its regular season – was that, even with the loss, they picked up 10 “bonus” points for their district-playoffs rating because of facing a Class 2 opponent.
Carrollton will welcome Richmond this Friday.
Mid-Buchanan 35, Hamilton: Penney 0 (3Q)
HAMILTON, Mo. — On the same field where they stunned Hamilton with a huge fourth quarter to claim last November’s Class 1 state playoffs quarterfinal game, “Mid-Buck’s” Dragons were in charge in all facets from the outset Friday.
After a teammate’s 19-yards scamper gave the visitors a 7-0 lead in the first quarter, MBHS running back T.j. Runyan ripped off the first of his three pre-intermission scoring runs – a 61-yards bolt that left the host Hornets down 14-0 after a quarter.
It was more of the same in the second stanza as Runyan went in from 53 and four yards for a 28-0 halftime advantage.
With the threat of rain and lightning approaching, Mid-Buchanan produced what it wanted quickly after intermission as sophomore quarterback Javan Noyes got away from the Hornets’ defense for a 62-yards jaunt to the end zone.
With another Leyton Starks conversion kick, the “running clock” went into operation with the 35-0 spread. When the lightning showed up not much later and play was halted, it became a relatively-easy choice for both sides to agree to call it quits for the evening.
Statistically, most startling was Mid-Buchanan’s complete choking off of the Hamilton running game. Even with 2018 All-Stater Sawyer Morrow in the backfield, the Dragons overwhelmed the generally-inexperience Hornets offensive line, resulting in Hamilton managing only 14 net rushing yards on 18 carries. Morrow gained only 15 on 14 tries.
While a bit better, the Hamilton passing game wasn’t able to balance the scales, providing a mere 83 yards on Ryan Cook’s 7-of-12 accuracy. Kevin Williams and Tucker Ross did have three catches apiece.
While Hamilton produced only 97 yards of total offense, Mid-Buchanan had at least around 350. Each team turned the ball over once with an interception.
Hamilton’s defensive leaders were Eli Harper with five total tackles – four unassisted – and Williams with the “pick.”
Hamilton will stay at home again this Friday, but won’t have an easy time trying to bounce back to .500. Plattsburg will roll in for another conference clash.
Norborne/Hardin-Central 56, Braymer 6
BRAYMER, Mo. — BHS’ Homecoming game was moved up all the way to 4 p.m. to try to get everything in before the bad weather arrived.
The game’s outcome was in a whisper of doubt after one quarter when the host Bobcats were within 8-6, but the visiting Aggies – a co-op contingent from Braymer’s southern neighbors – took firm command the rest of the half with 34 unanswered points in the second frame.
No information was received on who produced the Braymer touchdown or how.
Online statistics posted by Aggies coach Kirk Thacker show N/HC quarterback Kysor Hughes ran for a game-most 138 yards and three scores on 21 carries and completed all three passes he threw for 50 yards.
Joining him in triple-digits in ground gains was sophomore Brayden Schick with 119 yards on 12 runs. He found paydirt three times, as well, while freshman Mason McAulley picked up 66 yards on 11 carries with one score. Junior Daniel Roth also reached the end zone on an Aggies run.
Defensively for the victors, senior Chandler Wheeler was in on 12 tackles, according to the online stats, Hughes 10, and freshman J.W. Doyle nine.
Another frosh – Dalton Thacker – sacked the Braymer/Breckenridge quarterback twice, while Schick recovered two fumbles and junior Cash Leabo one.
Marceline 41, Paris 6
MARCELINE, Mo. — Waiting to play their game until Saturday afternoon, the host Marceline Tigers (4-1, 4-0 conf.) continued to motor through their Lewis and Clark Conference opponents.
Sophomore Wyatt Molloy had a memorable day, catching four Alex McCauslin passes for 111 yards and one score, while forcing a fumble and recovering it on defense.
McCauslin finished nine of 13 throwing for 194 yards. He also hit running back Cullen Bruner for a score, although Bruner was held to only 38 rushing yards on 18 carries. Like Bruner, McCauslin had a rushing touchdown as he gained a team-best 44 yards on nine attempts. Bruner booted a pair of field goals without a miss – nailing one of 34 yards and another shorter.
On defense, Colby Sims’ nine tackles all were credited as unassisted and included five quarterback sacks. Fellow senior Freddie Bascus added six stops – five solo, Bruner five – all solo, and Nathan Cupp four – two of which also were sacks.
Next for the Tigers will be a visit to league foe Schuyler County next Friday.
Princeton/Mercer 21, Trenton 7
TRENTON, Mo. – The host Bulldogs suggested they were interested in pulling off a mild upset of the Tigers for their initial 2019 triumph, but couldn’t follow through after a good start.
Jaren Whitney put THS in front with a 9-yards scoring run in the final minute of the opening period and Sam Schilling’s conversion kick made it 7-0, Trenton, after one.
That would turn out to be the larger school’s only points, though, and two Eli Henke touchdown runs helped post Princeton’s fourth victory in the GRC-East contest. The Tigers posted a score in each of the last three stanzas to subdue the Bulldogs (0-5, 0-3 conf.), who continue to try to give new head coach Kevin Hixson his first victory at THS.
Doing so this week will be challenging as Trenton goes east to Milan for another conference contest.
Gallatin 41, Polo 0
GALLATIN, Mo. — Sure enough, the fifth game of Polo’s season saw it starting a fifth different quarterback – this time junior Logan Chapman.
Despite a spirited defensive effort in the first half, the result was the same for the Panthers, who remain in search for their first “W” since the 2017 season.
Strangely, neither team’s offense posted a touchdown until well into the second period, but by then the host Bulldogs nevertheless owned a 21-0 lead.
That occurred because of GHS dominance on special teams. Gallatin started the scoring by blocking a first-quarter Polo punt and taking the loose ball into the end zone for a touchdown.
Later in the opening segment and then again in the second, Gallatin turned other Panthers punts into points with scoring returns of 54 and 70 yards, respectively.
Gallatin’s attack finally posted three TD runs in the second and third quarters to essentially double its points total.
The game was begun Friday night, but had to be halted about a minute before halftime, because of lightning. Even with Gallatin ahead 27-0, the decision was made to pick up the action again at 10 a.m. Saturday, when it wrapped up in less than an hour.
“Chapman threw the ball well. He connected with Gavin Fitzwater, Wyatt Segar, and Damion Tice for nice completions,” PHS head coach Reid Stephens observed.
Statistically, Polo had only 12 rushing yards to go with Chapman’s 79 air yards. Wyatt Segar’s nine tackles – four unassisted and one a sack – helped lead the defense, along with interceptions by Trysten Wolf and Fitzwater and a L. Chapman fumble recovery. Freshman Mason Chapman added seven tackles and Tyler Fesmire four solos.
The visitors did have the better of the turnovers battle, producing the three takeaways, while having only the only turnover. That couldn’t undo the punt team struggles, however.
Polo (0-5, 0-3 conf.) has its Homecoming game on tap next, welcoming Maysville/Winston this coming Friday.
Centralia 34, Brookfield 0
CENTRALIA, Mo. — Undefeated Centralia was held to a scoreless tie after one quarter, but altered that with three second-stanza touchdowns to assume command.
“We did a really good job of stopping their run, but they hurt us with some formations we didn’t expect,” BHS head coach Scott Stevens told the Linn County Leader. “We had some blown coverages and some miscommunication that allowed two of their three big passes early on.
“Those are things we definitely have to clean up.”
Brookfield – missing several of its small number of seniors, due to injuries, the Leader reports – did mount some scoring threats, but twice lost the ball on downs inside the CHS 20 – once inside the 5.
“Obviously, it’s tough, but we’ve got to keep fighting for one another,” the coach commented.
Brookfield will welcome a Ewing: Highland team that’s been scoring quite a bit as its Homecoming opponent next Friday.