Camdenton starts season 1-0 for first time in four years
“That’s a true Laker team,” Bob Shore said after Camdenton’s 17-14 win over Hillcrest on Friday night.
Coming from him, that’s some pretty high praise, especially since the first half featured five turnovers between the two teams, four of them being fumbles.
Against a tough Hillcrest team, the Lakers took a 7-0 lead near the end of the first quarter with a 54-yard run from Kullen Carlock to get in the end zone, capped off with a Mason Bennett extra point. Bennett would later hit a 17-yard field goal to give the Lakers a 10-0 lead.
Camdenton then seemed to struggle on the field, both with their opponent and the heat, with Carlock heading to the locker room early due to dehydration and Camdenton’s Co-QB Bo Dean suffering a concussion after leading the team downfield for the Bennett field goal.
Coach Jeff Shore’s two quarterback system worked well in the game, for the first half, at least. Coach Shore said after the game that some of the mistakes were on him.
“I felt like I called a not-very-good game,” Coach Shore said. “Part of that is learning your team, part of it is getting in the groove, but fortunately, our kids pulled it out of the fire.”
Hillcrest was quick to answer, with QB Matt Rush dragging defenders across the goal-line for a 25-yard touchdown run, pulling the Hornets within three points.
Rush would then provide a spark to the Hornets to end the first half, picking off Tyler Cunningham’s pass with just seconds left on the clock and returning it for a pick-six. After the extra point, the Hornets had their first lead of the game and headed to the locker room with a 14-10 lead over the home team.
Returning in the second half, the Lakers’ quarterback duties fell squarely on Cunningham’s shoulders, but the Lakers focused almost all of their efforts on offense entirely on running the ball, slowly working their way down the field and taking time off the clock. It would prove to work for the Lakers early in the fourth quarter, with Luke Burris diving in to the end zone for a touchdown and retaking the lead, 17-14.
It would prove to be the last score of the game, as the Purple Haze held their ground against Hillcrest’s speedy offense, and Carlock returned the favor to Matt Rush with an interception, and Hillcrest wouldn’t see the ball again as Camdenton took a knee to win the game.
“The defense played outstanding,” Coach Jeff Shore said. “They only allowed one touchdown. Coach Bruck, Coach Foulk, Coach Bayless and Coach Nolting have really got that defense running well. They did an exceptional job against some really exceptional backs.”
The last time the Lakers began their season with a win was four years ago.
Camdenton's next matchup will be against an improved West Plains team, who picked up their first win of the season last week over Waynesville, snapping a 31 game losing streak.
Osage can’t hold on despite second half rally
The Osage Indians showed their youth in their first game of the season, with mistakes and errors costing them a game after digging themselves a 21-0 deficit against the Fulton Hornets.
"We had some breakdowns in the first half," Coach Dan Henderson said. "We would get something going, then have a miscue. We played much better in the second half, but couldn't hold on to the lead."
The Indians couldn’t seem to get anything going in the first half, giving up three touchdowns and being unable to sustain a drive and get in the end zone.
But Coach Henderson was proud of the way the boys bounced back in the second half, fighting back to reclaim the lead, 22-21.
Senior running back Seth Crooks carried the team, rushing for over one hundred yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries, the first of which came in the second half to put the Indians on the board.
With Fulton's next drive, the Indians' defense forced a punt, which was promptly blocked by Osage's Jake Ulmer.
The team quickly tacked on another touchdown, and after another drive from Osage, Austin Riley connected with Jed Robertson for a touchdown pass to take the lead, 22-21.
After that, the Indians were once again unable to sustain a drive, and Fulton found the end zone a final time for a touchdown which would be the deciding score, as Osage fell to Fulton in a 28-22 loss.
"Our kids showed a lot of character by coming back," Coach Henderson said. " You can't always dig a hole and come back. Hopefully, we learned some things and stay together to bounce back."
The Indians' next game is this coming Friday night at 7 p.m., where the Indians will host their first home game of the season against the Moberly Spartans.
Eldon falls to Miller Career Academy in high-scoring shootout
The Mustangs returned to action last Friday night in their season home opener against Miller Career Academy in a high scoring shootout, with Eldon falling short in a 48-42 loss.
Led by strong play from the running backs and quarterback Wyatt Greenwalt, the Mustangs proved that they are once again looking to gallop their way to a win.
Eldon jumped to a 14-0 lead at the end of the first quarter with touchdowns by QB Wyatt Greenwalt and running back Raymond Kwok. In the second quarter, Zach Lemen tacked on another TD, while Miller Career Academy scored once again to trail 20-14 at the half.
Things took a turn in the third quarter, as Miller Career scored twice to take a 35-20 lead over the Mustangs.
Eldon, known for being an rushing team, was forced to pass more heavily in the fourth quarter, but they had some success through the air, finishing the game with three touchdowns in the passing game.
The Mustangs rallied back in the fourth, scoring three times in the quarter, two of which came from last year's All-State Mustang, Dalton Lister, but Miller Career Academy continued to score, outdistancing the Mustangs to win 48-42.
"Dalton played like an All-State player," Coach Shannon Jolley said. "He lived up to it on both sides of the ball Friday night."
On the other side of things, the staunch defense of the Mustangs gave up 48 points in the game, so Coach Jolley will be looking to cut that number down drastically.
"You never want to give up that many points, but they were a very talented team," Coach Jolley said. "We did a lot more things well than we did poorly, so we'll work on those this week and build off of it. But judging from Friday night, this group of seniors played hard and were ready to take ownership of this season."
This week they’ll be facing the Buffalo Bison, who are coming off of a 26-12 loss to Fair Grove. Look for Eldon to fight hard and return to .500 with a win at home.
Tigers’ first game of the season ends in 35-32 loss
The Versailles Tigers had hoped to start the season off with a win, but their road-game against Knob Noster had them returning home with their first defeat of the season.
That doesn't mean Coach Broc Silvers and company returned with their heads hanging low.
The Tigers proved to be a tough matchup for the Panthers in what Coach Silvers called "the hottest game I've ever been in".
"We started out well," Coach Silvers said. "We sustained some drives on offense, and ran from a no-huddle, and were up by ten at halftime."
The Tigers' offense once again proved to be quite potent, while defensively, the young Tiger team had issues with big plays, allowing 150 yards on just three plays.
Offensively, the Tigers had 20 first downs, and outplayed their opponents in nearly every aspect of the game.
Johnathan Cunningham led the Tigers on offense, finishing the game with 236 yards on the ground and three touchdowns. Cunningham also had a 62-yard punt return for a touchdown. Michael Allen led the team from the quarterback position, finishing with 108 yards and a touchdown before he left the game with an injury to his ankle.
Evan Lewis proved to be a tough match for the Knob Noster defense, recording two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble with seven tackles, one for a loss.
"We played pretty well. If you take away their big plays, we held their offense to about 100 yards on offense," Coach Silvers said. "I've never had more fun on Friday night than that game."
Versailles' next opponent is Fulton in their first home opener on Friday at 7 p.m.
Friday Night Football: Looking Back at Week 1
Camdenton starts season 1-0 for first time in four years