Purple gives another opponent the blues
SLATER -- It was a year ago that a 20-6 loss to Wellington-Napoleon began a six-game slide through the end of the season for the Slater football team.
The first half of the current campaign ended on a more encouraging note Friday, with the Wildcats posting a convincing 28-7 victory. Although trailing 7-6 at the half, the Purple -- keeping the ball for nearly nine minutes of both the first and third quarters and out-gaining the visitors by a two-to-one margin -- was in command.
"The offensive line controlled the line of scrimmage most of the night," noted Slater head coach Tom Doherty. "It was a complete 'team' victory for the second straight week."
After senior Dustin Hays scored on a five-yard bootleg in the opening period, the Tigers pulled ahead on senior Matt Osborn's three-yard run early in the second frame. However, the 'Cats quickly adjusted to Wellington's unbalanced line approach.
"Once we figured out what they were doing, we made a few changes," said Doherty. With senior linebacker Will Norris backing off the blockers to give him more time to read and react to gaps, "we pretty much contained their running game after that."
The Tigers (1-4) couldn't do much to slow down senior Andy Boggs, though. He ran for 177 yards on 21 carries, scoring from 10 and seven yards out during the third quarter, for his fourth 100-yard rushing game of the season. Boggs tacked on another TD with 5:29 left in the game when he returned a fumble 54 yards after senior John Jackson knocked the ball loose while sacking junior quarterback Chet Smith.
It could have been worse, if not for an inadvertent whistle which denied a 64-yard fumble return by senior Joey Perry.
Slater (4-1), averaging over 320 yards per game on offense, will have its work cut out for it Friday when it begins Lewis and Clark Conference play by hosting Paris.
Sweet Springs 6
CONCORDIA -- Concordia came from behind with four second-half touchdowns to hand visiting Sweet Springs its fourth straight loss during Friday's I-70 Conference clash, 28-6.
The Greyhounds' offense moved the ball, with a 63-44 edge in snaps and 270 total yards. However, five sacks and four turnovers -- including a fumble on first down and goal at the Orioles' 1-yard line during the first half -- held it back. Sweet Springs still went into the break with a 6-0 lead after junior Joe Navarro caught senior Jon McKeage's 16-yard pass with 1:05 left in the second quarter.
The 'Hounds could not stop Concordia after intermission, especially during a six-minute span midway through the half in which the home team scored three times. Junior Justin Hilliard finished a drive with a one-yard run, sophomore Kyle Knight broke off a 74-yard dash and Hilliard's 45-yard gain set up a nine-yard Hilliard TD ramble.
"We got out of position on defense a couple of times," explained Sweet Springs head coach Jeff Holtzman. "We got corners jumping to the inside, leaving the sideline free. That really cost us."
Hilliard polished off the game with a one-yard touchdown plunge. Knight tallied 181 yards on 18 carries for the Orioles (3-2, 2-1 I-70).
McKeage threw for 109 yards and senior Michael Johnson rushed for 83 yards for the 'Hounds (1-4, 1-3), who host Santa Fe this week.
LeBlond 29, Santa Fe 12
ST. JOSEPH -- Santa Fe moved the ball up and down the field, but had a hard time sticking it in the end zone Friday during a 29-12 non-conference loss to Bishop LeBlond at St. Joseph.
The 10th-ranked Chiefs held the advantage in total plays (75-58) and yardage (268-233), along with turnovers (4-0), but didn't capitalize on their chances. After junior Adam Eastin turned the Golden Eagles' second fumble into a touchdown with an 18-yard run, a 38-yard pass from senior Michael Sweeney to junior John Bourneuf set up senior Adam Matthias' three-yard TD plunge.
Still, Santa Fe went into halftime with a 12-7 lead when junior Clay Michael returned an interception 37 yards. The Chiefs, though, were blanked after the break -- allowing LeBlond (4-1) to make the big plays which gave it the victory.
Sweeney hit senior Brett Adams with a 53-yard scoring strike late in the third period, junior Michael O'Malley's 33-yard run preceded his three-yard rumble into the end zone and Sweeney hooked up with Bourneuf again for 23 yards as a finishing touch.
Eastin finished with 168 rushing yards and Santa Fe's defense came up seven sacks, three by junior Kurtis Gregory. The Chiefs (3-2) get back into I-70 Conference play Friday at Sweet Springs.
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