HAMILTON, Mo. — Severe weather found its way in the middle of a KCI and district matchup Friday night between two teams looking for revenge in Mid-Buchanan and Hamilton.
After the switch to a 5:30 kickoff in Hamilton followed by a calling of the game in the third quarter due to weather, the Dragons shutout the Hornets with a final score of 35-0.
“It was just a big game for us because it was a big district opportunity right there, and we’ve never beaten them in the regular season that I’ve ever seen,” Mid-Buchanan head coach Aaron Fritz said.
“We kind of wanted to play more. We didn’t want to stop early in the game,” Dragon junior running back TJ Runyan added.
The two teams last played against each other at the Class 1 state tournament last season, where the Dragons (4-1) won 41-21 to advance to the semifinals to avenge a regular season overtime loss.
Now with a victory in the regular season, Fritz added he’s proud of how hard his team has worked.
“We’ve had a really hard time beating them in the past, and to finally get over the hump and beat them in the regular season is a big deal for our football program because we’ve come a long way from where we started a few years ago to where we are now,” Fritz said.
In the first quarter, Dragon junior quarterback Javan Noyes managed to put points on the board first by faking a handoff to Runyan and scoring on a 10-yard quarterback keeper to give the Dragons a 7-0 lead from the start.
“There weren’t a ton of people there. It was kind of quiet and both teams were kind of quiet, so you were kind of wondering who’s going to take that first strike,” Fritz said. “And luckily we got stop right away and went down and scored so that was a big deal for us.”
From then on, the Noyes and Runyan duo accounted for the only points on the scoreboard.
Later in the first quarter, the Dragons tallied seven more when Runyan avoided multiple Hornet tackles to score a touchdown on a 39-yard scamper to the endzone.
But one touchdown wasn’t enough for the 5-foot-8, 160-pound junior running back.
On the next scoring play, Runyan extended the Dragons’ lead to 21-0 on a 47-yard rushing touchdown early in the second quarter.
“It feels really good. I feel like my line blocked really well for me to get those touchdowns,” Runyan said.
Fritz added, “TJ’s awesome. He’s a great kid, hard worker, he’s a great weight room guy. He’s exactly what you want in a football player.”
The Hornets’ last chance to get on the board came at less than a minute until halftime.
What Hamilton (2-3) hoped to be an interception returned for a touchdown by senior Landon Huff for 85 yards was actually called out of bounds at their own 15-yard line.
Runyan notched one more rushing touchdown before halftime to give the Dragons a 28-0 lead, saying he thinks of one thing when he dashes to an end zone: “Make sure no one catches me.”
Early in the third quarter, Noyes carried the ball in for the final touchdown of the night before the game was called final due to severe weather.
“We played with a lot of fire and a lot of passion, so I was very proud of that,” Fritz said. “We’ve got other things we want to do, so this is just a step up that hill we’re climbing and hopefully we can continue to get better.”
Mid-Buchanan faces East Buchanan in the Battle of Buchanan in a home game next Friday night.