FAUCETT, Mo. — Class 2 No. 2 Lathrop took the opening kickoff back for a touchdown and never looked back, dominating Mid-Buchanan in all three phases of the game and serving up a 49-0 rout of the Dragons on Friday at Mid-Buchanan High School.
Initially, Class 1 No. 3 Mid-Buchanan (2-1) responded quite well to their opening play gaffe. The two teams traded fruitless possessions throughout the first quarter.
“You gotta give them credit, their coaches had them ready to go. The Mid-Buchanan kids were playing hard,” Lathrop (3-0) coach Chris Holt said. “But we were able to get it going there in the second quarter, and were able to maintain that in the second half.”
Lathrop broke the scoring stalemate with a 29-yard touchdown run from senior Tyler Paul on a trap play at the start of the second quarter, and added on another 3-yard rushing score later in the period.
By halftime, Lathrop had taken a 35-0 lead, and by the game’s end were able to run with the second team.
Ultimately, Mid-Buchanan coach Aaron Fritz shouldered much of the blame for the disappointing performance.
“We worked really hard this week because we wanted to keep them away from the perimeter, but they got to the perimeter and we couldn’t tackle very well,” Fritz said. “We didn’t do things that we wanted to do, didn’t do things we worked on all week and were coached to do ... They’ve got to do their part, we have to do our parts as coaches, and we need to figure out how to come back from this.”
He gave credit to the confounding old school attack of the Mules.
“They have an answer for everything. No matter how you lineup, when they run that Wing-T they’ll find something you’re not good at,” Fritz said. “It’s what happened tonight, we gave them a different look than we gave them before and they made adjustments and their adjustments were better than ours.“
One of several adjustments that Lathrop made was a halfback pass from Paul to quarterback Blake Gordon in the third quarter that found its way to the end zone.
A common sight in year’s past for the Mules, it was the first time this season Lathrop decided to let Paul attempt the pass.
“It’s just a naked bootleg actually, we don’t block anything on that side. They’re real aggressive on defense, so we thought they’d chase the counter and they did,” Holt said. “Blake leaked out into the flat. It’s part of our package, we just haven’t ran it this year.”
Paul himself wasn’t awfully impressed by his touchdown throw, but appreciates the opportunity to get a passing touchdown in his stat column.
“I didn’t think they were gonna call that today because, you know, I don’t throw a very good ball,” Paul said. “We had them biting hard over the top. It wasn’t a pretty pass at all. But I was definitely excited to get some passing yards on my record.”
It was one of four total touchdowns on the night for the senior.
Next week, Mid-Buchanan will look to return to form against North Platte (0-2), while Lathrop goes home for their homecoming night against Hamilton (2-1).
Three weeks in, the Mules are where they want to be.
“We’re racking up the wins, climbing up that latter,” Paul said. “That’s our goal, getting to the top and back to where we were last year.”