MARYVILLE, Mo. — In a matchup that was three months in the making, Lathrop coach Chris Holt made his triumphant return to the Hound Pound. In a place in which Chris Holt coached the Spoofhounds to a state championship in 2009 and began a home win streak spanning eight years, he ended his former team’s season a decade later.
There were 42 seconds on the clock when Lathrop senior quarterback Blake Gordon dropped back on fourth-and-20 from Maryville’s 37-yard line. As pressure approached Gordon on his rollout, he heaved the ball to the north end zone at Maryville High School. A toss-up, a whistle and a signal from the official later, Lathrop trailed 28-27.
“That was a hell of a play,” Maryville senior Tate Oglesby said. “There’s not much we could do about it. We kind of knew it was coming, we thought we had it covered. … It’s tough, but that’s how it ended up.”
The way it ended up was the Mules lining up for a two-point conversion try after the miraculous touchdown. Gordon carried the ball to his right, plowing into the end zone, giving Lathrop with a 29-28 lead.
Maryville, with no timeouts, had four chances to get a first down on a drive that started on the Spoofhounds’ 47-yard line. In reality, the Maryville offense failed to produce much of anything other than four incomplete passes.
With the incomplete passes went a 67-game home winning streak that started when Holt was at the helm of the Spoofhounds.
“It’s just awesome, it’s a great feeling,” Holt said. “Both teams played their guts out. … We’re concentrated on trying to get back to Columbia, this was a step we had to take to get there.”
In a matchup of powerful rushing attacks, the passing games struck first. Oglesby and Caden Rardon traded long scores in the first quarter. Ben Walker rushed in for a Maryville score in the first before a 90-yard scamper by Gordon for a 14-all tie at the break.
The first play of the second half saw Lathrop take its first lead on a 85-yard screen pass to Tyler Paul. Oglesby responded with a catch-and-run to tie the game. The score was knotted up after each of the first three quarters.
An Oglesby touchdown returned the lead to the home faithful, only for Lathrop’s last-ditch prayer to come up with a district trophy returning to the KCI.
The game, for Maryville, was surreal. A feeling that coach Matt Webb summarized in one word.
“Heartbroken,” Webb said. “We lost the game by one point, so, yeah, I’m heartbroken.”
Eight days from the night where the streak was snapped, the Mules will play in the state quarterfinals. Eight days from the night where the streak was snapped, the Spoofhounds will be readying for basketball season. The feeling, Oglesby said, was surreal.
“It’s stunning,” Oglesby said. “It’s a streak, it’s meant to be broken.”