JEFFERSON CITY, Mo — Maryville football has traditionally shown success in long road trips at the end of November.
Saturday afternoon was no different as the Spoofhounds ran to a 49-20 victory over Blair Oaks (Jefferson City).
“One of our core philosophies is traditions never graduates,” coach Matt Webb said. “People talk about these guys taking long trips, and I said these guys have done it. We traveled absolutely great yesterday.”
Maryville (12-2) took things personally on the first play of the game as Eli Dowis broke loose for a 68-yard touchdown.
It marked the first of seven rushing touchdowns for the Spoofhounds.
“It was huge,” junior running back Tyler Houchin said. “Eli’s break-away run, I mean that’s how it started the game, 58-yard touchdown run. Are you kidding me?”
Dowis left the field for a trip to the locker room shortly after. He appeared on the sideline in the second half in street clothes.
His absence was hardly felt, as two Spoofhound athletes returned to the field with power they had not seen early in the season.
Seniors Jacob Reuter and Mark Zahnd joined Houchin in a system of three rotating running backs after Dowis’ departure.
The three each scored at least one touchdown.
“It’s awesome,” Webb said. “One of our core philosophies and one of our core beliefs is if you’re going to win in the playoffs, you’ve got to be able to go and run the football.”
Houchin pushed his way into the end zone from 8 yards out giving Maryville a 16-0 lead with 8 minutes, 14 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
Zahnd found his first touchdown since Week 6 from 10 yards out nearly six minutes later.
“About 10 yards a pop, our O-line (offensive line) did a heck of a job in that game,” Houchin said. “We just kept on pounding it and pounding it until they quit.”
Houchin and Zahnd scored twice more in the second quarter extending Maryville’s lead to 36-0.
With 23 seconds remaining in the first half, Reuter hit the end zone. It added a personal note to him, as he returned from his second injury of the year.
“It feels amazing,” Reuter said. “The first time I was injured, I knew I was coming back. When I re-injured it, I didn’t know if I was going to be able to come back or not.”
Sophomore Tyler McGary intercepted Blair Oaks quarterback Nolan Hair on the first drive of the second half.
Houchin scuffled his way into the end zone from 4 yards out shortly after, marking the last Maryville points of the game.
Hair connected with junior Ben Thomas three separate times, adding up to 20 points for the Falcons (13-1).
Maryville moves on to play Mt. Vernon (10-4) in the Class 3 Show-Me-Bowl at the Faurot Field at the University of Missouri on Saturday, Nov. 25. Kickoff is scheduled for 11 a.m.
“Last year we prepped, but we didn’t finish and execute,” Houchin said. “This year, we’ll execute and finish it out.”