Living up to its status as a No. 1 seed and the second-ranked team in Class 3, Maryville absolutely demolished No. 8 seed Lincoln Prep 66-8 in the opening round of the District 8 Tournament.
The 58-point margin of victory was Maryville's second largest of the season and the third largest around the state in Class 3 behind Oak Grove's 71-0 win over Southwest Early College and McCluer South-Berkley's 86-6 thumping of Trinity Catholic.
Easily among the last 32 teams standing in Class 3, Maryville (10-0) is set to take on fourth-seeded Kansas City Northeast (7-3) tonight at 7 p.m. in the district semifinals at the Hound Pound.
A Halloween night win would put the Hounds in the district championship game against either No. 7 seed Cameron or No. 6 seed St. Pius X.
It would also give them 11 wins for the first time since winning the Class 2 state title in 2009.
"We always focus on the next opponent," said Maryville head football coach Matt Webb. "I was happy with the way our opening game in the playoffs went last week. Every week it will get a little harder. The competition gets a little better any time you play in a tournament. The common thing is not to have a mental lapse and not have a night where you don't come out focused and play consistent. We're focusing on coming out this week and taking care of business of Wednesday night."
Still a huge favorite, Maryville should get tested a little bit more by Kansas City Northeast—its second straight Kansas City Interscholastic League opponent. Unlike Maryville which had its first round game wrapped up in the first quarter, the Vikings survived a four quarter battle to beat fifth-seeded Central Academy 27-26 Thursday.
It was one of only two games around the state in Class 3 decided by one point.
The lone team from their conference to make it out of the first round, Northeast is much improved over the last two seasons when they finished 4-6 and 0-9.
Their 6-3 regular season included a 14-6 win over Lincoln Prep and 33-32 win over second-seeded Kansas City East.
Northeast's three losses were to non-conference opponents Plattsburg (62-26), Nevada (54-7) and Pembroke Hill (37-14).
"I think they're similar scheme-wise (to Lincoln Prep)," said Webb. "I think Northeast has better talent and that coach there has really turned them around. They've put a really good season together and he's got them believing. They believe they can come in here and pull an upset. That's something that you got to focus on and realize this team is going to come in hungry. They're going to play extremely hard with a lot of effort. This is going to be a good test for us. It will be much better than Lincoln Prep."
Page 2 of 2 - Northeast boasts a more talented set of offensive play-makers than Lincoln Prep, and this is reflected in their season totals.
The Vikings average 28.4 points per game and have topped 20 points in six of 10 games. Over the last three, they've averaged 38 per game.
"They're a multiple offense," said Webb. "They'll run the football with two backs, then they'll spread it out and their quarterback is a really good athlete on the perimeter. He also throws the deep ball well, so they do some sets where they got three and four receivers. It's a really good opportunity for us to work on our pass defense and our pass rush and be able to get after it when we need to upfront. They have some good route concepts and some good formations that cause you to really focus on what you're doing."
Defensively, the Vikings have been stout in their six wins, allowing just 14 points per game. However, in their three losses, they've given up 51 per game.
Slowing down the Spoofhounds presents quite the challenge.
Maryvillle hung more than 60 points on an opponent for the second time last week, raising its season scoring average to 46.5 per game.
Quarterback Jonathan Baker completed all five passes against Lincoln Prep for 78 yards and three touchdowns. He now has 21 touchdowns and four interceptions on the year.
The Hounds also rushed for 242 yards and four scores, with Derek Stiens, Peyton Mizera, Payden Dawson and Dakota Beemer each producing a rushing touchdown. Sophomore Brody McMahon, Maryville's second leading rusher, had two receiving touchdowns, an 84-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and a 37-yard punt return touchdown.
"I want to see us execute," said Webb. "I want to see us run the football. I want to see us throw the football. I want to see us do the things we talk about week in and week out. That's move the chains, don't turn the ball over and dominate the line of scrimmage upfront."
Maryville's defense pitched a shutout against Lincoln Prep until the Blue Tigers scored a touchdown with 3:42 left in the fourth quarter.
The eight points given up was right around their season average of 7.7.
Four members of the defensive line—sophomore Jacob Cacek, senior Tyler Tripp, junior Adam Thompson and senior Dillon Alexander—contributed at least a half-sack to Maryville's total of three. The Hounds also came up with five turnovers, including four first half fumbles.