Glendale uses second-half surge to top West Plains 48-27

SPRINGFIELD — Teams had tried it before, but not at the level of West Plains.

The Zizzers showed their intentions immediately on Friday, using every bit of game clock in between snaps in an effort to keep Glendale's offense off the field.

It worked for the first half, but a 36-point barrage in the last two quarters fueled the Falcons to a 48-27 win and their first 3-0 start under Mike Mauk. 

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West Plains possessed the ball for 18 minutes in the first half and all but 30 seconds in the opening quarter. They converted three first downs as Keegan Hoopes paced a methodical 8:30 series and ended it with his first of four touchdowns. 

"I've seen teams do that before and it's maybe not normally what they do," Mauk said."They had a good gameplan and executed it well early, but once we got up on the board, I think that put pressure on their guys. Fortunately we were able to take advantage of several plays our guys made on offense."

Glendale snapped the ball just twice in the first quarter as Andrew Wheeler intercepted the second pass of the night from Alex Huston. The Zizzers (1-2) parlayed that into a 14-0 lead after Hoopes broke through a seam for a 24-yard score, his longest run of the game.

Still, he was held under the 200-yard mark for the first time this year.

"They got a lot of guys in the box and we just had trouble handling them," West Plains head coach Steve Ary said. "We thought we would wear them down but they just hung in there. They tackle a lot better than they did last year and are much-improved defensively."

The Glendale stoppers benefited from a West Plains attack that looked gassed at times in the second half. The Falcons made a habit of answering those extended drives with one or two passes to reach the end zone.

Huston tossed his first of seven touchdowns to Luke Montgomery with 6:53 left in the second quarter. The senior wideout found the end zone on his first three catches of the night and broke a handful of tackles in an dazzling effort to do the same on his fourth. 

The Zizzers, who put 124 points on Glendale in their first two seasons under Mauk, knew they would have their hands full with Montgomery and his counterparts.

"It was the biggest challenge I've ever had. They're high-octane and Coach Mauk does a great job. They're going to score points on everybody. They're just that good."

After Glendale recovered a muffed punt, Huston found Corbin Lukes from 21 yards out to make it 14-14 at halftime. 

"Our guys didn't flinch or panic. That shows a little resiliency on our team," Mauk said. "Sometimes you've got to have those situations to see what kind of character your team has."

Hoopes' third score gave West Plains their last lead with 5:26 left in the third, but the Falcon offense had already found its rhythm and responded almost instantly. 

Huston found Montgomery on touchdown tosses of 40 and 39 yards to give Glendale a 28-21 lead heading to the fourth quarter. From there, the junior connected with Von Oeser and Jeremy Almeida for 21 unanswered points to a cap a 411-yard passing performance. 

"I think they're beginning to believe more and more in what we're doing and why we're doing it, especially on defense. Our goal is to have a winning season and we're nowhere near that yet, but once we have it, there are other things we want to achieve. "

Glendale is now 3-0 for the first time since winning their first four games in 2011. With three unbeaten teams left in the Ozark Conference, the Falcons travel to Lebanon next week where that number will be wittled to two. They have notched 163 points over the first three weeks and a noticeably-improved defense, looking fully entrenched in the system Mauk introduced two years ago.

"When he moved down here and changed all the schemes, it was hard to understand, but now we've grasped it," Montgomery said. "With what he's gone through and all the work we've put in, it's good to see the results."

Glendale 48, West Plains 27
West Plains 7 7 14 0 — 27
Glendale 0 14 14 20 — 48


 

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