Rough night for the Knights

Continuing the progress the team made last week with its triumph over the Troy last week, the Spartan football team won its game against the Francis Howell North Knights with a final score of 37-21.

The first quarter consisted of both teams battling against each other across the field, with no significant plays being made until a 24 yard field goal was completed by senior kicker Ben Burns two minutes into the game. Besides the slight boost in the Spartans’ score, the rest of the quarter had no major plays, and ended with only the single big play.

The Spartans picked up the pace in the second quarter as senior running back Kendall Morris performed a 69 yard touchdown run within the first 12 seconds of the quarter. Continuing the scoring streak, Morris again performed another touchdown run, going 80 yards for the Spartans’ second touchdown. With seven minutes left in the quarter however, the Knights quickly came back when they fumbled and recovered it in the end zone and scored a touchdown. The team then followed the touchdown up with an extra point. The opposing team’s touchdown didn’t stop the Spartans though, as they managed to score yet another touchdown near the end of the half when senior quarterback Brody Allen made a dash into the end zone, and then scored an additional point, bringing the score to 23-7 by the end of the first half.

Allen expressed his happiness over returning back to field after recovering from an ankle injury two weeks prior to the game. He also expressed his excitement over the team’s performance as well as his own throughout the game.

“It was great, I was so anxious to play. The last two weeks have been the longest weeks of my life. It just felt great to get back on the field with my team,” said Allen. “It was awesome, the whole team played well. Our offensive line did a great job of giving me some good places to run, Kendall did great, that opened me up, so everything worked well.”

The second half began similar to the first half, consisting mostly of the teams just moving each other amidst the field, until Morris sprinted for his third touchdown of the night with three minutes left in the third quarter. Making a 79-yard dash to the end zone, Morris again scored more points for the Spartans. With the additional point made and completed, the score was 30-7 by the end of the third quarter.

Energy among fans on both sides of the field grew as both teams made beneficial plays for themselves in the fourth quarter. A minute into the fourth quarter, Allen had successful attempt to run the ball into the end zone, and was able to complete a 58 yard touchdown for the team, and the extra point was gained afterwards, making the score 37-7. The Knights then improved their performance and made a series of played that garnered them some points. With nine minutes left in the game, the Knights were able to hand the ball off to one of their players and managed to dash past the Spartan defense for a 70-yard touchdown run. The Knights continued their streak, making another touchdown after they made a 30-yard pass and then ran the ball into the end zone with two minutes left. Despite the progress the Knights made though, the Spartans managed to hold them off long enough to settle the game and win with a final score of 37-21.

After having their second win in a row, Allen expressed the team’s thoughts and feelings with the outcome of the game.

“Our expectations were to go in and dominate, and that’s pretty much what we did,” said Allen. “It started off a little sluggish, but we picked it up, and we’re really happy with how the game turned out.”

Still believing that there’s always room for improvement, offensive coordinator coach Jim Greco stated his thoughts about the team’s needed changes, but wasn’t dissatisfied with the team’s performance.

“We played hard, didn’t make a lot of mistakes. That’s what we have to do, clean up the mistakes, [and] try not to turn the ball over. We’ve been turning it over every game, and we went until the last four minutes until we turned ball over this game [this game], so that’s something we have to get corrected,” said Coach Greco. “But overall, [the team] played hard, and if we play hard and don’t make a lot of mistakes, we’re a pretty good football team.”

As far as prior preparation for the game against the Knights went, Coach Greco stated the team didn’t have to change much, and stated the team plans to keep to the strategy they’ve been using so far.

“We’ve got our base plays. There’s always going to be some adjustments as far as looking at what the other team does, and we’re going to counter what they do and make a few changes,” said Coach Greco. “But for the most part we’ve got our bread and butter, the things we’re going to stick to and live with.”

Concerning the school’s Homecoming game against the Timberland Wolves this Friday at 7:00 p.m, Coach Greco expressed his faith in the team and belief that they have what it takes to dominate.

“Next week, Homecoming game, it’s exciting. I mean everybody wants to win. It’s a lot more fun at Homecoming if you win the game,” said Coach Greco. “We start practice Monday. If they come out and work hard Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, I’ll feel confident going into the game that we can get the job done.”