WARRENSBURG -- In Week 1, the Blair Oaks Falcons won the battle in all three facets of the football game.
Quarterback Tyler Bax threw for three touchdowns and rushed for another score in his first varsity start, Joey Wilde returned a kickoff for a touchdown and Brady Kerperin returned an interception for a touchdown Friday night, leading the Falcons to a convincing 41-14 victory against the Maryville Spoofhounds in the Kickoff Classic at the University of Central Missouri’s Walton Stadium.
“I went in and told the players, tomorrow we’ll go in and watch film and we can find a lot of things we need to get better at,” Blair Oaks coach Ted LePage said. “Tonight, we’re going to enjoy this as a team win.”
Blair Oaks has won all six meetings in the Kickoff Classic against Maryville and improved its winning streak to seven games against the Spoofhounds.
The Falcons took advantage of a muffed punt return, recovering a fumble inside the Spoofhounds’ 10-yard line. Two plays later, Bax scored on a 7-yard keeper and Nolan Laughlin made the extra point, putting Blair Oaks in front 7-0 with 6:02 to play in the first quarter.
On the Falcons’ next possession, Bax completed an 18-yard slant pass on the left side to Wilde for a touchdown, doubling the lead to 14-0 less than two minutes later.
Maryville scored both touchdowns on fourth-down plays in the second quarter.
Jonah Long caught a 15-yard pass from Derek Quinlin on fourth-and-goal, capping a nine-play, 43-yard drive. On the Spoofhounds’ next possession, Delton Davis caught a 44-yard touchdown pass from Quinlin on fourth-and-5.
However, Blair Oaks never gave up the lead, because between those touchdown throws, Wilde returned a kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown, which kept the Falcons in front 20-14.
On the drive after Davis’ touchdown grab, Blair Oaks faced fourth-and-20 inside the Maryville 25-yard line. Bax dumped a screen pass to Eli Luckett, who followed his blockers and found the end zone for a 21-yard score, widening the gap to 27-14 with 3:17 to go before halftime.
On Maryville’s ensuing possession, Kerperin intercepted a pass from Quinlin and returned it 15 yards for a touchdown with less than 1:30 remaining in the half.
Blair Oaks went into halftime ahead 33-14. The Falcons lost a fumble at the goal line on their first possession of the second half, but on the next drive, Bax completed a 20-yard touchdown pass to Hayden Lackman, finishing off a 12-play, 77-yard drive. Bax added the 2-point conversion run to make the score 41-14 with :45 left in the third quarter.
Maryville possessed the ball four times in the second half, only managing five first downs.
Bax finished the game with 23 carries for 153 yards. He also completed 6-of-13 passes for 88 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions.
Wilde, who also returned the opening kickoff of the second half 71 yards before being brought down at the Maryville 15-yard line, led the receivers with four catches for 47 yards and a score. He also recorded an interception on defense in the first half.
“That was a great win,” Wilde said.
Quinlin completed 17-of-31 passes for 166 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions to lead Maryville. However, the Falcon defense held the Spoofhounds to minus-4 yards rushing, taking advantage of six sacks and a 25-yard loss on a fourth-down play.
Blair Oaks (1-0) hosts Lutheran North next Friday at the Falcon Athletic Complex. The Crusaders open their season today against Hazelwood Central at 7 p.m. at Missouri Baptist.
Maryville (0-1) plays next Friday at Harrisonville.