Harrisonville still king of the MRVC West hill
By Chad Grammar PrepsKC staff writer
Oak Grove came in ready to prove they were for real and delivered. Harrisonville however proved they were still the class of the Missouri River Valley Conference West with a 24-14 win over the Panthers.
With the victory the Wildcats extended their Conference Winning streak to 45 and won a share of a 10th consecutive conference title. Harrisonville did it by shutting down the Oak Grove running game and using a potent running attack themselves.
The Wildcats started off fast with a quick strike four play drive keyed by a 35-yard John Fuller run followed by a Mason Saffles 29-yard touchdown run. With the score Harrisonville made it 7-0 and looked to take the wind out of the Oak Grove sails. Oak Grove had other thoughts though.
Oak Grove proceeded to march 18 plays and chew up 10 minutes of clock scoring on an Aaron Graham 2-yard touchdown. With the score and failed conversion the Wildcats held a 7-6 lead. That’s when the Harrisonville defense took over. They did it by slowing down the Panther running game and forcing them to pass.
By forcing the Oak Grove offense to pass, Harrisonville caused fits for the Panthers living in the backfield and racking up sacks and pressuring the quarterback all night. The Wildcats racked up four sacks and countless quarterback pressures.
While the Wildcats defense was stifling, running back John Fuller and the Wildcats continued to drive and put points on the board and building a 24-6 fourth-quarter lead. It wasn’t until 4 minutes left in the game when Aaron Graham sprinted to the end zone from 34 yards out did Oak Grove cut it to 24-14.
It was too little to late though for the Panthers as John Fuller and company ran out the clock and sealed the 24-14 victory. Fuller finished with 160 yards and two TDs to pace the Wildcats.
On the Defensive side of the ball the Wildcats held Oak Grove in check with a swarming defense led by Kansas State signee Travis Britz and junior linebacker PJ Patton who each had eight tackles. In all Harrisonville had five players with seven tackles proving they are a great team defense, who looks to lead them to the postseason.
Though Harrisonville won the game, Oak Grove served notice that they are a team to be reckoned with for years to come in the MRVC West. With Coach Richard at the helm and many underclassmen in the fold the Panthers look to rush their way to the top of the MRVC. The Wildcats on the other hand proved they are still the king of the MRVC West until someone can knock them off. That should make for some interesting football in the MRVC over the next several years.
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