Smithville blanks Pleasant Hill in Smith's return
By Joe Caronia PrepsKC Staff Writer
The dog days of summer ended and the first week of high school football kicked off in Smithville as the Smithville Warriors welcomed the Pleasant Hill Roosters.
In many ways it was a homecoming game as long time Head Coach Greg Smith was on the visitors sideline after being in the man in charge of the Warriors for twelve years. The welcome back included a plaque of thanks and a round of applause from the Warriors fans. Even the PA announcer wished him good luck, “Next week”. The welcome back ended quickly as a swarming Warriors defense shutout the visiting Roosters in route to 28-0 victory.
In the first half, first year Head Coach Jason Ambroson watched his Warrior defense made life tough for Rooster quarterback Cameron Haws. The first score of the game was a Safety as the snap went through Haws legs and Matthew Bellm covered up Haws in the end zone.
Midway through the 1st quarter after a bad snap forced Rooster punter Levi Hayes to try to scramble and pick up the first down, resulting in a short field for the Warriors. Senior quarterback Mitchell Orr scored the game’s first touchdown on a 2 yard keeper. Sam Aviles converted the PAT making the score 9-0.
The Warriors defense was not done putting points up. A swarming pass rush forced Haws into intentional grounding in the end zone for the Warriors second Safety of the game.
The first half scoring was completed when Aviles converted a 33 yard field. The Warriors went to the half up 14 -0.
Ambroson's defense gave up some yards toward the end of the half, he talked about his half time adjustments.
“Their quarterback was scrambling and we did not maintain the edge,” Ambroson said. “But we came back in the second half, we learned we talked about it, we corrected it. There wasn’t a lot of screaming and yelling, we just talked about it moving forward, and the kids did a great job.”
In the third quarter after the Warriors defense made the Roosters punt from deep in their own territory. Orr scored again on a sneak from the 1 yard line. The key play in the drive was 23-yard pass from Orr to Tanner Hartman. Orr gave credit for his receivers making plays, “We have some tall receivers and we have some fast receivers, and that works out well for us.”
The final score of the game came on a 1 yard plunge from Zach Granger. Aviles converted the kick for the last point of the game.
When asked about his first victory in Smithville, Ambroson, quickly gave credit to his team.
“I’m just happy for the kids, this is a really good group of kids,” Ambroson said. “They have embraced me, this whole town has embraced me, and my family and the kids did a great job and I’m glad for them.”
Smithville will try to stay undefeated as they travel to Park Hill to play the Trojans. Pleasant Hill will have their first home game as they host the Warrensburg Tigers.
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