Fort Osage has some new starters at some of the skill positions in 2017.
But the Indians also have a senior-laden offensive line, which made the job of their first-year starting running backs much easier.
The Indians rushed for 302 of their 384 total yards and the defense stymied the Truman offense in a 56-7 blowout Friday at Truman High School.
First-year starter Brandon Gregory had a breakout showing against the rival Patriots (0-2), carrying the ball 13 times for 131 yards and one score. Fellow newcomer Kaia Tupinio had 60 yards on eight totes and scored once.
Gregory gave all the credit to his offensive line for his big game.
“The offensive line went where they were supposed to be,” Gregory said. “I was able to fit where they blocked and I was able to make it happen.
“(Playing varsity) a new experience. It’s not like JV or C team. It’s a lot of hitting and flying around and you have to get used to it.”
Fort Osage defensive lineman Isaiah Iloilo, a running back since his freshman season, gave his stamp of approval to the team’s new ball carriers.
“I am proud of the way they handled it tonight,” he said. “They work so hard in practice and did such a good job.”
Indians quarterback Ty Baker also got in on the act. He was 7-for-13 passing for 82 yards and two scores. He helped keep the Truman defense honest by completing some passes downfield.
“You can see it every game, he’s getting better,” Fort Osage head coach Brock Bult said of Baker. “He’s getting more and more confident every snap.”
The varsity defense was equally responsible for Fort’s win. It held Truman’s varsity offense to just 194 total yards, had five sacks and an interception returned for a touchdown from defensive back Ben Long early in the third period.
“The defense did so well tonight, I am very proud of them,” said Iloilo, who had a sack in his first season as a defensive tackle. “There are a couple of mistakes we had that we’ll fix later.
“It’s a pretty unique experience (being on defense). The past few years I’ve been playing tailback. But playing defensive line is different but I love it.”