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A lightning fast start helped Maryville overcome Savannah by a score of 39-17 on Friday at Savannah High School, as the Spoofhounds retained the Highway 71 trophy and coach Matt Webb retained his perfect record against the Savages.

Maryville (5-3) running back Trey Houchin touched on how it’s been a focal point in practice to start games better, as they have each of the past two weeks.

“Coach (Webb) has been on us all week about how we need to do better in the first half because we haven’t been in past weeks,” Houchin said. “So coming out with a focused start, getting us ready, we showed out for the rest of the game.”

Though the Spoofhounds haven’t lost to Savannah (4-2) since the 2011 season, Houchin still has a special place in his heart for a win over their conference rival.

“This game always means a lot for us, coming out with a win that’s what we want to do. Coming in and getting a win felt great.”

On just the second play from scrimmage in the first quarter, Maryville running back Connor Weiss exploded on a sweep and ran 57 yards for the first touchdown of the game to put Savannah in an immediate deficit. It was his first of three touchdowns, scoring a hat trick in the first half alone.

Leading 19-0 with five minutes still remaining in the quarter, the Savages were able to get their footing and engineer a scoring drive. Riding standout running back Evan Yount, Savannah got down to the 1-yard line and sophomore signal caller Ethan Dudeck called his own number for Savannah’s first score on the day with two minutes remaining in the first period.

The Savages flirted with a comeback multiple times throughout the game, cutting the deficit to two scores or making big plays on defense before sputtering offensively on the following drive.

Part of the reason why the Savages were never able to put it together was an unwelcome rotation at the quarterback position. Both Dudeck and junior Matt Collier suffered injuries that caused them to miss time, forcing the Savages to lean on a third quarterback, junior Tyson Hilsabeck, for part of the fourth quarter.

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