The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

October 8, 2012

McAuley gains 639 yards in 54-30 victory over Lockwood

By Jim Henry
Globe Sports Editor

— McAuley Catholic quarterback Mitch Wear, after being slowed by an ankle injury in recent games, returned to full-time duty on Friday night.

And the Warrior offense responded with its second 600-yard output of the season.

Wear threw for 421 yards and five touchdowns as the Warriors outscored Lockwood 54-30 at Fred G. Hughes Stadium.

Wear, 170-pound senior, completed 22 of 33 passes, and according to the Warriors’ statistics, six of the 11 incomplete passes were on target but dropped by the receiver. Wear also threw one interception.

“Mitch played about 11⁄2 quarters the previous week, and he was able to practice all of last week,” Warriors coach Brenden Gubera said. “He brings leadership to the table. A lot of our players have played with Mitch for three years now, some of them four years. They believe in Mitch and know Mitch will get the job done.

“Mitch adds a vertical threat. He can throw 45 to 50 yards on a rope and put it right where he wants it to go.”

The Warriors (4-3), ahead 18-12 at halftime, registered the first three scores of the second half as Cole Lowry scored on a six-yard run, Shaw Robertson caught a 40-yard strike from Wear and Anthony Bertoncino scored from the 1.

Wear added three TD tosses in the fourth period — 25 yards to Robertson, 64 yards to Lowry and 43 yards to Greg Carney.

Wear also scored on a four-yard run in the first quarter and threw a four-yard pass to Carney in the second period. Lowry scored on a three-yard run in the second quarter.

Robertson finished with nine catches for 167 yards. The Warriors’ receiving corps also included Collin Hughes (four for 90 yards), Carney (six for 75) and Lowry (two for 89).

“McAuley’s receivers and quarterback are really good, and we knew that going in,” Lockwood coach Clay Lasater said. “We knew we would have to play well offensively to match them scoring-wise because they are tough to stop. When you turn the ball over as many times as we did, we couldn’t keep up with the scoring.”

The Tigers (3-4) moved inside the McAuley 10 on their first two possessions but came away empty both times.

“We had a first down at the 6 and fumbled,” Lasater said. “The next time we fumbled as we were falling on the 1-yard line. If we had scored those two times, we’d be up 14-0 early in the game.

“We had a bad snap that went past midfield to end our third drive. We were in a hole because we were stopped by our own mistakes. You can’t put yourself down two or three scores against a team that good.”

Lockwood quarterback Isaac Lasater scored on a two-yard run in the first quarter, a one-yard run in the fourth quarter, and he hit Elijah Pitts with a five-yard scoring pass in the fourth quarter. Pitts and Brent Chambers also scored on two-yard runs.

“We gave them a lot of short fields because Lockwood returned three kickoffs inside our 10-yard line,” Gubera said. “Our defense actually played better this week.”

“We had a lot of kickoff return yards, but we get caught from behind,” Coach Lasater said.

“We knew getting past Lockwood would be no easy task because Lockwood is a solid football team,” Gubera said. “Our kids’ heads were pretty low after the Diamond game, but they had a good week of practice and a good showing Friday night.”

An oddity in Friday’s game: The Warriors and Tigers combined to miss all conversion attempts — kick, run or pass — after every one of the 14 touchdowns.

The Warriors travel to Pierce City this Friday night while Lockwood has a home game against Diamond.