The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

High School Sports

August 29, 2013

Warriors' passing attack to face Sarcoxie's power

Sarcoxie will bring its power running game into the Bears’ season-opening matchup against McAuley Catholic at 7 p.m. today at Fred G. Hughes Stadium.

Sarcoxie, 8-3, placed second in the Spring River Valley Conference last season and has four seniors on an offensive line that is designed to control the line of scrimmage.

“There’s a contrast in styles, but both of us are going to spread the ball around to different people and not just one person,” said Sarcoxie head coach Luke Rader.

“I think it will be a pretty competitive football game,” he said. “It will probably come down to a few plays as to who comes out on top.”

McAuley, 6-4 a year ago, started last season with a 46-34 loss at Sarcoxie in a game that Sarcoxie dominated in the first half, then withstood McAuley’s comeback attempt through the air in the second half.

“The bottom line is they’re a solid Class 2 football team,” said McAuley Catholic head coach Brenden Gubera. “You just hope you play well and have a chance at the end.”

McAuley’s offensive weapons begin with three senior receivers — Cole Lowry, Greg Carney and tight end Collin Hughes, along with junior receiver Lathan Vlasin.

Quarterback Adam Robertson, a junior, will line up with junior running back Andrew Castillo in the backfield.

“They’re a scary football team,” Rader said. “They have a lot of athletes who are explosive.

“We’re going to have to find a way to neutralize their athletic ability. They have some pretty special kids at the skill positions. McAuley is going to play a full four quarters and they’re going to fight us for it. We know that and our kids know it.”

The Bears’ running game will involve senior backs Jade Bloss and Conor Jones, who moved from quarterback last season to running back. Gavin Currey, a junior, takes over at quarterback behind a solid offensive line.

“They’re going to be a well-oiled machine,” Gubera said. “We’re going to have to go out and play well.

“Playing in the trenches is about technique and leverage,” he said. “We don’t look at just the Sarcoxie game, we look at the whole season. We feel as a coaching staff, despite the fact that we’re freshman, sophomore and junior dominant, we feel right now we’re better off than we were last year.

“A lot of people feel we’re overmatched. We feel like we have a point to prove. We want to prove to the naysayers and doubters about our program.”

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