If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
By David Sharp
Collin Hayes threw four touchdown passes and ran for another score, leading Knox County (3-7) to a 48-6 win over Northwest of Hughesville in District 2 play. The October 28, 2022 contest at Knox County advanced the Eagles into the eighth and final spot in their 8-Man Football District.
Knox County will take on top seeded St. Paul Lutheran of Concordia (7-2) in the first round of District play on Friday, November 4, 2022 at 7PM. The Saints defeated Knox County by a 56-6 final score on October 14, 2022 at Concordia during regular season play.
The Eagle’s week 10 contest with NW Hughesville was one of two District 2 play in games held October 28. Concordia High School defeated Keytesville (0-10) by a 66-22 final score in the other qualification game.
Second seeded North Shelby (7-2) will host Concordia (4-6) on November 4. Third seeded Sweet Springs (5-4) hosts Norborne (4-5). Fourth seeded Santa Fe hosts fifth seeded Schuyler County in the remaining District 2 game this week.
Santa Fe and Schuyler County enter their district contest with identical 4-5 records.
Despite having several players unavailable due to injury, Knox County probably played their best all around game of the season against Northwest Hughesville.
The Eagles took the lead barely a minute into the contest. Donovan Dooley caught a 45 yard pass from Collin Hayes for a touchdown with 11:01 to play in the first quarter. Collin Hayes passed to Rylan Roberts for the two point conversion and an 8-0 lead.
Defenses locked down, forcing the teams to turn the ball over on downs during their next three straight drives. Rylan Roberts snapped that streak with a pass interception on the Knox County 24 yard line.
The Mustang defense forced a punt. Alious Hunolt thwarted a NW Hughesville fake punt with a tackle on the Mustang 18 yard line. Keaton Strange caught an 18 yard touchdown pass from Collin Hayes with 7:20 to play in the first half for a 16-0 lead. Joey Davis caught a two point pass from Hayes.
The fake punt stop and following touchdown pass was the first of four decisive second quarter touchdowns. Collin Hayes scored on a nine yard run with 4:10 to play. The two point pass made the score 24-0 in favor of the home team.
Reice Miller recovered a fumble, setting up a 15 yard touchdown pass from Hayes to Reice Miller with 3:57 to play in the second quarter. Collin Hayes passed to Rylan Roberts for the two point conversion and a 32-0 lead.
Rylan Roberts hauled in a 13 yard pass from Collin Hayes for a 40-0 lead with 59 seconds to play in the first half. The Eagles held off a Mustang threat late in the half for a 40-0 halftime lead.
Knox County held a 10-3 first half first down advantage. The Eagles passed for 118 yards and four touchdowns in the opening two periods. Knox County held the Mustangs to 20-29 yards rushing in the first half and 15 passing yards.
Knox County rushed 17 times for 84 first half yards unofficially. The Eagles held a 202-44 advantage in total yards from scrimmage in the first half.
The second half was played with the clock running by the Missouri Mercy Rule. Rylan Roberts caught a touchdown pass from Collin Hayes with 3:55 remaining in the third quarter. Hayes passed to Roberts for the two point conversion and a 48-0 lead.
Dane Palmer scored the lone NW Hughesville touchdown with 1:18 remaining in the third quarter. The two point pass failed, leaving the score at 48-6 in favor of Knox County.
Rylan Roberts intercepted a pass in the closing moments of the contest. The Eagles finished with 24 carries for 71 yards rushing. Reice Miller led the way with two carries for 27 yards.
Donovan Dooley had a strong start, going 3-22 rushing along with his 45 yard touchdown catch before leaving the contest due to injury during the first half.
Collin Hayes was 10-20 passing for 152 yards and four touchdowns. The Eagles had a 223-100 yard edge in total yards from scrimmage. Rylan Roberts had two catches for 47 yards and two scores. Keaton Strange was 3-36 receiving for a touchdown.
Reice Miller had two catches for 20 yards and a touchdown. Knox County had a strong night defensively. Rylan Roberts intercepted two Dane Palmer passes. Reice Miller had an interception and a fumble recovery.
Landon McCarty and Alious Hunolt had fumble recoveries. Hunolt had at least four tackles for losses from the defensive line position.
Dane Palmer led NW Hughesville in rushing with eight carries for 47 yards and a touchdown. The Mustangs were 28-67 yards rushing as a team. Dane Palmer was 5-16 for 33 yards passing and three interceptions against.
Nathan Boss caught three Mustang passes for 28 yards. The Mustangs had eight penalties for 65 yards. Knox County was flagged five times for 40 yards.
“We were our worst enemy on offense,” NW Hughesville coach Caleb Crooker. “Our youth was showing. I felt like we were playing hard. Running hard. We couldn’t move the ball consistently and put points on the board.”
“You just can’t keep relying on the defense to stop them. I felt like Knox County got in a rhythm where they threw the ball through the air,” Caleb Crooker said. “(Rylan Roberts) did a nice job. He caught a lot of big passes.”
“(Donovan Dooley) made some big plays. I hope he’s not hurt too badly,” Caleb Crooker said. “(Keaton Strange) hit us with a wheel route early. We didn’t match up really well.”
“With all that aside, I was proud of the boys,” Caleb Crooker said. “They got down 40-0.They came out and fought in the second half. It was 8-6 in the second half. I’m just proud of our seniors. I’m going to miss those guys.”
“Knox County has a nice place. They have a good facility. They have always treated us right. We appreciate it. They have always had food for us on our two long road trips. That’s great,” Coach Crooker said. “We wish them the best of luck moving on.”
“I thought our defense flew around tonight,” Knox County coach Bruce Vannoy said. “It was fun to watch them play. They tried to run the ball early. We were able to hit our gaps and make some plays behind the line of scrimmage.”
“I thought our front six played lights out. Our defensive backs have come a long way this year,” Coach Vannoy said. “We were a little slow the first quarter. We had to get some things figured out with some guys moving around.”
“We were down to one running back who has practiced at running back this season,” Bruce Vannoy said of the Eagle injury situation. “Robert Dooley moved back to middle linebacker in the second half and did a pretty good job of it.”
“You always say next man up mentality, but some of those guys got thrown in there out of the blue. We were a little light this week. The guys just kept rolling with the punches.”
“Collin (Hayes) has been a trooper all year. He stuck in that pocket and took some shots,” Coach Vannoy said. “He continued to deliver some beautiful balls and give our guys a chance to go make plays.”
I’m proud of the way they finished.”