Messwood's great start leads to easy league victory over USM
Greyhounds host St. John's next
A great opening kickoff return by Louis Williams led to a quick score for the Shorewood/Messmer football team against Midwest Classic Conference and neighborhood rival University School on Friday and then the Greyhounds never looked back in a 41-6 victory.
The win was a badly needed balm for Messwood, which had lost a pair of tough nonconference games to open the campaign.
"I thought we played pretty well," coach Drake Zortman said. "We executed and we were pretty tight and we did a lot of things that we know we're capable of. It was a pretty clean game."
The Greyhounds (1-0 in league, 1-2 overall) now host St. John's Military Academy at 7 p.m. Friday in another Midwest Classic game. Zortman is hoping to be close to full strength for this game as an academic casualty is now eligible though he is concerned with a few nagging injuries that occurred against USM.
He said now that everyone is back in school, the team can settle into a good rhythm.
"Being in school provides a better structure and sense of discipline for a lot of our guys," he said. "It also helps get their academics in order which is very important."
Pattern forms early
The Greyhounds got some structure and set a pattern early Friday at USM, which is coached by Zortman's old friend Brian Sommers.
That opening kickoff by Williams set up a short drive that was primarily ground based, though big tight end Jonathan Carson caught a key first down-creating pass from Taylor Dennis. Williams eventually took it home from three yards out.
The rest of the first quarter was quiet but then Messwood exploded for 28 second-quarter points, as Andre Brown went in on a one-yard run, and Carson caught a 60-yard pass from Dennis for a score.
That play that Carson scored on was a thing of beauty, Zortman said.
"Taylor (Dennis) actually made that play special," Zortman said. "He evaded one guy, scrambled well and then made a nice throw across his body to Jonathan who was working against some linebackers. Then DeAngelo Stewart gave Jonathan a great block to set him free."
Other second quarter TDs went to Dennis on a 10-yard run and Dennis again on a one-yard effort.
It was 35-0 at the break. Michael Hendrix got the final Messwood score on a five-yard run in the third quarter.
Coach likes team intensity
Zortman was pleased with the intensity of the entire unit. He noted that the Wildcats were still throwing the ball late and trying to score and he had a big smile put on his face when freshman defensive back Grant Brown hit USM's best receiver with a hard, clean tackle to force an incompletion.
Dennis completed three of four passes for 92 yards and the score, while seven Greyhound backs had 10 or more yards, including Williams (seven carries for 81 yards), Stewart (11 for 78) and Brown (12 for 76).
Zortman was very pleased with how well his staff prepared the team this week, especially noting that the defensive backs really picked up the intensity in this game.
"We challenged the kids to be a little better this week and they responded," Zortman said.
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