By JASON STRICKLAND (WARRENSBURG, Mo., digitalBURG) —
The combined score of the first two games of Warrensburg Tiger football: 76-7.
The Tigers followed up a 42-0 loss at Excelsior Springs last week with a 34-7 loss in Friday’s home opener against Pleasant Hill (1-1).
“We have a bunch of guys that just haven’t played a lot of football,” said head coach Scott Grinde. “I’m not saying they don’t necessarily know how to win, but I’m not sure they do either.”
Warrensburg’s defense had issues stopping the Pleasant Hill Roosters running attack during the rainy game at Tigers Stadium, as junior Brandon Cassity ran for 139 yards and two touchdowns off 22 carries.
“The conditions made it rough but that’s not an excuse,” Grinde said. “They played in the same stuff we did.”
Junior fullback Gage Neill added 54 yards and two touchdowns off 13 carries for the Roosters.
It was a similar story last week as the Tigers allowed 197 yards rushing at Excelsior Springs.
The Warrensburg offense struggled as well, as senior quarterback Brett Marr threw for 84 yards off 6-of-10 passing. However, Marr did complete a 35-yard pass on a fourth-and-20 before running it in for a touchdown from 15 yards out with 4:30 left in the game.
“He (Marr) was a great leader on that drive,” Grinde said. “I just would like for that to happen a little earlier in games.”
Starting sophomore running back Zach Nowlin only managed 15 yards on seven carries. Senior Logan Means came in at running back, gaining 40 yards off 10 carries.
Warrensburg turned the ball over several times as well, including two fumbles and a blocked punt.
“I’m big believer that’s the number one stat in football,” Grinde said. “We just can’t do that and expect to win.”
Grinde and the Tigers will watch the film to learn where and how to improve going into Grain Valley (0-2) next Friday.
“I do think there were some positive things, obviously I’ve got to watch the film,” Grinde said. “I told our kids that we’ve got to keep competing. We can’t ever give up and let that happen. That’s a character check for us. No, it’s not the result we wanted. I just hope that when we watch it we can say, ‘We did get a little bit better.’”