Football

High school football Game of the Week: West Plains at Glendale

Glendale will try to turn a red hot start into a sign of sustained improvement Friday night against West Plains.

News-Leader Game of the Week brought to you by Murney Associates, Realtors

News-Leader Game of the Week brought to you by Murney Associates, Realtors

The high school football matchup between the Falcons (2-0) and the West Plains Zizzers (1-1) has been selected as the News-Leader Game of the Week presented by Murney Associates, Realtors. The action begins Friday at 7 p.m. at Glendale’s Lowe Stadium.

Glendale’s 61-31 win at Joplin and its 53-8 win last week at Hillcrest have Falcons fans hopeful that the program has turned a corner as it last celebrated a winning season in 2011.

West Plains comes off a 54-41 loss to Camdenton, and will aim to beat Glendale for a fourth consecutive year. Glendale coach Mike Mauk, now in his third season at Glendale, noted that the Zizzers beat the Falcons 71-58 last year and 53-48 in 2014.

“We’ve had a hard time defending their offense. It’s going to be a tremendous challenge for us this year,” Mauk said. “We’re excited about the game. It’s our first home game, so we’re looking forward to that.”

The 45-point win at Hillcrest marks the largest margin of victory Glendale has had in Mauk’s tenure as coach.

“Our kids have worked hard. I don’t know that we’re up there with the better teams in our league yet, but we’re anxious to find out,” Mauk said. “We’ve got to continue to find a way to improve and get better.”

Glendale wide receiver Von Oeser (8) catches a touchdown pass between two Hillcrest defenders.

Glendale wide receiver Von Oeser (8) catches a touchdown pass between two Hillcrest defenders.

Glendale’s defense will take its home field for the first time in 2016 against a West Plains offense led by running back Keegan Hoopes. The senior rushed for 22 touchdowns and more than 1,400 yards a season ago.

Glendale is known for stacking up crazy amounts of passing yards. Junior quarterback Alex Huston passed for 5,608 yards and 69 touchdowns last season. In the first two games of this year, he put up 1,032 yards passing and 11 touchdowns.

Huston left an impression on Hillcrest coach John Beckham, who said there is more to Huston than being the product of Glendale’s all-pass system. Huston genuinely throws an accurate ball with consistency, Beckham said.

“They see (Huston’s) numbers in the paper. It’s like Madden, some sort of video game, but this kid can sling the rock,” Beckham said. “His accuracy was really impressive.”

News-Leader Game of the Week

Presented by Murney Associates, Realtors

West Plains (1-1) at Glendale (2-0)

Friday, Sept. 2, 7 p.m.

Lowe Stadium, Glendale High School

2727 S Ingram Mill Road, Springfield

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