Warrensburg drops second straight with loss to Odessa

Warrensburg junior quarterback Eli Nappe drops back to pass in the first half of the Tigers 52-6 loss to Odessa on Friday, Oct. 11, at Walton Stadium.

WARRENSBURG — History repeated itself on Friday, Oct. 11.

Warrensburg stayed with Class 3 No. 2 Odessa for a quarter and a half before an injury to senior Miles Moore and the dominant Bulldog offense put the game out of reach by halftime in a near duplication of the two teams 2018 meeting.

The 2019 result was nearly the same as it was a year ago, a 52-6 loss for Warrensburg — the Tigers second straight.

“We knew coming into this thing that they were going to be a notch above anybody that we had seen to this point this year and they were an impressive group,” Warrensburg coach Chris Cavanah said.

Warrensburg was unable to contain Odessa’s leading rusher Luke Malizzi, who ran for six of the Bulldogs eight scores on the night.

Touchdown runs of 54 and 25 yards by the senior put Odessa up 14-0 at the three minutes, 31 seconds mark of first quarter. Moore was injured during the second touchdown run and did not return. The senior was also injured in last year’s meeting.

Following the second touchdown run, the Tigers put together their only scoring drive of the game, converting a pair of fourth downs to keep the drive alive. The second fourth down conversion — a 27-yard pass from Eli Nappe to Shelby Pittsenbarger — set up a one-yard leap by Nappe to bring Warrensburg within eight, 14-6, after a blocked point after attempt.

Malizzi scored three more times in the second quarter, sending Warrensburg into the break down 35-6.

Odessa scored twice in the second half before the Warrensburg offense saw the field with Malizzi capping off his night with his sixth touchdown.

The Bulldogs recovered the ensuing onside kick and needed just one play to initiate the running clock. Josey Meierarend hit Carter Westerhold for a 46-yard score and a 48-6 lead.

Odessa’s second-unit added a score late in the fourth quarter with Garrett Bayless finding Blake Heitman for a 38-yard score.

Odessa held Warrensburg to 103 yards of total offense — 18 yards coming on the ground and 85 through the air.

Nappe threw a season-high 24 passes, completing 10 for 85 yards.

“Offensively, we threw the ball well,” Cavanah said. “I thought Eli threw the ball really, really well. Had some drops, but that was a positive that we could take from it.”

The loss moves Warrensburg to 5-2 on the season and 1-2 in MRVC West play with two games remaining.

The Tigers remain atop the Class 4 District 7 points standings with 38.7 points, but now only lead Grain Valley by 4.22 points for the top spot.

“I told the guys after the game that you have to make a choice to come back next week and be ready to work,” Cavanah said. “We’ve got to put the last two weeks behind us, they haven’t been good, but I believe in our guys. They are a resilient bunch and I think they’ll be ready to go next week and we’ve got two games to wrap up the regular season that are going to be tough regular season games.”

Warrensburg will be on the road for the final two weeks of the regular season, traveling to Excelsior Springs at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 18. Excelsior Springs (5-2, 1-2) is coming off a 35-22 win over Oak Grove.

Sports Editor Randy Speer can be reached by emailing randy.speer@dsjnow.com, by calling (660) 747-8123 or on Twitter at @RandySpeer_DSJ.

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