CLINTON — Six offensive drives and a quarter and a half of work was all the Warrensburg starting units needed in their final tune-up before starting conference play.
The Tigers scored four times in the first quarter en route to a 48-12 win over Clinton on Friday, Sept. 20, in the final nonconference game of the year.
“We came down here and accomplished what we needed to do,” Warrensburg coach Chris Cavanah said. “Our varsity kids came out and put the game away early and that is what we wanted to do.”
The Tigers (4-0) made use of a bevy of their backs to score on each of their first six possessions.
Warrensburg marched down the field on the opening possession with senior Corbin Cowick, who carried the ball seven times for 47 yards, capping off the first drive, muscling his way to a four-yard score at the nine minutes, 23 seconds mark of the first quarter.
Junior Chase Rylander added a 11-yard touchdown run three minutes later to give Warrensburg a 14-0 cushion.
Junior quarterback Eli Nappe connected with senior Miles Moore on a 70-yard catch-and-run score with 3:53 left in the quarter.
Warrensburg finished off the first 12 minutes of game action with its third rushing touchdown of the night.
Senior Cory Conley, primarily a defensive back for the Tigers, saw action on the other side of the ball, going in untouched from a yard out to set the score at 28-0 with 51.9 seconds left in the frame. Conley ran the ball three times for 16 yards and caught two passes 19 yards, scoring his first varsity touchdown.
The night was marked with the Tigers breaking out of their usual Friday night routine with a heavier dose of passing to go along with multiple different running backs — eight different players carried the ball, racking up 282 yards on the ground.
“We wanted to do a few things that we hadn’t done to this point,” Cavanah said. “We’ve got a lot of stuff that we haven’t shown and we wanted to do things a little different for various reasons and put some of that on film.”
The Tigers tacked on two more scores before the halftime intermission. Moore took a direct snap two yards for a 35-0 lead — a 38-yard completion from Nappe to Zack Munsterman set up the score.
Rylander matched Moore by finding the end zone for the second time on the night with a six-yard run to set the halftime score at 42-0. The junior was the team’s leading rusher with 80 yards on seven carries. Moore totaled 139 yards of total offense with five carries for 69 yards and his one touchdown reception for 70 yards.
Nappe completed four passes for 113 yards.
The Warrensburg starting defense held Clinton to just four yards of total offense and three first downs, one coming by penalty, in the first half. A sack by Cal Taylor in the first quarter highlighted the stout defensive effort from the Tigers.
Clinton (0-4) scored the lone touchdown of the third quarter at the 2:30 mark as J.P. Abernathy scored on a 10-yard sweep, marking the first time the Cardinals had found the endzone in 2019.
Abernathy would go on to score the Cardinals second touchdown in the closing seconds of the game on a 70-yard catch-and-run score.
Warrensburg mixed in it second unit beginning in the second quarter and went all the way through its depth chart for the second-straight week.
“Friday night lights shine a little brighter than Monday nights and I am big believer that if you can get your kids time on a Friday, they are going to benefit from it,” Cavanah said. “We got everybody in and that is a great team effort.”
Sophomore Luke Othic made the most of his second-straight varsity appearance, scoring Warrensburg’s lone second half touchdown with a 14-yard run.
“He has only played quarterback since the start of August practice, so I think he has done a great job for somebody who is young and new to the position,” Cavanah said.
Othic has scored in back-to-back games and tallied 46 yards on four carries while also completing a pass for seven yards to go along with an interception in the third quarter.
Warrensburg now embarks on the Missouri River Valley West gauntlet, starting at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 27, at Pleasant Hill.
Warrensburg went 2-3 in MRVC play last season, suffering a 42-33 loss to the Roosters at home in the Tigers first game in their then-new conference.
Pleasant Hill sits at 0-4 on the season following a 48-7 loss to Grandview in week four.