Last season was one that many North Andrew fans would like to forget. After finishing second in state the previous season, the Cardinals suffered through a lot of injuries and finished the season 6-5. After losing to Platte Valley in Districts, Coach Dwayne Williams told the players that he know how to fix it, if they were willing to listen to him.
The Cardinal players were on a mission this summer. They spent extra time in the weight room to focus on strength and conditioning. They knew that if they could stay healthy, that they had the talent to compete for a state championship.
North Andrew came into the game 12-0 with 6 of those wins over Top 10 opponents. #2 Archie, who was also 12-0, was the only team that stood in their way between another trip back to the state championship game. The Cardinals received the ball first. Hayden Ecker had 46 yards on a 51-yard drive, with 39 on the ground. Andrew Goff ran it in from 1 yard out. A Goff conversion made it 8-0 North Andrew with 8:30 left in the 1st quarter.
Archie would answer quickly with 7:07 left when Briar McIntire scampered from 28 yards out. After the conversion, it was tied at 8. After both teams failed to score on their next drives, North Andrew started to take control. They scored on their next three possessions while stopping Archie. The first two were touchdown runs from Ecker from 13 and 39 yards. Linville then added an 18-yard TD with 3:48 left in the 2nd quarter to put North Andrew up 30-8. Archie would add a late touchdown when McIntire scored from 30 yards. North Andrew would lead 30-14 at the half.
Archie got the ball first in the 2nd half, but after getting into North Andrew territory, three incomplete passes by McIntire stalled the drive. North Andrew would take advantage when Linville called his own number for a 16-yard TD to put the Cardinals up 38-14. Archie would answer on the next drive, when McIntire connected with Brock Smith on a 7-yard TD. But Archie could not stop the Cardinals and especially Ecker. Ecker scored 3 more times in the 4th quarter, with touchdown runs of 16, 11 and 8 yards to make it a final score of 60-22.
North Andrew will play Thursday night in Columbia against the winner of the Bishop LeBlond vs. Sweet Springs game.
Here is postgame audio with Clifton Grooms of the Cliff Notes Podcast along with my interview with Coach Dwayne Williams:
Braxon Linville, 1-4, 7 yards, 1 Int
Hayden Ecker, 241 yards, 5 TD
Braxon Linville, 103 yards, 2 TD
Andrew Goff, 15 yards, 1 TD
Hayden Ecker, 7 yards
366 Total Yards, 359 Rushing Yards, 7 Receiving Yards
Briar McIntire, 13-26 yards, 1 TD, 1 Int
Briar McIntire, 135 yards, 2 TD
Hunter Sutton, 18 yards
Grady Debrick, - 16 yards
Grady Debrick, 45 yards
Brock Smith, 37 yards, 1 TD
Hunter Sutton, 13 yards
232 Total Yards, 137 Rushing Yards, 95 Receiving Yards
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