Not much went wrong for the Owensboro football team as they rolled their way to a dominant 40-0 win over crosstown rival Apollo at home Friday night.
The Red Devils (6-2, 3-0 District 1) scored early and often, but head coach Jay Fallin was just as impressed with their ability to shut down the offense of the Eagles (4-4, 0-3 District 1).
“Defensively, I’m really pleased with the effort,” Fallin said. “Any time you shut out a good team and limit what success they have on offense, you’re obviously pleased with the defensive performance.”
Owensboro quarterback Will Warren did throw two interceptions, but otherwise had another strong outing. He spread the wealth around, but receiver Tyren Hayden benefited the most with three touchdowns.
The only rushing score of the night came on the opening drive for the Devils. After working their way down the field, Tre Green was able to run it up the middle for a 3-yard touchdown. From there, Warren and his receivers dominated the rest of the night.
“The offensive coaches and the guys on offense are doing a great job of coming to practice every single day and working hard,” Fallin said. “They’re studying film and being prepared for their opponents. We have athletes who can catch the ball, a seasoned quarterback in Will and a great offensive line who’s giving him time to throw. If we can get them in good situations, it’s going to be very difficult for anybody to defend.”
The next three scores came from Warren-to-Hayden connections. Facing 4th-and-goal from the 24, Warren hit Hayden at the goal line in the middle of the field for his first touchdown.
A few minutes later, the teams traded interceptions to set up another OHS score. Hayden caught a 3-yard screen pass and bounced off a defender for an easy touchdown. The Eagles failed to convert fourth down on the following possession, and Hayden capped off his big night with a quick 28-yard score.
On the other side of the ball, the Eagles had a hard time picking up first downs. They struggled to protect the quarterback, gave up numerous sacks and failed to convert a handful of fourth downs.
The biggest play for Apollo was a 45-yard by Mariano McKenzie that got them inside the 10-yard line near the end of the first quarter. The Eagles went backwards from there, and a sack on 4th-and-goal by Trace Grenier ended the drive.
Fallin said he wasn’t surprised by his defense, and they’ve put in countless hours to improve.
“All year, we felt like our defensive line was capable of that performance,” he said. “We’ve been working towards it. Defensive line is one of the most taxing positions on the field. It takes a great deal of effort, and it’s exhausting.”
The Devils added two touchdowns in the second half and started a running clock in the third quarter. Monte Owsley caught a short pass and broke free for an 81-yard score to start the third, and Treyvon Tinsley hauled in a 56-yard catch on the next OHS possession to end all scoring.
After back-to-back losses earlier in the season, Owensboro has put together four consecutive dominant wins. Gaining more experience has helped the team get into top form.
“Some early season losses highlighted some things we weren’t doing the way they needed to be done,” Fallin said. “We’re still young. We only have one senior on defense. At this point in the season, our juniors are playing like seniors. It’s just a product of the hard work of the kids.”
Both teams now head into the final week of district play. Owensboro stays at home to play Graves County (4-4, 3-0 District 1) in a battle for first place in the district. Apollo returns home to play Marshall County (3-5, 0-3) for a game that will determine who gets the last playoff spot.