KEARNEY — The Warriors are firing on all cylinders.
Smithville High School marched into Kearney, shutting out their Suburban Blue Conference rival 35-0 to improve to 3-0 on the year.
Smithville junior quarterback Andrew Hedgecorth threw for a pair of touchdowns and carried one more into the end zone during the Friday, Sept. 10 romp.
“He is great,” senior wideout Rhett Foster said of his QB. “He can put it anywhere he wants. When it is a tight spot it is always there.”
Hedgecorth went 18 of 26 through the air for 252 yards with zero interceptions.
The Warriors needed only three minutes to put up the game’s first points after Hedgecorth connected with Foster on a 37-yard score with a sideline pass.
“I think we caught them off guard a little bit,” Foster said. “I ran a go (route) right past them. It was wide open.”
Senior running back Hayden Sigg pushed Smithville’s advantage to 14-0 midway through the second quarter on a short 3-yard score between the tackles.
“He is just tough,” Smithville head coach Jason Ambroson said of Sigg. “He sifts through things and explodes through the hole. He runs with his pads down and is just a physical kid. He had just a fantastic game.”
Kearney’s Joe Marshall recovered a fumble minutes before the half, giving his team the ball on the Bulldogs’ 35, but Smithville’s Cooper Ezzell picked off an Ian Acosta pass seconds later, halting any hometown momentum.
Sigg, who had 125 yards during the contest, only needed one to give his team a 21-0 lead to begin the fourth quarter. Smithville drained more than 9 minutes off the clock on its first second-half possession culminating in the TD.
“We had to come out in the second half and allow our conditioning and our weight program to help us keep going,” Ambroson said. “This was a good four-quarter contest for our kids.”
Hedgecorth added a 33-yard score on an option run that saw the junior go untouched to the end zone, and later connected on an 18-yard screen to senior Sam Calvert to push the final score to 35-0.
The loss drops Kearney to 0-2 on the year.
“I definitely think we improved from Week 1 to Week 2,” Kearney head coach Josh Gray said. “I thought we played hard. It was just a few (plays) here and there that we can’t continue to make. That was just a good football team.”
After scoring a field goal during the first quarter of last week’s game against Platte County, Kearney has failed to score in its last seven quarters.
“For us, offensively we need to take advantage of what the defense is giving us and make sure we are executing when we have opportunities,” Gray said.
Bulldog running back KJ Smith led his squad with 40 yards on the ground. Zach Grace has two receptions for 45 yards.
Senior Keltin Nitsche led Smithville with 117 yards on eight receptions. Foster had five for 77 yards. Ezzell and Noah Riecker led the visiting defense with one interception apiece.
“It was a good football game,” Ambroson said. “We knew Kearney was a good football team, and they are better than they were last year. They had a few mistakes against Platte County last week. Besides that, they played really well. We knew we had to play well.”
The Warriors will travel to Raytown South for Week 4 of the season while Kearney also hits the road as well to face Ruskin.