MCP Fall Sports Preview


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also caught seven passes for 48 yards and one touchdown. Dowd moved to quarterback follow- ing the graduation of Big 8 West Offen- sive Player of the Year Cole Martin, who passed for 2,024 yards and 23 touch- downs while running for 1,014 yards and 17 TDs. "Destyn's a baseball player and has been a quarterback in the past and possesses a natural ability to throw," said Hoover. "Honestly, playing running back as a sophomore has made him that much better of a runner. He's always been a threat, just because he's a big, physical kid who runs fairly well, but I think playing running back last year just helped him understand what's going on up in front of him from the standpoint of hitting the right seam — wherever that running seam is — and I think that's made him a little better." He added, "He may have the option of running it or throwing it on one play and both of those are his strengths." When Dowd looks to throw he won't have to look very far to find capable receivers. Two reliable senior targets will be his older brother Cross Dowd, who caught 22 passes last year for 336 yards and five TDs, and Jack Parnell, who came up with 26 catches for 237 yards and four TDs. Hoover expects seniors Isaac Behm and Dalton McClain and junior Josh Pacheco to help strengthen the receiv- ing corps with backfield help coming from senior Jordan Saylor and junior Emmit Houston. Senior Weston Gordon, junior Samuel Murphy and sophomore Malosi Sosef can all help at tight end. Hoover is hoping opponents find it hard to run against the Mustangs' defense this fall, a defense anchored by Moore, who racked up 35 tackles (four for losses with one sack), Hitt (19 tack- les), Serna and senior Angel Mendoza (5-9, 270). Gordon, an All-Big 8 linebacker last year, accounted for 57 tackles (four for losses) while causing one fumble. Murphy notched 60 tackles a year ago, including a team-high 11 behind the line of scrimmage. Hoover expects Saylor and Houston to help out in the middle of the defense with secondary support coming from Cross Dowd (44 tackles, three intercep- tions), Sam Barton, Behm, McClain and Pacheco. "We've got some strong guys on defense but, at the same time, we've got a lot of guys in that group that can run with skill guys," Hoover said. "As a quar- terback that would scare me to death." When it comes to special teams, the football team is looking to a soccer player for help. "We had to find a kicker over the offseason and we think we have," said Hoover. "He's actually one of our soccer players, Richard Gasca, but he's going to kick for us on Friday nights." Hoover said the senior is adjusting to his new sport and new role. "He's getting more and more comfort- able with kicking in pads, which is different," the coach said. "And he's kicking an oblong ball now instead of a round one. So it's something he's continuing to work on. He's worked all summer on it after he came to me and asked if it would be OK if he did both. He asked and we needed a kicker so I said yes." Hoover knows his Mustangs will get their opponents' best shot every Friday night this season, especially after last year's successful campaign, and he knows his team will have to step up to meet physical challenges each week. "This conference is hard week in and week out," he said. "Your opponent is always going to be good and well- coached. What this conference prides itself on is its physicality, and from week to week you want to be the one that's the most physical because that's prob- ably going to be the one that's walking off the field with a win." Thursday, August 25, 2022 McDonald County Press 3C F a l l S p o r t S p r e v i e w 417-223-4489 808 Baily Rd., Pineville, MO 102 N. Main St., Southwest City, MO 626 Johnson Drive, Noel, MO Good Luck Mustangs! Learn more about our hospital services and clinic locations at! PROUDLY SERVING MCDONALD COUNTY WITH 5 CONVENIENT LOCATIONS 76 Goodman 912 Suite B HWY 59 417-364-8300 Anderson 104 East Main St. 417-845-6984 Pineville 5265 S Business HWY 71 STE J 417-223-4290 Noel 125 Main Street 417-475-6151 Southwest City 109 North Broadway St. 417-762-3287 76 90 49 59 43 Toll Free 888-523-3024 | | Linda Hathaway, Mgr/Agent | Emma Kropp 417-762-3268 • 308 S. Main, Southwest City, MO Supporting the McDonald County Mustangs ScheduleS McDonalD county football Date opponent time Aug. 26 at Mount Vernon 7 p.m. Sept. 2 Marshfield 7 p.m. Sept. 9 at Logan-Rogersville 7 p.m. Sept. 16 Nevada* 7 p.m. Sept. 23 at Cassville* 7 p.m. Sept. 30 Lamar* 7 p.m. Oct. 7 at Monett* 7 p.m. Oct. 14 Seneca* 7 p.m. Oct. 21 at East Newton* 7 p.m. Oct. 28 District TBD *Big 8 West Conference McDonalD county JV football Date opponent time Aug. 29 Mount Vernon 6 p.m. Sept. 5 at Marshfield 6 p.m. Sept. 12 Logan-Rogersville 6 p.m. Sept. 19 at Nevada 6 p.m. Sept. 26 Cassville 6 p.m. Oct. 3 at Lamar 6 p.m. Oct. 10 Monett 6 p.m. Oct. 17 at Seneca 6 p.m. Oct. 24 East Newton 6 p.m. McDonalD county 9th football Date opponent time Sept. 5 Marshfield 6 p.m. Sept. 12 at Logan-Rogersville 6 p.m. Sept. 26 at Cassville 6 p.m. Oct. 3 Seneca 6 p.m. Oct. 17 Pittsburg (Kan.) 6 p.m. McDonalD county Junior high football Date opponent time (7th/8th) Sept. 8 at Cassville 5:30/7 p.m. Sept. 15 Monett 5:30/7 p.m. Sept. 22 Nevada 5:30/7 p.m. Sept. 29 at Seneca 5:30/7 p.m. Oct. 13 at Lamar 5:30/7 p.m. Oct. 20 East Newton 5:30/7 p.m. Continued from page 1C football: Moore, Hitt, Serna, Mendoza Anchor The Defense

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