Seneca football coach Dan Scheible didn’t sugarcoat his Friday postgame speech to his Indians football squad. His players could tell by his red face that he wasn’t pleased with the 55-0 season opening loss to Monett.
“We got beat in every phase tonight: offense, defense and special teams,” Scheible said. “We didn’t look like we were ready to play football and that’s unacceptable.”
Seneca came into the game, on the heels of an appearance in the Class 3 state championship in November 2013, this year’s squad had one glaring and noticeable difference: lack of senior experience.
“That was the key to the whole game. Monett has 24 seniors on their team and we have 42 players total,” Scheible said. “They didn’t have to face adversity, we couldn’t hold them long enough to put pressure on them. They looked like a senior-laden team and we looked lost. We are better than that.”
The game had more of a playoff atmosphere due to the rededication of Burl Fowler Stadium. A new artificial turf, track, scoreboard, entranceway, fencing and free tailgate party gave the area natives something extra to come and cheer for.
The Cubs gridders supplied the fireworks on the field to make the night truly unforgettable.
On Monett’s opening possession, the Cubs drove 63 yards in 11 plays with senior quarterback Zack Hammond diving into the land of six-points from a yard out. Hammond would account for five total touchdowns (three rushing, two passing).
Seneca took over after the score and drove to midfield before sophomore signal caller Derek Burr was picked off by Levi Pfitzner, in what was the first of three Indians’ turnovers on the night.
On Monett’s ensuing play, senior tailback Qunicy Jackson slipped a would-be tackle and out-raced the Seneca secondary 56 yards to pay dirt. The Cubs scored touchdowns on each of their first eight possessions.
The red and white were never able to recover. The final stats tell the tale. Seneca totaled just 96 yards of total offense (51 rushing, 45 passing) and managed just four first downs, two in each half.
Jacob Walker led the ground charge for Seneca, toting the pigskin 13 times for 48 yards (3.69 yards per carry)
Monett amassed 470 total yards of offense (380 rushing, 90 passing) and 18 first downs.
Scheible stated that there wasn’t anything about this game he thought they could salvage to build on.
“We have to go back to practice this week, roll up our sleeves and get to work,” he said. “We have to get back to the fundamentals of the game and work on their execution.”
The road doesn’t get any easier for Seneca as the welcome three-time defending Class 2 state champions Lamar to Earl Campbell Stadium on Friday. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.