Willard football squad opens 2019 football season with loss to Joplin

The 2019 football season began for Willard High School on Aug. 30, as the Tigers traveled to Class 6, fifth ranked, Joplin but fell to the Eagles, 36-13.
After a pretty quiet first quarter, Joplin scored on a punt return by Zach Westmoreland, to take a 7-0 lead. Isaiah Davis was able to give the Eagles a 14-0 lead after scoring from six yards out in the second quarter. The Tigers trailed 14-0 at the half.
Willard opened up the third quarter with an 80-yard scoring drive, as Marshall Swadley ran it in from 17 yards out to cut the deficit to 14-7. Joplin answered right back though, going 83 yards of their own, to take a 22-7 lead.
The eagles added another score with 11:52 to go in the game, as Westmoreland scored on an 18-yard run, to give Joplin a 29-7 lead.
Willard answered back with 8:38 to go, as
Swadley ran in his second touchdown of the game, this time from two yards out, to cut the Eagles lead to 29-13.
Willard attempted an onside kick, but Joplin recovered and scored again with 1:46 to go, on a Davis touchdown from two yards out to put the game away at 36-13.
Joplin totaled 391 yards of offense, with Davis amassing 127 yards and three touchdowns and Nathan Glades adding another 114 yards on the ground.
Joplin had 280 yards rushing against Willard.
Willard did total 313 yards and 16 first downs in the game, with Reece Dawson hitting 15 of his 26 passes for 183 yards. Swadley led Willard with 130 yards on the ground and two touchdowns and Maurice Grayer ended the game as the Tigers leading receiver with 83 yards.
With the loss, Willard currently sits in fourth place in the Class 4, District 6 standings with 17 points. West Plains, Bolivar and Webb City are all in first place with 33 points, followed by Willard; Neosho is in fifth place with seven points and Carl Junction, Springfield Hillcrest and McDonald County are all in last place with -3 points.
Willard will host Ozark this Friday night in their home opener.


Lawrence County Record

312 S. Hickory St.
Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712


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