Jeff Kinder fulfilled a lineman's dream last Friday.
Moberly's 6-2, 272-pound defensive tackle/offensive center scooped up a fumble and rambled 18-yards into the end zone while displaying a big smile last Friday as Kinder was one of seven Spartans that scored a touchdown during Moberly's 52-14 football victory against St. James Tigers.
"St. James had completed a nice pass play when they fumbled and Jeff was there to scoop up the football. He was excited. He took off running hard while doing his best to hold onto the football. He was determined there wasn't anyone going to bring him down before he reached that end zone," said Moberly football coach Jason Ambroson on Tuesday afternoon. "He was one very happy young man and we all were excited for him."
Class 4 Moberly (4-1) changed the scoreboard on all but two possessions of the football during the game, and the 52 points were the most scored by the Spartans since the 2007 season when they defeated Winfield 61-0.
"To be honest with you, I really think St. James is a better football team than the way they played against us last Friday night. I watched them on video and from what I saw St. James is better than what the final score showed," said coach Ambroson. "I think we got off to such a great start, one of the better starts we've had in any game to date this season, and we simply overwhelmed them in the beginning and we just took a lot of things out of them. We executed a lot of things at a pretty high level both offensively and defensively."
"This was really a good win for our team after coming off our game with Fulton the week before (Sept. 14) we did not do things very well but came away with a win. We were not very disciplined in that particular night and we really struggled for about 8 minutes in that game for whatever reason. We came out in practice last week better focused on doing the basic little things right. The kids came out and did those things and put it into practice against St. James and the result proves that. Our kids were focused at the task at hand and they deserve credit."
The recent road victory against the Class 3 Tigers gives Moberly momentum as they celebrate the school's 2012 Homecoming this week and prepare for battle against North Central Missouri Conference rival Marshall Owls this coming Friday.
Moberly made the 2-hour drive and moved the chains often enough against their host to collect 458 offensive yards.
Junior quarterback Justin Connaway aired out 182 yards completing 10-of-14 passes and a couple of touchdowns.
One of his TD strikes was a 58-yard completion to junior receiver Blake Joiner, who finished the evening making four receptions for 117 yards.
"We haven't had a long touchdown pass like that in quite a while. Justin made an audible at the line of scrimmage after he read what the defense was giving him. It was a very good decision and the play was executed perfectly," said Ambroson. "Our O-line really made a difference in this football game, giving room for our backs to run and they did a nice job giving Justin the pass protection he needed to do his job."
Moberly linemen Ambroson credited were Kinder at center, guards (sr.) Colton Tremain and (soph) Mickey Sires, tackles (sr.) Matt McCune and (sr.) Zach Lipperd, and senior tight end Jalen Troy.
Brandon Elkins also caught four passes netting 42 yards and Troy had two receptions for 23.
The Spartans brought out its jayvee players to spend most of the second half on the field and sophomore Chris Palmer came off the bench to lead the team in rushing with 86 yards on nine carries.
Senior Joe Galaske rushed 11 times for 74 yards. Connaway scrambled for 36 yards and Gregg Bain added 28 more while five other Moberly players also carried the football in the game.
Leading tackler on defense was Tremain with 10, while Preston Riles ended up having eight solo tackles. Kinder and Devon Cox each had seven total tackles, while Elkins and Troy had six apiece. Riles and Palmer each came down with an interception against St. James.