Humboldt falls in opener

In a matchup that wasn't scheduled before Wednesday, Humboldt High's Cubs found plenty of room for improvement. Visiting Ava., Mo., cruised to a 45-0 victory.

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September 7, 2021 - 5:04 AM

Humboldt High's Gavin Page (23) is tackled by an Ava defender Friday. Photo by Richard Luken / Iola Register

HUMBOLDT — It will be up to Humboldt High’s players to turn a disappointing start to the regular season into something positive, head coach Logan Wyrick said.

“I’m kind of anxious,” he said after Friday’s 45-0 loss to visiting Ava., Mo. “It stinks having a long weekend after that. I’m anxious to see who really shows up Monday and Tuesday ready to go. We’re gonna see pretty quickly.”

Unofficially, Ava racked up 266 rushing yards, spreading the wealth liberally in the process, with 12 Bears getting at least one carry.

On the other side of the ball, the Cubs had little in the way of offensive production.

With 12 plays that wound up losing yardage, Humboldt (unofficially) mustered 24 yards of total offense, along with a pair of turnovers.

A tough night, indeed.

The loss comes after the matchup was set just two days earlier, after both teams’ original opponents – Leon-Bluestem for Humboldt — had to quarantine due to COVID-19 protocols.

And Ava made sure its 200-plus mile jaunt from southern Missouri was worth the trip.

The Bears’ Blayne Mendel scored on a 66-yard touchdown on the Bears’ first play from scrimmage.

The second possession ended in nearly the same manner, when quarterback Zach Richards rambled in from 59 yards out on the drive’s third play.

The lead stood at 28-0 after the first quarter and 45-0 at the break, triggering a running clock through both the third and fourth quarters.

Humboldt’s best scoring opportunity came late in the second period. The Cubs mixed a blend of run and pass plays to move the ball beyond midfield. Quarterback Gavin Page rattled off a 22-yard run, while completing a pair of passes to Dakota Slocum for 21 more yards.

But a pair of incompletions sandwiched around a sack ended the threat with seconds left in the half.

By then, Ava’s coaches had inserted several reserves to play out the balance of the contest.

Humboldt High’s defense found the going tough against Ava’s cruising ground game Friday.Photo by Richard Luken / Iola Register

WYRICK was able to find a few silver linings amid the doom and gloom of the lopsided defeat.

“We saw a couple of good things,” Wyrick said. “They were definitely subbing some guys out, but we saw some good things from our young guys.

“Nobody wants to get shut out, but I’d like to think we’ll get more from this than the other game we might have played,” he said.

Humboldt’s Gavin Page was a workhorse. He rushed 14 times, usually with an Ava defender closing in not long after the ball was snapped. He wound up with net zero yards on the ground, while completing four passes for 29 yards. Dakota Slocum had two catches for 21 yards.

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