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Strong running attack fuels Ozark 8/16/22

Strong running attack fuels Ozark

By Kevin Taylor

Alma Schools


OZARK - The Ozark Hillbillies’ running game isn’t where coach Jeremie Burns expects it to be by mid-October. 


But the Hillbillies did more than enough to fend off the Alma Airedales in a controlled one-half scrimmage. 


Senior Eli Massingale broke free for a 50-yard touchdown with 2:29 left in the first half. Quarterback Landon Wright added a 10-yard TD run with 5:01 left in the first half. 


Ozark amassed 198 yards rushing on 23 snape and finished with 250 yards on 31 total plays. 


The Hillbillies held the Airedales to just 133 yards on 41 offensive snaps. 


Ozark opens the 2022 season on Aug. 26 against Clarksville. 


“We gave up a couple of long runs,” Alma coach Rusty Bush said. “The Massengale kid, he’s a superior player. The quarterback, too. They’re going to do some damage in that 4A conference.”


The Airedales moved the ball well on its initial series, driving from its 30 to the Hillbillies’ 29. 


But a holding penalty led by a third-down interception. Alma didn’t do much offensively until its final offensive series of the first half. 


Alma quarterback Joe Trusty was 13-of-26 for 94 yards. He had his share of dropped passes, too. 


“We got tired and I think the heat kind of zapped both teams,” Bush said. “For us, there are two things. Offensively, we didn’t execute and we dropped a couple of key balls. I don’t think we protected very well, but that’s the sign of a young offensive line.”


Trusty had a number of passes dropped, including some potential third-down game-changers. “Those are things we can fix,” Bush said. “That doesn’t concern me. We’re going to have some growing to do.”


The Airedales ran for 39 yards on 15 attempts, most of which came early. Israel Towns-Robinson had 18 yards on four carries. Trusty added 15 yards on five attempts. 


Massengale finished with 117 yards on 12 carries, including runs of 50, 23, 14, and 13 yards. 


The Airedales open the season on Aug. 23 against Van Buren. It will mark the 76th meeting between the two Crawford County schools.