A season of resounding success ended for the Houston High School football team Friday night in Mountain Grove, as the Tigers were defeated 28-6 in a semifinal contest in the Missouri State High School Activities Association Class 2 District 3 playoffs.
Third-seeded Houston’s only score in the contest came with 11:18 left in the second quarter on a 2-yard touchdown run by senior Anthony Carroll.
The No. 2 Panthers took a lead they would never relinquish on the first possession of the game, getting a TD on a 24-yard run by junior Daiton Hook and a point-after kick by senior Ty Gardner. Mountain Grove would add another touchdown late in the first half on an interception return deep in Houston territory, and then scored twice in the fourth quarter – once on a 28-yard TD pass with 11:01 to go and again 15-yard run with 2:54 left.
The Tigers’ offense wasn’t able to consistently deal with Mountain Grove’s active and physical defense, as 6-3, 270-pound senior lineman Hunter Means and his cohorts kept the Big Red O in check virtually all night.
Houston finished the season 8-3 and went 5-2 in South Central Association conference play.
Top-seeded Liberty beat No. 4 Strafford 47-6 in the other semifinal, and the Panthers (9-2) will face the undefeated Eagles (11-0) in the district championship game next Friday in Mountain View.