Cats bounce back in Warrensburg

By Christopher Tenpenny

In 2020, Warrensburg came into Harrisonville during Harrisonville’s Homecoming and defeated Harrisonville 42-0.

The Cats, one of the top rushing teams in the state, were held to under 80 yards rushing. In 2021, Harrisonville went into Warrensburg on Warrensburg’s Homecoming and defeated Warrensburg by a score of 36-27.

“It feels good, especially since they whopped us last year on our homecoming,” Harrisonville senior Jace Reynolds said. “We couldn’t move the ball at all last year so we changed it up this year. Coach’s game plan was good, opened it up with the pass a little and it seemed to work.” With a plan to pass the ball more, the Cats first score of the game came on a 35-yard touchdown pass from Nate Reynolds to Jace Reynolds.

“We know we need to open things up,” head coach Kyle Schenker said. “We’ve got good athletes everywhere and we are going to get out and let it go. The kids have fun throwing the ball.”

The Reynolds brothers have been a dynamic duo all season and something Jace has been waiting four years for. “I’m not going to lie, it’s one of my favorite things,” Jace Reynolds said. “I’ve been waiting on it for four years. He’s been grinding and working hard. It’s been amazing.”

With Harrisonville trailing 14-6 in the first quarter, the Cats started to click on all cylinders.

Josh Pesek would score on a short run and Carson Miller would tie the game with the two-point conversion. Afterholding the Warrens-burg offense, the Cats looked to give right back as it faced a fourth and 12. Harrisonville ran a fake punt as Jace Reynolds would take off for a 33-yard touchdown run. The two-point run was good and Harrisonville took a 22-14 lead into halftime.

To start the third quarter, the Harrisonville offense stalled and had to punt the ball away. A few plays later, and Nate Reynolds intercepted a Warrensburg pass.

Nate Reynolds would capitalize on his own interception as he would later score on a two-yard rushing touchdown to make it 30-14 Cats midway through the fourth quarter.

The offense began to slow down as Warrensburg would score 13 unanswered points to make it a 30-27 game in the fourth quarter. Needing one more drive to put the game away, Pesek took a counter play 40 yards and took the Cats deep into Warrensburg territory. Nate Reynolds would end the drive with a 23-yard run, his third touchdown of the game as Harrisonville would go on to win 36-27.

After losing its first game last week, Schenker was happy with his team’s performance.

“It was a good bounce back,” Schenker said. “Our ultimate goal tonight was to have fun. It seemed as if we put too much pressure on ourselves. We want football to be a safe haven for our kids. These are some of the best moments of your life and we want to encourage that.”

Warrensburg is a district opponent and the Cats have played them six times in the last four seasons. Schenker would not be surprised if that number got up to seven.

“I’m really happy about this and it was a good win,” Schenker said. “We will probably see these guys again. It always seems to work out that way.”

Tomorrow night, Harrisonville will play host to Excelsior Springs (2-1). This will be the 1,000th game of the Harrisonville football program dating back to 1906. In honor of the milestone, fans are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items to the game. The school will then donate the food to the local food pantry. The goal is 1,000 items.