After a confidence-boosting win at East Newton in week four, the Aurora Houn' Dawgs continued their strong offensive play at Monett last Friday, defeating the Cubs 46-10 to move to 3-2 on the year and 2-1 in Big 8 Conference play.
The Dawgs drew first blood on the defending state champions' homecoming night, as junior Logan Lauffer strolled 24 yards to the end zone for a touchdown. The extra point kick by senior Dakota Kessinger was good, giving the visitors a 7-0 lead with 7:06 to play in the first quarter.
After a strong goal-line stand by the Aurora defense, Monett settled for a field goal to make it 7-3 with less than three minutes remaining in the period. Just before the end of the quarter, senior quarterback John Dakota Lee found senior Austin Erickson for a fourth-down conversion to the Monett 10-yard line.
Beginning the second quarter with less just two yards to go to the end zone, it didn't take long for the Houn' Dawgs to put another six points on the board, as Lee took it in himself to put Aurora up 13-3.
Unfortunately, the Cubs would answer immediately, pulling off a bit of trickery for a touchdown on their first play after the kickoff to cut the lead to 13-10. But that would be the end of the scoring for Monett, as the Aurora defense held strong and forced multiple turnovers.
Two big passes from Lee, including a 40-yard strike to Lauffer in the end zone, led to another Aurora touchdown with 10:22 to go in the half. After a failed two-point conversion, the Houn' Dawg lead was 19-10, but the visitors weren't finished yet in the half.
After a Monett fumble was recovered by junior Kaden Clark, the Aurora offense drove for another touchdown, this one by senior Clayton Dunning, who plowed his way into the end zone for six to give the Dawgs a 25-10 advantage.
That score would stand until halftime, as Aurora would get a pair of interceptions against the Monett offense but couldn't capitalize on the turnovers.
Aurora would come back with just one touchdown in the third quarter, a two-yard run by Lauffer to cap off a 99-yard drive that began after a goal-line stand by the defense for a turnover on downs.
The Houns' Dylan Clayton, sophomore, would field the ensuing onside kick with 37 seconds to go in the quarter, starting a drive that would end in another touchdown early in the fourth. Lee found Dunning for the six-point score, and a fake extra point kick turned into a pass from Erickson to Dunning again for the two-point conversion to make it 40-10.
Another Monett turnover on downs gave Aurora the ball again with 7:17 to go, and a big run by junior Casey Weathermon put the Houn' Dawgs at the Monett 28. A pass to Clark made it first down at the 12 before Lauffer completed the scoring for the night with another rush TD to make it 46-10, the eventual final score.
Lee ended the night 12-for-22 for 285 yards and two touchdowns through the air to go along with 82 yards and one TD on 18 carries. Dunning racked up 93 yards receiving and a touchdown on four catches, while Lauffer added a TD and 68 receiving yards on three catches.
Lauffer's three rushing TDs and 56 yards on seven carries led the rushers, while Weathermon added 53 yards on six runs.
Senior Blake Williams led the defense with 12 total tackles, including 10 solos, while Weathermon, Clark, junior Isaac Martinez and senior Connor Savage added nine tackles each. Weathermon recorded two sacks, followed by Lauffer with one, and interceptions were recorded by Dunning and Martinez.
The Dawgs will look to continue their winning streak with a victory in their own homecoming game this week, a 7 p.m. Big 8 showdown with Seneca at Kelley Field.