NCAA Division II powerhouse Northwest Missouri State sent Fort Osage linebacker Von Young a scholarship offer on Friday, and he showed why the Bearcats are interested in his services later that night.
His 11-tackle, two-interception game that set the tone for a 35-6 victory over Raytown South in the first game at the Indians’ remodeled stadium Friday night.
The Indians dominated every phase of the game before a standing-room-only crowd that saw junior running back Dominic Myers score the first-ever touchdown on the new artificial turf.
Senior quarterback Ty Baker had a solid game with 147 yards passing and two touchdowns in just one half of action, and the stingy Indians defense went 47 minutes and 59 seconds without allowing a touchdown against Raytown South.
The lone Cardinals score came against a group of reserve players with no time left on the new scoreboard clock.
But the player everyone was talking about after the game was Young, the 6-foot, 203-pound outside linebacker who exceeded all his preseason hype.
“His motor is always running,” said Indians head coach Brock Bult, who is still in charge of the Fort Osage defense. “He’s one of those players you always have to be aware of where he is on the field.
“He had a big junior year (99 tackles, four interceptions, all-state recognition), and we expect big things from his this year. He had the type of stats playing just one half and one series in the third period that most players would like to have in an entire game.”
Fort Osage Superintendent Jason Snodgrass also sang the praises of Young, who delayed the start of this season for his son, Will, a sophomore wide receiver.
Young broke Will’s arm in practice with a hit that was hard – and clean.
“Will was the first official injury on the new turf,” said Snodgrass, as Will stood alongside his father, showing off a six-inch scar that serves as a badge of honor for the 6-foot-1 wide receiver. “Von plays hard at practice, and you saw how hard he plays in a game.”
When asked about Young, Will just grins.
“I caught a pass in practice and he caught up with me and we went down – and his weight and my weight snapped my arm,” Will said. “He’s a great player and I can’t wait to get back out there and play on this team. I should be back by Week 3.”
Young, who spent a few minutes after the game visiting with former great Indian defensive players, lavished praise on his teammates.
“A great team win,” said Young, who had returns of 41 and 11 yards on his two interceptions, the first of which resulted in an Indian touchdown. “Ty did a great job running the offense tonight. There was so much hype surrounding this game it was just great to get out there and play – finally. It took us a while to get going, but once we did, we played pretty well.”
Baker, who was 12 of 18 for 147 yards and two touchdowns, turned the attention to Young and the defense.
“Our defense is so amazing,” Baker said. “We get those turnovers (three interceptions and a fumble recovery) and we have to reward the defense with touchdowns. This was a team victory. Our coaches had a great game plan and we were able to go out and play and not think about all the hype surrounding the first game at our new stadium.
“But, I have to admit, it took awhile for me to feel like this was a home game. I’m used to playing on grass at home – the turf was different, everything was different, but we got the job done, and that was all that mattered.”
The Indians scored the first touchdown at 4:34 of the first period when Myers scored on a 9-yard pass from Baker.
“I was hoping to get that first touchdown in the new stadium, on the turf,” a grinning Myers said. “I’m going to have to do something nice for Ty for throwing me the ball.”
Baker, who overheard the comment, chuckled and said, “Dominic already eats at my house all the time. He doesn’t have to do anything for me but score more touchdowns.”
The second score came just 14 seconds later, following Young’s first touchdown and a 41-yard return. Baker scored on a 5-yard run.
Brandon Gregory scored on a 5-yard run, Blake Robertson on a 2-yard run and Richard Wiseman closed out the Indians big offensive first half with a 14-yard scoring strike from Baker with 1:04 left in the second quarter.
A 21-yard pass from Kevin Connor to Damareion Hart with no time showing on the clock prevented the Indians from opening with a shutout.
Connor was 5 of 15 for 84 yards, with 51 yards coming on a pass to Sincere Grimes early in the game.