All week long, Brent Tinker, Fox High football coach, preached to his team it would take one of their best efforts of the season to take down the Warriors' Friday night opponent, Suburban West Conference rival Eureka High.
The Wildcats came into the ballgame as one of the hottest teams in the area, with five straight wins, and Tinker knew his club would be in for one of its stiffest tests of the season.
Unfortunately, Fox wasn't quite up to the task Friday night at its own Gerald O'Connor Field, as Eureka scored the first five touchdowns of the game—in the first half—and cruised to a 33-7 win over the Warriors.
"Look we knew we had to be great tonight to have a chance to win," Tinker said, after Fox fell to 4-4 on the year, with three losses in its last four games. "Eureka is a great team, and credit to them, they played fantastic tonight. But we had a lot of problems with communication tonight. We played better in the second half, but that first half, just wasn't pretty."
Indeed it wasn't, as Eureka (6-2) held Fox, which came into the game averaging 21.8 points per game, without a point for the first two quarters.
Actually, it wasn't until midway through the fourth quarter that Fox finally got on the board, thanks to a 58-yard touchdown run by Warrior quarterback Tyler Thompson.
It was the junior's longest run of the season, but not nearly enough to overcome the Eureka first half onslaught.
Wildcat senior Matt Yancey was the true star of the game, scoring three touchdowns, on runs of 20, 2, and 2 yards to lead the Eureka offense.
Sophomore quarterback Brett Geisz, who continues to play in place of injured junior Mason Bendigo, threw his third touchdown pass of the season, on a 47-yard strike to Nate Echard in the first quarter.
Both teams will face even bigger tests next week, as Fox (4-4) travels to West County to take on undefeated and No. 3-ranked Lafayette (8-0), while Eureka will take on No. 10-ranked Parkway South.
The Eureka-Parkway South game will be played at Parkway South on Thursday, while the Fox-Lafayette game is slated for Friday.
Both contests will kick off at 7 p.m. on their respective nights.
Score by Quarters
Eureka: Matt Yancey 20 run (Bo Highfill kick), 11:03
Eureka: Nate Echard 47 pass from Brett Geiz (Bo Highfill kick), 7:13
Eureka: Kyle Spratt 4 run (kick failed), 11:55
Eureka: Matt Yancey 2 run (Bo Highfill kick), 7:10
Eureka: Matt Yancey 2 run (run failed), 4:27
Fox: Tyler Thompson 58 run (Blake O'Hearn kick), 5:24