Both Truman and Ruskin were trying to battle back to a .500 record when they played on Friday night.
These are two teams who’ve struggled in the Suburban Red Conference in recent years, but it was the Patriots offensive attack that blitzed the Eagles early and often on the way to a 49-0 victory at Ruskin High School.
The leader in the air and on the ground for Truman was junior Dean Clemons with 214 total yards, including 166 yard rushing and three total touchdowns.
“He has very good awareness when running the team and had good zip on the ball tonight,” Truman coach Greg Webb said.
Other important players for the Patriots included Tre’Von Sorrells and Jordan Salima, who helped the Patriots move down the field throughout the first 24 minutes.
Clemons proved to be center point to the early lead by breaking tackles and finding big holes to run through.
“He leads us,” Webb said. “He’s the sanity that holds us together because he’s the one dealing with me and interpreting that back to the huddle.”
Breaking out to a large lead helped the Patriots, but having the defense to match helped make the shutout possible.
The Truman defense had given up some large totals this year, including 81 points to Lee’s Summit, so a shutout should help their confidence.
Webb said they’ve made the personal adjustments need and that his defense is now improving.
Sorrells and Salima both tacked on a touchdown of their own for the Patriots before halftime making it 42-0.
Salima finished the game with 10 carries 70 yards and three touchdowns.
“We’ve got some kids that can really run it,” Webb said.
Ruskin attempted to make a finishing drive in the half, but quarterback Kenny Burns suffered an apparent elbow injury. The injury was serious enough for an ambulance to take him to a hospital for further evaluation.
Freshman Shakespeare Williams came in at quarterback and had few flashes of productivity, but was never able to put the Eagles past the goal line.
After that it was a running clock to start the second half and the Patriots tacked on one more touchdown from Salima.
For Truman, who’s played many levels of competition this year, it hopes that a 2-0 district start will bode well for them down the road.
“Our kids are getting to the point where they’re not always going to be the underdog,” Webb said.