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Linn County Leader - Brookfield, MO
  • Tigers Edged at Home

  • The Marceline Tigers home football opener at Chester Ray Stadium did not go as planned. With the pouring rains, an improved Schuyler County team, and a failed two-point conversion, the Tigers lost last Friday night.
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  • The Marceline Tigers home football opener at Chester Ray Stadium did not go as planned.  With the pouring rains, an improved Schuyler County team, and a failed two-point conversion, the Tigers lost last Friday night.
    The Tigers took the field with the 40-yard line painted in gold in memory of Zach Cupp, and Zach’s father Matt served as a captain in his son’s place as well.  Levi Kelly kicked off for Marceline, and Schuyler did move the ball a little bit on the first drive.  However, a sack by Dakota Lewis, and tackles for losses by Kyle Bell and Austin Moudy helped put a stop to their Rams opening drive.
    A 24-yard gain by Bell on first down brought the home crowd to its feet.  Six consecutive runs by Bell gained two more first downs for Marceline as well.  A pair of runs by Blake Belzer earned another Tigers first down, but four plays later, Marceline turned the ball over on downs at the Schuyler 23.
    However, a second down fumble, forced by Chase Hilsabeck, and recovered by Anthony Steffes, would give Marceline back the pigskin at the Rams 25.
    Three runs by Bell got the Tigers to the Schuyler 10, and brought the first quarter to a close.
    End Q1  Schuyler County 0
    Marceline 0
    A fourth down interception in the end zone followed a run for a loss, and turned over the football early in the second quarter.
    Schuyler went three-and-out, and Blake Linebaugh returned the ensuing punt to the Rams 26.  Runs by Bell and Belzer combined with a Schuyler penalty got the Tigers to the three yard line.  Belzer punched it through from there, putting Marceline on the board first.  The conversion was no good, which would prove to be the difference in this game.
    Q2 7:39  Schuyler County 0
    Marceline 6
    The Rams went three-and-out after the kickoff, and a 30-yard gain by Bell would highlight Marceline’s next possession.  However, the Tigers would stall offensively, and turn the ball over on downs again.
    The teams exchanged possessions after this to bring the half to a close.  Defensive highlights included tackles for a loss by Moudy and Tucker Dunham.
    Halftime  Schuyler County 0
    Marceline 6
    Dakota Lewis returned the second half’s kickoff to his own 38, but Marceline would go three-and-out to start the half.  A fumbled snap, recovered by the Tigers on the punt, would give Schuyler a short field.
    The Rams scored on a six play, 25 yard drive.  This was despite a quarterback sack by Moudy, and came on a 12-yard run by Schuyler.  The point-after sailed through to put Marceline down by one point.
    Page 2 of 2 - Q3 7:16  Schuyler County 7 Marceline 6
    Hilsabeck returned the squib kickoff to his own 41.  A 12-yard pass from Lewis to Moudy earned a first down for the Tigers.  A 12-yard run by Bell earned another fresh set of downs on the drive as well.  After a third down run, which included the hurdling of a tackler, Lewis left the game for a few plays with an injury.  A fourth down pass incompletion would turn the ball over on downs at the Rams 26.
    A 14-yard gain would be negated by a Moudy tackle for a loss, and a mass quarterback sack by most of the Black Rage defense.  These events brought the third frame to a close.
    End Q3  Schuyler County 7  Marceline 6
    Linebaugh returned the Rams punt to the Schuyler 49 to start the fourth and final quarter.  A pass from Lewis to Moudy earned 14 yards, and a 17-yard rush by Belzer brought the home faithful to their feet.  A trifecta of runs by Bell got the ball inside the Rams 10 yard line, but Marceline would come up short on fourth down and turn the ball over.
    Sacks by Kelly, and a combined sack from Belzer and Moudy would help put the stop to the next Schuyler County drive, and give Marceline back the football at the Rams 46 yard line.  However, the Tigers would go three-and-out again, with a turnover on downs at the Schuyler 39.
    The home crowd would find new life, as the Tiger forced and recovered another fumble on the Rams 35 yard line with 43.9 seconds left in the game.
    A pair of completions found Bell and Linebaugh, but a final heave went into the Rams’ hands to end this game with a heartbreaking one point loss.
    Final  Schuyler County 7  Marceline 6
    “We played hard with good effort,” said Head Coach Paul Thomas.  “When you get in the red zone you need to score.

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