The Marceline Tigers football team traveled to Salisbury for a showdown with the second ranked, and undefeated Lewis and Clark Conference rival Panthers. Salisbury was celebrating Homecoming, and the Tigers looked like they were going to play spoilers for a majority of the game last Friday night.
Marceline was without All-Conference running back Kyle Bell, who went down with a knee injury last week, and may be gone for the season.
Levi Kelly kicked off and Salisbury returned the football to their own 27. The Panthers went three-and-out after gaining one first down. The punt was downed at the Marceline 20.
A pair of passes, and a run by Dakota Lewis, coming from sophomore quarterback Blake Linebaugh, netted Marceline a first down at the 32. Two runs from Blake Belzer gained another fresh set of downs at the 42. From here, though, the Tigers went three-and-out, and Linebaugh’s punt was returned to the Panthers 43. But, a flag against Salisbury backed them up to their own 20.
The Tigers gained the pigskin right back, with a Panthers fumble recovered at the Salisbury 26. Belzer kept the momentum going, penetrating the Salisbury red zone with a 21 yard run. Three more runs from Belzer, and the Marceline Tigers found what no other team had found against Salisbury this season...the end zone. Levi Kelly added the point-after to put the Black Rage football team on top.
Q1 3:03 Marceline 7 Salisbury 0
The Panthers looked en route to another three-and-out, but a 16-yard run on a fake punt caught the Tigers napping. But, four plays later, Salisbury would turn over the football at the Marceline 30. The first quarter came to an end on this drive.
Three runs from Belzer gained a Marceline first down. A pass from Linebaugh to Lewis got the Tigers to the 47, and a run from Belzer reset the down marker in Salisbury territory. But, a fumble recovery by Salisbury ended the drive on the next play.
The Panthers drove the field, with 11 and 16-yard plays moving the ball. Salisbury looked like they were going to score, but an interception by Chase Hilsabeck in the end zone would end the threat, and move the ball to the 20.
A short pair of runs by Belzer brought the first half to a close, with Marceline holding a single score lead.
Halftime – Marceline 7 Salisbury 0
Linebaugh returned the second half kickoff to hos own 37. But, a flag on first down would put the kibosh on the drive, resulting in a three-and-out.
Salisbury gained one first down on a trio of runs. A stuff by Anthony Steffes brought the visiting crowd to their feet, but a 15-yard arching pass, followed by a 28-yard scoring rainbow would put an end to the revelry. The point-after was good to tie the game at one touchdown each.
Page 2 of 2 - Q3 8:00 Marceline 7 Salisbury 7
Linebaugh returned the ensuing kickoff to his own 35, and Marceline gained a fresh set of downs following two runs from Belzer and one from Linebaugh. Thanks to runs from Lewis and Belzer, the Tigers would penetrate Panther territory, but would still be forced to punt.
Salisbury would return the favor, going three-and-out on their next drive. The Panthers punt would come out of their own end zone, and was downed at the Salisbury 18.
Two runs from Belzer, and an incomplete pass, would set up a field goal attempt by Levi Kelly. The 30-yard attempt would be blocked by Salisbury, and the Panthers took over at their own 25.
The Panthers gained a first down on a 13-yard run. A slip down by the Panthers quarterback would put Salisbury on a long third down as the third quarter came to a close. On the opening play of the final frame, Salisbury wound paydirt aerially, with a 65-yard touchdown pass. The point-after was good to put the Tigers behind for the first time all game.
Q4 11:50 Marceline 7 Salisbury 14
Daniel Haas recovered the squib kickoff at the Marceline 35. A flag against the Tigers would stall this drive, and one more on the punt would give Salisbury the ball at the Tigers 28.
Brett McGlothlin showed the vertical leap off a bit, with a pass deflection on first down. The Pantehrs gained a fresh set of downs on three consecutive runs. Stops after this for a loss came from Lewis and Tucker Dunham. After recovering their own fumble, the Panthers used a 16-yard pass to set up a one-yard touchdown run. The point-after was no good.
Q4 4:12 Marceline 7 Salisbury 20
After the kickoff, and an incomplete pass, Linebaugh found Lewis for a 41-yard aerial strike. A seven-yard dash by Linebaugh got even closer to the end zone, but a sack set the Tigers offense back, and another Linebaugh scramble to the 10 yard line on fourth down was just not enough.
Salisbury ran out the clock from here to come back and send Marceline home with a LCC loss.
Final – Marceline 7 Salisbury 20
“We need to play four quarters against a good football team, and we haven’t done that yet,” said Head Coach Paul Thomas. Who noted that he liked his players’ efforts, just not the outcome of the game. The Tigers are now 2-3 on the season.