Class 1 8th-ranked Westran was undefeated while soundly defeating opponents who posted a combined record of 4-21, giving up just 14 points, when the Hornets of Huntsville made their trip last Friday to play against Lewis & Clark Conference rival Marceline.
But the Tigers sent Westran packing home with its first loss of the 2012 football season when Marceline pulled off a 16-13 upset victory.
"Marceline simply was the better football team Friday night. I thought everything was going alright for us as planned until they returned a kickoff for a long touchdown. Marceline always play hard, but that score seemed to really give them more confidence that they played with the rest of the game," said Westran football coach Curtis Jasper. "It was a dogfight, a defensive struggle from there on out and we lost that battle."
Quarterback Zane Jacoby got loose for a 58-yard touchdown run with 7:42 left to put Westran ahead 7-0 in the opening period.
The Westran sophomore would rush for 119 yards on 22 carries during the game. He completed 3-of-10 passes for only 14 yards.
Jacoby also opened the second quarter returning a Marceline punt 46 yards for a score giving the Hornets (5-1, 1-1 LCC) a 13-0 advantage.
But Westran would not change its side of the scoreboard again the rest of the evening.
On the ensuing kickoff, Marceline's Dakota Lewis returned the ball 85 yards for a score, trimming the Tigers deficit to 13-7 and a score.
With 3:07 left before the half, Lewis ran the ball in from the 3 giving Marceline at 14-13 advantage.
"We did not get enough offensive plays to make a difference in the game. During Marceline's second touchdown, they used most of the quarter's clock using about 14 plays," said Jasper. "I thought we played defense better in the second half. There was a couple of times in the second half I thought our offense appeared to be on its way to scoring touchdowns but something would go wrong and we did not execute things well enough to make it happen."
Senior running back Zach Morgan rushed eight times for 79 yards for the Hornets. Parker Howard had an 8-yard catch and Devin Perkins made a 6-yard reception.
The only score in the second half took place when Westran was pinned inside their own 5-yard line and was forced to punt, which Marceline blocked with 8:34 remaining in the third quarter. The Hornets managed to cover the football but the result gave the Tigers a 2-pt. safety in what ended as a 16-13 final score.
"Marceline is a better football team than their record indicates (3-3, 1-1 LCC). They had Brookfield on the ropes and they controlled Salisbury through halftime before those games slipped out of their hands, but they did not let that happen with us."
Westran will host No. 2 ranked and arch rival Salisbury (6-0, 3-0 LCC) next Friday.