The annual football game between the Middle School teams in the Highway 36 Rivalry has come to be known as the “Tinkerbell” Game in recent years. This season, the undefeated Marceline Middle School Tigers traveled to Burlington Field for a battle with the undefeated Brookfield Middle School Bulldogs. These two titans of gridiron toil battled for four quarters, with the home team winning the rivalry game this year.
Dylan Wheeler kicked off for the Dogs, with Alex Cupp returning the ball to the Marceline 35. Runs by Andrew Edgar and Nathan Wright picked up a first down for the Tigers. But, after runs by Edgar and Wright, and a tackle for a loss by Ryan Schneider, Brady Stallo would punt the ball for the Tigers. The ball went out of bounds at the Brookfield 36.
Troy Magnuson connected with Cody Howerton on a long gain for Brookfield on first down all the way to the Marceline 39. Runs by Brandon Starlin and Drake Menconi earned another first down for the Dogs. Magnuson again connected with Cody Howerton to get the ball to the five yard line for a First and Goal a play later. Stallo had a stop for a loss, and this, combined with a Brookfield penalty, backed the Dogs up to the 13 yard line. But, it was here that Magnuson connected with Bryce Howerton for a touchdown pass. Cale Horton ran in the conversion to give Brookfield the lead.
Q1 3:13 Marceline 0 Brookfield 8
Stallo returned the Brookfield kickoff to his own 39, but a first down fumble by the Tigers was recovered by Bryce Howerton at the Tigers 40.
Brookfield was unable to take advantage of the turnover, thanks to a pass deflection by Stallo and a penalty. Ryan Schneider punted the ball away, and it was downed at the Marceline 17.
A quarterback sack on the third play of the next drive, with pressure by Menconi and Wesley Helton, would put two more points on the board for Brookfield.
Q1 1:26 Marceline 0 Brookfield 10
Menconi returned Stallo’s punt to the Marceline 35 yard line. Runs by Magnuson and Menconi would gain some yards for the Dogs, but a third down tackle for a loss by Austin Quinn and DJ Gerhart would leave the Dogs facing fourth down at the start of the second quarter.
Brookfield drew Marceline offsides to start the second frame, earning a first down. A short run by Horton set up an 11-yard run by Starlin to the nine for a Brookfield First and Goal. A tackle of a loss by Isaya Dorrell backed the ball up to the 13, but Magnuson connected with Bryce Howerton again for a 13-yard touchdown pass on second down. A Magnuson pass found Horton for the conversion.
Page 2 of 3 - Q2 6:16 Marceline 0 Brookfield 18
The teams exchanges possessions for the remainder of the first half with no one scoring. For Marceline: Edgar found Rylan Chrisman for a successful pass, runs were had by Alex Cupp and Edgar; tackles for a loss were made by Quinn, Wright, Chrisman, and Edgar; Alex Cupp had a pass defelection and an interception.
For Brookfield: runs were had by Horton, Starlin, and Menconi; Schneider recovered a fumble; and Menconi had a pass deflection.
Halftime – Marceline 0 Brookfield 18
The Marceline kickoff started the second half by being downed at the Brookfield 40. After runs by Starlin and Horton, and a stop for a loss by Dorrell and Jaiden Royal, the Dogs were en route to a three-and-out. But a fumble on the return was recovered by Bryce Howerton at the Marceline 30. Howerton would reap the benefits of this recovery, as Magnuson found him on the next play for a touchdown. Magnsuon again found Horton for the conversion.
Q3 5:54 Marceline 0 Brookfield 26
Marceline moved the ball well on their next possession, with Edgar running for a gain, and then finding Stallo for a gain into Brookfield territory. A flag against the Dogs moved the ball even deeper, but an interception by Cody Howerton gave Brookfield back the ball at their own nine yard line.
Dorrell and Jordan Elam made a tackle for a six-yard loss on first down, but a 22-yard pass from Magnuson to Horton brought Brookfield back out of their own end zone. A 17-yard gain from Magnuson to Bryce Howerton again reset the down marker in Marceline territory. Despite a short run from Starlin, a tackle for a loss by Edgar and Quinn would help lead to a Brookfield punt. The punt was blocked by Edgar, and Marceline took over at their own 47.
A stuff for a loss by Schneider was negated on the next play, as Edgar connected with Dorrell for a 52-yard touchdown pass to put the Tigers on the board. The conversion run was no good.
Q3 54s Marceline 6 Brookfield 26
The teams would battle for the remainder of the contest with no one scoring. This win marks the end of the eighth grade season for Brookfield with an undefeated record; and ends Marceline’s season with one loss, but having scored the first touchdown against Brookfield in the Tinkerbell game in five years.
Final – Marceline 6 Brookfield 26
“This game is not what we expected,” said Marceline Head Coach Josh Shoemaker. “We knew Brookfield was a good team, and we respected them. Their coach always has them prepared, but we weren’t ready for this tonight. We have a great group of kids who are going to be something special in High School. They are a hard-working group, they hit the weights every day. But sometimes you take it on the chin, and that’s what happened tonight.”
Page 3 of 3 - “They played well tonight at times,” said Brookfield Head Coach Tim Thomason. “Marceline has a good team, they are big and physical up front. We had the wind in our face for a lot of the game, which affected our passing game, and we couldn’t run as much against their big size. We felt hand-tied at times. I have to give it to Marceline, they were everything I had heard about them. This group of eighth graders is one of the best I’ve ever had. We executed pretty well this year, came out with intensity, and played defense. It all came together tonight, and that’s why things came out the way they did.”