For the second consecutive week, the Marceline Tigers took on Lewis and Clark Conference opponent Slater. This time, the Tigers played the Wildcats in the friendly confines of Chester Ray Stadium. For the second time in as many games, Marceline won this game by at least 40 points.
Slater drove the field after taking Levi Kelly’s opening kickoff. A pair of stops for losses by Dakota Lewis, as well as one from Duane Avila, along with a some solid coverage from Blake Linebaugh, would help quell the threat. Slater would turn the ball over on downs after a 17 play drive at the Tigers seven yard line.
Blake Belzer would take only one play to set the true tone for this game, as he took the pigskin to the palace with a 93-yard touchdown run on Marceline’s first offensive play from scrimmage. Linebaugh added the point-after.
Q1 2:50 Slater 0 Marceline 7
Slater would earn one first down on the next drive, but stops for a loss by Kelly and Avila helped squelch their momentum. The teams exchanged punts to bring the first quarter to a close, and to start the second quarter.
Marceline’s first full possession of the second quarter started at the Tigers 38. A short run by Lewis set up a beautiful pass, that Slater interfered with to give the Black Rage football team a first down at the Wildcats 42. Another run by Lewis set up a 34-yard touchdown run from Belzer. Linebaugh added the point-after.
Q2 6:30 Slater 0 Marceline 14
After the ensuing kickoff, three plays to be exact, Chase Hilsabeck picked off a Slater pass at the Wildcats 45. After short runs by Linebaugh and Lewis, Linebaugh connected with Brett McGlothlin for a 12-yard aerial strike. Belzer scored his third touchdown of the game on the next play, this time from 34-yards out. The extra point was no good.
Q2 3:04 Slater 0 Marceline 20
Slater again went three-and-out on the next drive. Linebaugh ran for a short gain, which set up an airborne touchdown to Austin Moudy from 62-yards out. The extra point was again no good.
Q2 54.3s Slater 0 Marceline 26
Slater ran two plays to bring the first half to a close.
Halftime – Slater 0 Marceline 26
Lewis returned the second half kickoff to the Slater 46, nearly breaking off another special teams touchdown. A pair of Lewis runs earned Marceline the first fresh set of downs of the third quarter. Lewis followed this with an 18-yard dash for another first down. An 11-yard scamper after that got Lewis and the Tigers to the Slater one yard line. On the next play, Lewis finished what he had started with a touchdown run. Linebaugh’s conversion run was good.
Page 2 of 2 - Q3 9:09 Slater 0 Marceline 34
The teams exchanged punts from here, for a good portion of the third quarter. A stop for a loss by Anthony Steffes, as well as a pass deflection by McGlothlin, would highlight this period.
Marceline took over with less than six minutes remaining in the frame at their own 39. A 55-yard run by Belzer would re-energize the Black Rage offense, and put Marceline with a First and Goal at the Slater six. Linebaugh ran to the five after a pair of penalties moved the ball backward and forward. Belzer took it from there for the five-yard touchdown run, his fourth of the night. Linebaugh added the point-after.
Q3 3:19 Slater 0 Marceline 41
Slater found themselves in dire straits again, and after not moving the ball well on the first three downs, went for it on fourth down. McGlothlin picked off the Tigers defense’s second pass of the night. This time, though, he took it 52-yards for the pick-six. Linebaugh added the point-after.
Q3 36.2s Slater 0 Marceline 48
The final frame saw neither team score, and with a more than 35-point lead, the mercy clock made things go fast. Marceline celebrated a good home win to remain one of 32 teams still playing football in Class One.
Final – Slater 0 Marceline 48
“We are excited about it, the kids played really well,” said Head Coach Paul Thomas. “Slater had a nine minute drive to start things, but after that we dominated the football game. Our kids went out there, they were focused, and took care of business to get us to the next round of the playoffs.”
In the second round of the playoffs, Marceline will rematch with Lewis and Clark rival Salisbury. This game is scheduled for Wednesday, and will be played at Salisbury at 7 p.m.