There was no shortage of offense at Friday night’s opener for the Marceline Tigers at Chester Ray Stadium. Marceline hosted the Knox County Eagles in a non-conference battle that featured eight touchdowns.
Knox County would take the ball first, and would find the end zone on their first drive. The Eagles would go 75 yards on nine plays, scoring on a three-yard touchdown run. Tackles for a loss on this drive came from Blake Belzer, Anthony Steffes and Isaac Smith.
Q1 8:48 – Knox County 6 Marceline 0
Marceline would respond quickly, though, with a 75-yard touchdown on the kickoff return from Dakota Lewis. Isaac Smith added the point-after to give the Tigers the lead.
Q1 8:35 – Knox County 6 Marceline 7
Knox would go three-and-out on their next possession, with stops for a loss coming from Cade Ewigman and Trey King. The ensuing punt was blocked by Belzer and recovered by Steffes at the Eagles 18.
Belzer would take the first down handoff to the house on Marceline’s first play from scrimmage for the 18-yard score. Isaac Smith added the point-after.
Q1 6:47 – Knox County 6 Marceline 14
Knox would earn one first down on their next drive, but stop for a loss by Steffes and Lewis would force a turnover on downs to give Marceline back the ball. Gains of 11 and 14 yards by Belzer would net a pair of Black Rage first downs. Two plays later, Blake Linebaugh would find Daniel Haas for an eight-yard touchdown pass. Isaac Smith added the point-after.
Q1 2:07 – Knox County 6 Marceline 21
Knox would go three-and-out on their final drive of the first quarter, thanks to a fumble that they would recover for a loss.
Linebaugh, Lewis and Belzer would combine on three runs for a first down. This series would stretch into the second quarter of action. On the third play of the second frame, Belzer would find the end zone on a 23-yard run for the score. Isaac Smith would add the point-after.
Q2 10:31 – Knox County 6 Marceline 28
Knox would go on a sustained drive on their first possession of the second quarter. They would travel 69 yards on 14 plays. The score came on a 15-yard touchdown pass. The extra point was no good.
Q2 5:39 – Knox County 12 Marceline 28
Duane Avila dropped on the onside kick at his own 44 yard line to start the Tigers next drive. Lewis and Linebaugh would combine on runs for a first down. Three runs later, Lewis would break off a 50-yard dash for another Marceline first down. Two plays later, Linebaugh would score on a six-yard touchdown run. The extra point was no good.
Page 2 of 2 - Q2 3:00 – Knox County 12 Marceline 34
The teams would exchange possessions to end the first half. The Black Rage defense would have a tackle for a loss by Lewis.
Halftime – Knox County 12 Marceline 34
Marceline would start the second half with their final scoring drive of the game. A short run from Lewis would set up a 26-yard dash by Linebaugh for the first down. Runs by Lewis, Belzer and Linebaugh would again refresh the downs marker for the Tigers. Belzer and Lewis would set up Linebaugh for the final score of the game, this one coming from four yards out. Isaac Smith added the point-after.
Q3 7:43 – Knox County 12 Marceline 41
While this would be the final score of the game, highlights for the Black Rage team included the following:
Nate Florine would gain 10 yards on a single run in the third quarter for a Marceline first down with the JV team. Dylon Ewigman, Isaac Smith, Trevor Hamilton and Avila would have tackles for a loss.
Final – Knox County 12 Marceline 41
Looking at the team totals, Marceline bested the Eagles in first downs (16-14),rushing yards (272-172), and total yardage (289-262).