The annual Middle School football rivalry game, commonly known as the Tinkerbell Game, took place late last week at Chester Ray Stadium in Marceline. For the second time in nearly 20 years, the Marceline Middle School Tigers topped the Brookfield Middle School Bulldogs. Both teams came into the game with matching 1-4 records.
Brookfield struck first in the game, with Matthew Kearns taking the first play of scrimmage for the Dogs 38 yards to the house. The conversion run was no good. With 5:50 left in the first quarter, Brookfield led 6-0.
The teams exchanged possessions again, with both teams fumbling the pigskin away. Marceline would get on the board with a drive that started in the Brookfield red zone. A one-yard touchdown run from Hunter Teeter, and a conversion run from Rylan Chrisman would give the Tigers an 8-6 lead with 1:28 left in the opening quarter.
The second frame would go by without either team scoring. Kearns would recover an early Marceline fumble, and Clayton Stallo would pick off a Brookfield pass. At the half, the Tigers led the Dogs 8-6.
Stallo would begin the second half with an interception, but the Marceline offense would not be able to take advantage of the turnover. But after the defensive stop, Brookfield rode Kearns to the end zone on a 67-yard run to take a lead. Garrett Richmond found Kearns for the conversion pass. With 2:31 left in the third quarter, Brookfield led Marceline 14-8.
Marceline would score on their next possession, with Chrisman breaking off a 71-yard run for the long score. Chrisman would also add the conversion run. With 18.3 seconds left in the third frame, Marceline took a 16-14 lead.
Brookfield would drive to end the third frame, and stretch into the fourth frame. A reverse would make its way to Kearns, who ran 38 yards for the score. The conversion pass was incomplete. With 4:53 left in the game, the Dogs led the Tigers 20-16.
From here, the Tigers embarked on a long drive. The Marceline boys would cover 65 yards on 13 plays, scoring on fourth and goal with a four-yard run from Chrisman. The conversion run was no good. With only 31.3 seconds left in the game, Marceline took a 22-20 lead over Brookfield.
Brookfield drove with little time, and few timeouts. A pair of offsides penalties on the Dogs stalled things out, and a late pass came up just short.
The home crowd at Chester Ray Stadium exploded into cheers as the Tigers celebrated a Tinkerbell Game win.
Page 2 of 2 - “Mistakes cost us, and the more physical team won,” said Brookfield Head Coach Tim Thomason. “We made mistakes, but I take nothing away from Marceline. They were the more physical team. I have told the boys all year that football is a physical game, and the more physical team will win. That is what happened here tonight.”
“It was a competitive game, back and forth,” said Marceline Head Coach John Kruse. “Brookfield has a lot of talented kids, and Coach Thomason does really well with them. We had a good week of practice, and we felt good coming in. I was just happy we could send our eighth graders out with a win.”