Although the Tigers took care of business to advance to 5-0 at the halfway mark of the regular season, the biggest storyline in Marceline's 48-0 victory at Chester Ray on Friday night was the historic performance of quarterback Chase Billups.
Billups finished the night against an out- and under-manned Paris side with 310 passing yards, a new record for Marceline. The previous record was set by Ryan Gordon in 2000 against Putnam County's Midgets when he hurled the thing for 251 yards.
Billups completed 19 of his 26 attempts on Friday. The Tigers finished with just 165 rushing yards, and feature running back Rylan Chrisman was responsible for 150 of them.
"Throughout the week, the kids had seen more and more of the pass game being implemented into the offense," Marceline coach Greg Hough said. "I told Chase, 'Pick me out two footballs tonight.' I put a gold X on them, and I said be ready to wing it around. Our kids made good plays. We added another dimension to our game. Rylan Chrisman still got 21 carries, and Chase got everyone else involved."
Levi Terrell was Billups' favorite target on Friday evening, reeling in seven balls for 78 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
On the defensive side of the football, Marceline was no less effective.
The Tigers held Paris to just 26 yards rushing and 73 yards passing. Paris signal-caller Breck Hancock, returning all-state linebacker, was held to just seven completions on his 17 attempts. His 13 rushes gained Paris just 20 yards.
"We came out of the game and we picked it up," junior receiver and d-back Clayton Stallo said. "We knew what we had to do, we all did our jobs on defense and everyone picked up their role. We've got good conditioning, but we're not done yet."
On the offensive side of the game, Stallo hauled in four passes for 86 yards.
Although Hancock was rendered largely irrelevant against Marceline's Black Swarm, he was accountable for 17 tackles through the evening. The Tigers' best tacklers on Friday night were Colby Sims and Colton Jenkins with six play-ending wrap-ups a pop.
"We came out and we felt like during our preparation that we could throw the football," Hough said. "I'm a run-first guy, running the ball 30-plus times a game, but I made a mental note to myself that with the talent we have at quarterback and the talent we have at receiver, that we could break the school record for passing."
Marceline travels to Schuyler County on Friday.