Marceline's top-seeded football team handled its business in the district opener on Friday night, defeating Salisbury 40-0 at home and remaining unblemished at 10-0. Salisbury finishes its season winless with one-fifth of its losses coming at the hands of the Tigers including a 62-6 shellacking in Marceline in week seven.
With Friday's victory, the Tigers earn the right to face fourth-seeded Santa Fe at home this week.
Marceline only mustered 16 points in the first half, but Tiger coach Greg Hough said that he saw some signs of encouragement after what he considered to be a sluggish start.
"Offensively, we kind of came out slow," Hough said. "Our first drive of the game resulted in a punt, and the next two drives were one-play turnovers. We threw a hitch on the second drive that got picked off, and the next drive we threw an under-thrown post. We were able to get things going eventually and put up some points. Our special teams played well, and that was probably the biggest highlight of our Friday night."
Quarterback Chase Billups, aside from the two early interceptions, was solid on Friday night. He finished 12-of-17 passing for 230 yards and a pair of scores. Clayton Stallo reeled in seven of those passes for 75 yards, and three Levi Terrell receptions resulted in 127 yards and both touchdown receptions.
Rylan Chrisman, per usual, got his fair share of the offensive workload, carrying the ball 19 times for 98 yards and a touchdown.
Hunter Teeter and Trevor Ganaway galvanized the Marceline defense on Friday, both recording 10 tackles.
Hough spoke highly of a less-than-lauded Salisbury team after Friday night's blowout win.
"Salisbury was able to establish some run game against us, not big plays, but we had a bend-but-don't-break mentality," Hough said. "I knew that Salisbury is a lot better than their record shows, and the kids faced some adversity and ended up playing to somewhat of our potential."