The Marceline Tigers' football team should have its hands full on Friday evening in the district semifinal. Three-seed Gallatin comes into Chester Ray Stadium with just a pair of losses.
Gallatin's two defeats came by eight and nine points, respectively, to district foes Penney and top-seeded Milan.
Marceline coach Mark Ross said that the run-heavy Bulldogs could give anyone fits.
"They're definitely very physical," Ross said. "That's kind of what our guys are used to seeing -- we're always a little bit undersized. I don't know if they've seen a defense as rounded as ours is, but that being said, they can break one loose at any point."
Three Gallatin rushers have accrued at least 600 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground this season. Graydee Rains, a senior wearing number 33, has the most impressive stat line of the trio. Rains has rushed for 995 yards and 16 touchdowns on 119 carries entering Friday's game.
Junior quarterback Aidan Adkinson has amassed 752 yards on the ground, and number 32 Haden Bradford leads the team in touches with 127 carries for 625 yards.
The Bulldogs have completed just 21 passes through their first 10 games.
"Rains is pretty darn good," Ross said. "He's the best running back we've faced since Fayette, and we know how that one went. It's a different style offensive, it's no secret that they want the ball in his hands and they want him running downhill."
Rains is also statistically Gallatin's best defensive player. The linebacker enters Friday night with 130 total tackles on the season. Defensive end Tom Crouse, number 57, has recorded 107 to this point in the season.
Defensively, the Bulldogs will operate out of a base four-man front with several variations, and they feature heavy use of a Cover 0 scheme.
"It's going to come down this week to who can make more plays in one-on-one circumstances," Ross said. "We've worked a lot on tackling this week to kind of refresh ourselves on what we have to do when we face some bigger, more physical kids. We're preaching good form, that'll be critical this week."