The Marceline Tigers' football team had no problem taking care of business on the road on Friday night, traveling to Salisbury and dominating 41-0. Marceline improves to 5-1 with a date with powerhouse Westran next Friday, and Salisbury falls to 1-6.
All of the Tigers' points came in the first quarter, and two of their early touchdowns were produced by the defense.
"Defensively, the boys came out firing and that gave us an opportunity to take some pressure off," Marceline coach Mark Ross said. "We scored twice defensively in a span of about two minutes. It's a blessing and a curse, because we didn't get a whole lot of time on offense.
"I don't know that I've ever pulled a quarterback after the first quarter before, but at that point we decided it was wisest to not get anybody hurt and get some of our younger guys some live looks."
Alex McCauslin was responsible for both of those defensive touchdowns for the Tigers, running an interception back 40 yards and recovering a Colton Jenkins strip-sack on the very next play.
Marceline quarterback Chase Billups completed two of his three pass attempts for 120 yards and a pair of touchdowns. McCauslin was also 2-of-3 for 25 yards and a score.
Cullen Bruner rushed the ball just six times for 25 yards, and Nick Cain was the Tigers' leading rusher in terms of yardage with 45 yards on a single carry.
Twenty-two different Tigers recorded at least one tackle on Friday night. Freddie Bascus' six tackles was a team-high.
The Tigers host Westran next week with revenge on the mind from the way the Marceline season was cut short last year. After winning the penultimate game of the regular season in Huntsville, the Tigers were dumped at home, 42-16, in district championship.
"I think it's a game that our kids have had circled all year," Ross said. "We'll be ready to go."