In Marceline's senior night football game versus Salisbury on Friday, the Tigers did all the work they needed to do early on.
Marceline scored on each of its first four possessions before allowing a pair of Panther touchdowns at the end of the first half. Marceline went on to win, 47-12.
"Being able to get the run game going early was huge for us," Marceline head coach Mark Ross said. "We had some guys make some big plays, and we kind of took the wind out of their sails early. Once we got locked back in and got back to our assignments, we came back out and controlled the second half."
A long drive and three big plays set up a 26-0 lead for Marceline with five minutes remaining in the second quarter. Senior Cullen Bruner rushed for a pair of touchdowns in the first half, and sophomore Wyatt Molloy scored on a 30-yard screen play down the right sideline.
The Tigers also converted a fake punt on fourth and 20 to Sam Gillman the drive after a fruitless fake cost Salisbury possession.
On the ensuing possession, a Salisbury punt from deep within its own territory led to a Marceline fumble, and the Panthers drove and scored. Just before the halftime break, aggressive play-calling from Marceline resulted in a three-and-out, and Salisbury brought the game back within two scores with 15 seconds remaining in the second quarter.
Marceline finished with 232 yards on the ground and 147 passing, and Salisbury finished with right around 250 yards overall. Senior Marceline quarterback Alex McCauslin was 7-13 through the air. Molloy recorded three receptions for 84 yards, and Gillman posted a pair for 53 yards.
Bruner accrued 149 of his team's rushing yards. Colby Sims finished with 13 tackles -- 10 solo.
"We still had some missed assignments in the second half, and we gave up some yards in the secondary so that's kind of disappointing, but kudos to Salisbury's kids and coaching staff for some of those big plays," Ross said. "Our boys responded and ultimately found a way to keep them out of the endzone in the second half, and that's huge.
"They made adjustments that slowed us down for a while. There were some times that our coverage was pretty good, but their quarterback had some time to throw."
The Tigers advance to 6-1 to remain undefeated in the Lewis & Clark Conference. Salisbury falls to 1-6 after its only victory last week versus Knox County.