Marceline ignores multiple absences in fifth win
With seven players in drydock, due to injury, illness, host pigskin Tigers still cruise 35-16
MARCELINE — Currently decimated by injuries and ailments – some long-term, others hopefully more temporary, the Marceline High School football Tigers surely must be thankful they’re in the midst of a midseason stretch of lesser foes.
With seven players who normally occupy nine of the Tigers’ 22 starting positions unable to play last Friday when Kansas City: Northeast came calling at Chester Ray Stadium, Marceline didn’t post the blowout win it likely would have if healthy.
Still, they won fairly comfortably, 35-16, over the Class 3-size metro KC team behind a big all-around performance by sophomore Caleb Stallo and a balanced offensive approach.
C. Stallo caught six passes for 98 yards and a touchdown, toted the pigskin 10 times for 81 yards and another 6-pointer, and returned a punt 70 yards for a third score as the Tigers improved to 5-1 on the season.
After that 1-week respite, MHS will return to Lewis and Clark Conference play this Friday when the final home game of the 2021 regular season brings the Salisbury Panthers (1-4, 1-3 conf.) to town.
Salisbury this year is under new head coach Oren Magruder, who led Southwest Livingston to the 8-man state championship game each of the past two years and the state title last November. The Panthers, having defeated Paris 28-20 in week two, are trying to avoid a second-straight 1-win season.
Marceline, winning for a third time in a row last Friday, blended the run and pass together well. Quarterback Jacob Stallo connected on 18 of his 27 throws for 187 yards, hitting not only C. Stallo, but also Jace Bixenman for touchdowns. Bixenman caught a MHS-leading eight passes for 54 yards.
At the same time, C. Stallo and Hunter Nelson were lugging the ball along terra firma quite nicely, thank you. Nelson had a team-most 90 rushing yards and a score on his 10 carries.
On the defensive side, MHS head coach Mark Ross reports, Jack McCauslin had a team-most five tackles – four unassisted. Tanner Sayre and Bixenman provided four total stops with three solos apiece.
nullThe game was begun an hour earlier than its originally-slated time, due to a threat of heavy rain that didn't materialize.
With looming week eight foe Westran having revived itself some with a 22-12 victory over Scotland County last Friday and final regular-season opponent Harrisburg continuing to sail along in undefeated fashion, Marceline will hope to heal up and get a number of its walking wounded back by next week.