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November 12, 2009

Marceline Puts SCR-I Away Early to End Tigersí State Playoff Run

Making a playoff birth for the first time in five years, the Scotland County football team had its work cut out for it, traveling to Marceline November 4th to take on the #6 ranked team in Missouri Class 1.

The Tigers lost the coin toss to start the contest and it didnít get much better for SCR-I, which ran into tough luck early and often.

The Tigers took the opening kickoff and stumbled out of the gates as Cody Taft lost his footing at the 14-yard line. After the Marceline defense stuffed two run attempts, SCR-I looked to pass on third down. But the bootleg roll out backfired, as a Marceline blitzer crushed quarterback Brock Bondurant before he had fully turned around from the fake handoff. The ball came loose on the hit by Wesley Pickman and Matthew Bell recovered it in the endzone for a touchdown with 10:25 left in the first period.

The point after attempt by Bell was good to make the score 7-0.

SCR-I found itself backed up once again after a pair of penalties on the ensuing kickoff. The Tigers started at the seven-yard line and went just three yards before the second turnover of the contest.

Marceline quickly capitalized on the miscue. Sophomore Randall Rosenbaum ran in the five-yard TD with 8:15 remaining in the first period. Bellís PAT kick made it 14-0.

SCR-I got some breathing room when Taft broke a good kick return to the 40-yard line. But the offense went three and out and punted to Marceline.

The home squad marched down the field before Bell punched the ball in from two yards out with 1:53 left in the first period. He tacked on the PAT kick to make it 21-0.

The smoke had barely cleared from that score when the Tigers fumbled on the kick return. Marceline put seven more points on the board when Austin Bruner found a wide open Kyle Bixenman for a 31 yard touchdown pass.

The Tigers calmed down in the second period. Sabe Sears took over at quarterback in his first game back from a broken wrist.

He connected with Brandon Garnett for a 36-yard completion to get the Tigers across midfield. But the drive stalled and a fake punt attempt was stopped by Marceline.

The SCR-I defense stopped Marceline on downs on two separate drives in the second period. The home team caught a break when an apparent fumble was blown dead. The Tigers had scooped up the loose ball and were headed for a touchdown when the whistles blew the play dead.

Scotland County got the ball back with less than a minute to go in the first half. They appeared headed for a score when Taft broke a 74-yard run. But Bixenman, a state track qualifier, was able to chase down the Tigers back and make a TD-saving tackle at the 11-yard line. The senior defensive back then came up big again on the final play of the half.

Sears rolled out from the 11-yard line and fired a pass to Harely Stone in the end zone. Bixenman made a great play to knock the pass down at the last second and prevent the score.

Marceline took the ball to start the third period. The home team marched down the field before the Tigers defense finally held. Marceline settled for a 37 yard field goal by Bell to make the score 31-0.

After SCR-I went three and out, Marceline kept the clock running for the rest of the contest when Bell broke a 56-yard touchdown run with 2:16 left in the third period.

Marceline tacked on one final score when Bell broke a 31-yard run with 7:23 left in the fourth quarter to make the final score 45-0.

Marceline held the Tigers to just four first downs in the contest. Taft had 80 yards on nine attempts. Kyle Shelley carried the ball 11 times for 53 yards. Sears completed four of 10 passes for 64 yards. Garnett had two catches for 45 yards.

Shelley led the Tigers defense with 13 tackles. Taft made 10 stops.

Marceline racked up 20 first downs on the night. Bell finished with 179 yards and three TDs on just 15 attempts. Rosenbaum had 42 yards on nine attempts. Bruner completed one of seven passes for 30 yards and a TD.

Marceline advanced to take on Knox County, a 34-20 winner over Princeton on November 9th.


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