Marceline looked every bit the part of a state ranked team as the #4 rated Missouri Class 1 football squad dominated the season opener Friday night in Memphis, handing Scotland County a 45-3 defeat to kick off 2017.
The visiting Tigers took the opening kickoff and needed just five plays from scrimmage to put the first points of the night on the scoreboard as Rylan Chrisman scored on a three-yard run. Cullen Bruner kicked the extra point to put Marceline on top 7-0 with 10:50 left in the first period.
SCR-I took advantage of an offsides penalty to move the changes but that only stalled the punt for three more downs as the Tigers were unable to budge the stout Marceline defensive front on their first offensive possession.
Following the punt, Chrisman went back to work, breaking a 22-yard run. He capped off the drive with a 13-yard TD run that made the score 14-0 after the Bruner PAT, with 4:41 still remaining in the opening period.
The Tigers went three and out on drive number two.
But after the SCR-I punt, the Tigers defense gained some momentum. Grant McRobert sacked Chase Billups for a 12 yard loss. But faced with third down and long, Billups was able to connect with Trey Hamilton for a 32-yard gain. However the SCR-I defense recovered and was able to force Marceline to turn the ball over on downs after nice plays by safety Will Fromm and linebacker Branton Burrus.
SCR-I’s offense continued to sputter, managing just four yards on three plays before the third punt of the opening period.
This time Marceline would not be denied. Chrisman and Hunter Teeter both had a pair of big runs to set up a three-yard TD run by Billups to push the lead to 21-0 with 7:00 left in the first half.
Scotland County got a spark on offense when Fromm connected with Brett Monroe for a 22-yard pass play. But a questionable penalty on SCR-I on the next play backed the Tigers way up when SCR-I was flagged for an illegal block. Marceline followed that up with a sack of Fromm to further pen SCR-I deep, and ultimately force another punt.
The Tigers’ special teams produced the biggest plays of the game. Brett Monroe latched on to Stallo on the return and forced a fumble, which Monroe pounced on at midfield.
Unfortunately the offense was unable to move the chains and turned the ball over on downs with less than 90 seconds on the clock.
That proved just enough time for Marceline to get into field position for a 42-yard field goal by Bruner as time expired, to put the guests on top 24-0.
SCR-I went three and out on the opening possession of the third quarter.
Marceline put together and eight-play scoring drive behind a 21-yard run by Stallo and a 16-yard gain by Teeter. Chrisman scored on a one-yard run with 5:45 remaining in the third period to extend the lead to 31-0.
Fromm was forced to leave the game during the next series with cramps. Sophomore Parker Triplett took over at quarterback, but was unable to lead SCR-I to a first down.
Billups capped off a six-play drive with his second rushing TD of the night and the Bruner PAT kick pushed the lead to 38-0 with nine ticks left on the third period clock.
Marceline got the ball right back after a line drive kickoff drilled one of the Tigers’ up blockers and bounced right back to the kicking team.
Even with the game well in hand, Marceline kept its first string offense on the field for one final scoring drive as Chrisman tacked on his fourth TD of the contest with 6:34 left in the game to extend the lead to 45-0.
SCR-I went three and out on what looked like its final offensive possession of the evening but another forced fumble on the punt return gave the home team one last shot.
Parker Triplett scrambled for just the second first down of the night for the Tigers but with time running out the team elected for a 24-yard field goal by Dodge to make the final score 45-3.
Scotland County was held to just 48 yards of total offense, with a -2 in the rushing column.
Fromm completed seven of 13 passes for 50 yards. He ran the ball six times for -8 yards. Dodge was held to one yard on six attempts. Jayden Payne had five yards on three rushes. Triplett led the way with 18 yards on three carries. Monroe caught two passes for 29 yards.
Marceline racked up 444 yards of total offense led by Chrisman with 134 yards and four TDs on 17 rushes. Billups completed 14 of 16 passes for 182 yards and ran the ball 10 times for 25 yards and two TDs.
Payne led the SCR-I defense with 15 tackles on the night while Dodge, Matthew Woods and Luke Triplett were each in on seven stops.
Scotland County (0-1) will host Fayette on Friday night in another tough Lewis & Clark Conference matchup.