Celebrating Senior Night Friday, the Marshals beat Spencer County 20-14 to send off their 13 seniors with a win, the first Senior Night win for the program in 12 years. The win wrapped up the 2017 season on a high note, finishing with a record of 4-6.
“Big win tonight…I want to thank the seniors for putting in four years of work here…they laid it all on the field this last time and made some big plays when they had to”, Head Coach Evan Merrick said. “Grant Utley on defense…Mason Green played some defense there. We put some drives together and it was just a total team win.”
The Marshals put points on the board first on an 18 yard touchdown pass from Skyler Smith to Green to lead 6-0 after the point after attempt was blocked. The Marshals recovered a fumble on Spencer County’s next series but were pushed back on penalties and on fourth and six, attempted a 24 yard field goal that was no good.
Spencer County went on to score the next two touchdowns, the first by Trevor Hunt on a five yard run after he gave the Bears several big gains on the drive. The second came on a 14 yard run by Brandon Jewell to lead 14-6
With just over two minutes left in the first half, Lucas Nichols caught a 45 yard pass for a touchdown to put the Marshals up 14-12 after the two point conversion attempt failed and they headed to the locker room at halftime down 14-12.
In the third quarter, Spencer County fumbled the kick-off which was recovered by Nichols but the Marshals drive ended at the 14 yard line with a missed 31 yard field goal attempt.
Another Spencer County fumble on a high punt snap led to a one yard touchdown run by Green and two point conversion pass completion to Ty Buchmeier for a 20-14 lead late in the third quarter.
Spencer County put together a steady downfield drive in the fourth quarter, putting the Marshals lead in jeopardy, but a fumble by quarterback Wyatt DeRudder, gave the Marshals the ball at the 15 yard line with just under six minutes remaining in the game.
The drive stalled out on fourth and four putting the Marshals in punt position, going with a fake punt snap directly to Green who picked up the yardage needed for a first down with two and half minutes remaining. Penalties backed them up to their 10 yard line and a punt from the 13 yard line gave Spencer County the ball at midfield with 1:35 left on the clock.
Jon Smith in at quarterback for the Bears, was dropped behind the line of scrimmage by Utley forcing them to go for it on fourth and seven. Unable to get the first down, the Marshals took over on downs, taking a knee on the final play to finish out the win.
“Probably the best team win we’ve had this year”, Merrick said. “No better way to send these guys out of their career in orange. Great momentum for the underclassmen to take into the future. A great way to cap off this season.”
Marshall County had 134 rushing yards, the majority coming from Green who grinded it out for 137 yards on 32 carriers. Smith completed 15 of 20 passes for 153 yards and two touchdowns with the majority of those yards earned by Nichols with four receptions for 105 yards. Defensively, a good night for seniors Utley and Austin Riley, Utley led with 14 tackles, Riley had 13.
Spencer County had 278 yards in offense, 261 on the ground, picked up by Trevor Hunt who ran for 140 yards on 17 carries and Jewell with 94 yards on 11 carries.