Outnumbered and outsized, Marionville (0-3) had a tough time throughout the night attempting to handle the Strafford Indians (3-0).
Strafford won the game 44-8 in a dominating performance. “In the first two quarters I told them to score early and fast,” Strafford head football coach Tim Hester said.
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Lead by the team’s defense, the Indians had their way with the Comets. Forcing three-and-outs drive after drive, Strafford kept Marionville out of rhythm and out of the end zone for most of the game.
Senior defensive lineman Kory Noe had burst onto the scene in the first two games of the season. He continued his early-season success against the Comets.
Noe and the rest of the Indians defense made it tough for Marionville to gain yards through the air or on the ground. The Comets had just six yards passing in the first half, and 10 in the game.
“My defensive line is stingy and they played real well by occupying gaps and making lots of tackles,” Hester said.
Being a run-first team, Marionville attempted to get their ground game going. However, the team combined for just 66 yards in the first half. The team did finish the game with 240 rushing yards, with 122 of them coming in the fourth quarter.
Strafford’s offense was just as impressive as its defense. Sophomore running back Dalton Taylor was the main weapon used by the Indians.
“Our receivers’ blocking was the biggest key tonight and our line looked good too,” Taylor said.
On just nine carries in the first half, Taylor ran for 139 yards and two touchdowns. Taylor and his backfield mates were the reason why the team had a 37-0 halftime lead.
“I got three good running backs I can go to and tonight was Dalton Taylor’s night,” Hester said.
Junior quarterback Jacob Wade got the scoring started for Strafford. Wade found his way into the end zone just two minutes into the game to put the Indians up 7-0. In the game, Wade was seven for 10 passing for 123 yards and one interception.
Taylor added a 46-yard touchdown run four minutes later to extend the Indians lead to 14.
Fellow backfield member senior Jacob Shoemaker also punched home a 7-yard touchdown with just seconds remaining in the first quarter.
The score total for Strafford only continued to rise in the second quarter. A safety to start the quarter resulting from a high snap made the score 23-0.
Two more touchdowns were scored by the Indians before the half. In complete control, Strafford was able to cruise in the second half.
“As long as our offense is scoring and defense can get stops, (we’ll be good),” Taylor said.
Strafford put the final touches on the game with a three-yard touchdown run by Shoemaker. With a 44-0 lead, the Indians pulled most of the starters.
Strafford finished the game with 210 rushing yards as a team.
“This game builds a lot of confidence,” Taylor said. “We got to take it one game at a time though and not look too far ahead.”
Marionville did finally get on the scoreboard with a three-yard touchdown run by their quarterback Ryan White in the final quarter.
“Being three and zero is great but it can get to the players’ heads,” Hester said. “We’ve got to preach stay hungry and humble. We have got to be humble and not over confident when we play good teams.”
Strafford’s next test will be Stockton while Marionville will take on Ash Grove.