Marceline beat Harrisburg 30-16 on Friday night to win the Lewis and Clark Conference title for the seventh consecutive year. Marceline finished as the No. 1 seed in the Class 1 District 6 tournament and got a first-round bye.
Neither team’s offense produced any touchdowns in the first half.
Marceline got on the board first with a 28-yard field goal by senior Drake Stufflebean. He converted one more, a 29-yarder, to give the Tigers a 6-0 lead at the end of the first half.
The Tigers scored the first touchdown with 9:49 left in the third quarter. Senior Hunter Nelson ran for 15 yards to extend the lead to 12-0. A two-point conversion made it 14-0.
The Bulldogs offense didn’t respond until the end of the third quarter with a 9-yard rush by Hayven Samuels. Harrisburg had struggled until then, and the TD was set up by a 30-yard pass from quarterback Tanner Lanes to Samuels. The Bulldogs made a two-point conversion play to make it 22-8.
Marceline scored on its next drive as Jacob Stallo passed to Caleb Stallo for a 42-yard touchdown.
The Bulldogs offense built on its third-quarter drive as Lanes connected with Samuels for a 34-yard touchdown. Harrisburg went for yet anther two-point conversion and made it a one-score game at 22-16 with 8:11 left in the fourth quarter.
Marceline prevented Harrisburg from scoring for the rest of the game.
The Tigers closed the game on a 14-yard rushing touchdown from Jace Bixenman.
After the game, Harrisburg coach Steve Hopkins called Marceline “the bar in our conference.”
The team learned “the kind of effort it takes to measure up to Marceline,” Hopkins said.
Harrisburg finished as the No. 4 seed in Class 1 District 5. The Bulldogs will host Tolton in the first round of the district playoffs.
A key part of Marceline football is its four core values. Bixenman recited the values of “unity, consistency, attention to detail and accountability.” He mentioned how these values are talked about in the summer and how Marceline lives by them through the season.
Marceline’s win against Harrisburg was its 26th consecutive win against a team in the Lewis and Clark Conference.