PREP FOOTBALL: Rebels win shootout in SlaytonSLAYTON — Simply put, there were lots of offensive highlights in Wednesday night’s Little Sioux Conference high school football game between Murray County Central and Tracy-Milroy Balaton.
By: Lucas Knutson, Worthington Daily Globe
SLAYTON — Simply put, there were lots of offensive highlights in Wednesday night’s Little Sioux Conference high school football game between Murray County Central and Tracy-Milroy Balaton.
The two teams combined to rack up 971 yards of total offense and plenty more big plays on punt and kick returns were also featured, as MCC outscored T-M-B 44-13 in the second half and claimed a high-scoring 65-41 victory to end the regular season in exciting fashion.
Chris Halbur carried the ball 25 times for 311 yards and scored five touchdowns to spark the Rebels’ impressive output of 500 yards rushing on 44 attempts (11.4 yards per attempt). Jack Thony contributed with 138 yards on just six carries, scoring a trio of touchdowns to help MCC (4-4) pull away from T-M-B (2-6) in the final two quarters.
“That was quite an offensive display put on by both teams,” summed up MCC head coach Chris Davis after the game. “Our offensive line did just a great job up front, and both Chris and Jack turned small runs into big gains with their speed and athletic ability. It was fun to watch those guys get to the outside and break some big plays for us.”
T-M-B kept pace with MCC in the first half and actually held a 28-21 halftime lead, as Parker Lanoue (12-for-28 passing, 160 yards; 19 carries for 50 yards) and Alec Swan (31 carries for 238 yards) combined to rush for four touchdowns.
The Panthers finished with 296 yards rushing and 456 total yards of offense, but they couldn’t quite keep up with the Rebels in the second half.
“It was a great game for about the first 30 minutes, as both teams were executing offensively,” T-M-B co-head coach Derek Flann said. “MCC continued to run the ball effectively in the second half, and we simply had a hard time stopping them — give them all kinds of credit. We also struggled to sustain drives and turned the ball over a few times, which certainly hurt our cause late.”
T-M-B scored on the game’s opening drive, marching 77 yards on 10 plays. Lanoue connected with Keller Anderson (three receptions for 71 yards) for a 33-yard gain and later scrambled along the right sideline for a six-yard touchdown.
Marco Perez booted the first of five perfect PAT kicks, as the Panthers took a quick 7-0 at the 7:11 mark of the first quarter.
MCC answered on its very first play of the ensuing possession, as Halbur ripped off a 71-yard touchdown burst coming around the right end. Halbur also booted the extra point through the uprights, evening the score at seven with 6:55 on the clock.
The Panthers then assembled another nice scoring drive, going 51 yards on seven plays to regain the lead (14-7) with 4:05 to go. Lanoue sneaked in for a one-yard touchdown plunge to cap the series, and Perez added the PAT.
But the Rebels — who completed just one pass in four attempts, Seth Bass to Mitch Reinsma for 15 yards — responded right away, this time on the second play of their ensuing possession. After Dan Halbur gained 12 yards on the ground, Thony scooted along the left sideline for a 69-yard touchdown scamper.
T-M-B blocked the PAT kick, keeping a 14-13 lead with 3:24 remaining in the first quarter.
The Panthers then made it five straight possessions with a touchdown to begin the game, putting together an eight-play, 48-yard drive to extend their lead to 21-13 just six seconds into the second quarter. Swan’s nine-yard touchdown burst was followed by another PAT by Perez.
Each team then got a defensive stop before MCC sustained a five-play, 45-yard march to tie the score. Chris Halbur scored on a two-yard touchdown dive and added the two-point conversion on a similar play, making it 21-21 at the 5:04 mark.
T-M-B came right back with a 68-yard scoring drive on eight plays, capped by another one-yard touchdown on a sneak by Lanoue. Perez split the uprights to give the Panthers a 28-21 lead with 1:51 remaining, and Lanoue intercepted a pass to bring MCC’s ensuing drive to an end.
The Rebels started the second half with the ball and marched 57 yards on six plays, scoring on a 15-yard touchdown by Thony at the 9:49 mark of the third quarter. The PAT kick was wide left, leaving T-M-B with a 28-27 lead.
An 18-yard touchdown pass by Lanoue to Anderson then capped a Panthers’ scoring drive of 60 yards on six plays. Perez kicked the extra point to lift T-M-B to a 35-27 lead with 7:35 on the clock.
Chris Halbur broke free for a 49-yard touchdown jaunt 20 seconds later and also scored the two-point conversion, evening the score at 35 with 7:15 to play.
The Rebels then forced a three-and-out before taking their first lead of the game on a 25-yard touchdown run by Thony at the 1:48 mark. That capped a nine-play, 57-yard drive, and Chris Halbur again scored the two-point conversion to put MCC up 43-35.
Another three-and-out forced by MCC’s defense was followed by a four-play, 27-yard scoring series — this one capped by a six-yard touchdown rumble by Chris Halbur. T-M-B stopped the two-point attempt, as MCC’s lead grew to 49-35 with 10:58 left in the fourth quarter.
MCC’s defense continued to dominate, as Ben Loosbrock intercepted a pair of passes to help the Rebels maintain superior field position and thwart any potential scoring chances for T-M-B.
Chris Halbur scored his fifth and final touchdown at the 6:08 mark when he tight-roped the right sideline and ripped off an 80-yard touchdown sprint. Reinsma scored the two-point conversion to make it 57-35.
Loosbrock scored MCC’s last touchdown when he picked off another pass — his third interception in a span of about six minutes in the fourth quarter — and returned the ball 40 yards for a touchdown. Reinsma again ran in for the two-point conversion, completing the Rebels’ scoring with a 65-35 bulge at the 2:15 mark.
T-M-B scored a touchdown as time expired, driving 65 yards on nine plays to make it 65-41 when Lanoue hooked up with Swan for a seven-yard touchdown at the final horn.
Both teams will begin section tournament play Tuesday, with MCC competing in Section 3A and T-M-B participating in Section 3AA. They will know their upcoming seeds and opponents later this week.
T-M-B 14 14 7 6 — 41
MCC 13 8 22 22 — 65