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Dragons score 24 in second half to beat Rebels

SLAYTON -- Starting with a 20-yard touchdown reception by Tanner Loosbrock early in the third quarter Wednesday night, the Adrian Dragons scored 24 second-half points to close out the Little Sioux Conference football schedule with a 30-6 victory over Murray County Central.

Adrian (6-2) finishes as the league runner-up and is the No. 2 seed in Section 3A. The Dragons host seventh-seeded Red Rock Central Tuesday at 7 p.m.

MCC (3-5) is the No. 6 seed in the Section 3A tournament and will visit third-seeded Southwestern United Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Brewster.

"It was important for us to get back in the win column," Adrian head coach Randy Strand said following the game. "Our offensive line really stepped up as the game progressed, and we played pretty sharp defense all night."

The field was wet and slippery from the start, with a light rain falling off-and-on for much of the contest.

After Adrian (190 rushing yards on 38 carries) went three-and-out on the game's first possession, MCC's Kyle DeLong hit Ben Clarke for a 12-yard gain to help the Rebels reach midfield.

The Rebels were forced to punt, though, after three more plays, and the Adrian offense took over at its own 28-yard line.

After a false-start penalty and short runs by Joey Bertrand (nine carries for 46 yards) and Glen Kruger put the ball at the 30, Brett Nowotny completed a pass to Danny Parsley, who raced down the left sideline for a big 60-yard gain.

With the ball at the 10-yard line, it took the Dragons three plays to score the game's first points as Nowotny plunged in for a one-yard touchdown with 3:47 remaining in the opening quarter. MCC's Matt Blomgren blocked Adam Diekmann's PAT kick, leaving Adrian with a 6-0 lead.

MCC answered with a drive to the Dragons' 26-yard line behind the running of DeLong, Jeremy Storm and Blaine Jacobson. However, Adrian's Mitchell Cox sacked DeLong for an 11-yard loss on third down, and the Dragons stopped DeLong on a fourth-down run to halt the drive.

Neither team did much offensively for the rest of the first half, and the Dragons' defense made a big play on the second half's first play from scrimmage to help break the game open for Adrian.

MCC started at its own 19-yard line, but a fumble on a handoff exchange was recovered by Adrian's Tony Thier at the 20-yard line.

Adrian gained a first-and-goal at the nine-yard line behind an eight-yard burst from Jesse Brake (11 carries for 50 yards), but a holding penalty pushed the Dragons back to the 20.

Diekmann then found Loosbrock wide open on the right side of the field, and Loosbrock ran it in for a touchdown. Brake rushed in for the two-point conversion, giving Adrian a 14-0 lead with 9:38 left in the third quarter.

Adrian then forced a three-and-out and took over at MCC's 43-yard line. The Dragons put together an eight-play scoring drive, with Brake doing most of the damage.

Brake busted off an 18-yard burst before later capping the possession with a two-yard touchdown run with 4:35 left in the third period. He added the two-point conversion, increasing Adrian's margin to 22-0.

Adrian later downed one of Diekmann's punts at the Rebels' one-yard line, and the Dragons stopped MCC on three straight plays as the third quarter came to an end.

After a punt from DeLong, Adrian took over at MCC's 27-yard line and soon extended its bulge to 30-0 with 10:39 left in the game.

On the third play of the series, Thier (seven carries for 35 yards) ran through a big hole on the right side for a 13-yard gain and later dashed in for a four-yard touchdown. Matt Gades (three carries for 33 yards) found Brake in the end zone for the two-point conversion.

"We moved the ball well in the second half, with our backs running hard and holding onto the ball in slippery conditions," Strand said. "It was nice to build a big lead, and we continued to get the job done defensively."

MCC, though, got on the board on the ensuing kickoff to complete the scoring at 30-6 with 10:26 left.

Eric Wieneke fielded the kick and worked his way up the middle of the field before cutting to the left sideline and outracing the Adrian coverage for an 86-yard touchdown. The two-point conversion attempt failed.

The weather got worse almost immediately after that play, as a steady rainfall served as the backdrop for most of the fourth quarter, with neither team scoring again.

Cox led Adrian with 12 tackles and two sacks, while Zach Reker charted 11 tackles. Parsley had 10 tackles and four sacks for the Dragons.

DeLong and Kyle Lewis had eight tackles apiece for the Rebels, while Clarke, Tyler Giese, Jeremy Peterson and Alex Peterson each had seven tackles.

Mike Tentinger (six) and Wieneke (five) also charted high tackle totals for MCC.

Jacobson had 10 carries for 37 yards, while Storm carried the ball 12 times for 30 yards. MCC totaled 110 rushing yards on 38 carries.

Adrian 6 0 16 8 -- 30

MCC 0 0 0 6 -- 6