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Prep football: Tigers put the bite on Trojans, 62-6

MARSHALL -- On a night where the temperature at kickoff was 86 degrees, the Marshall Tigers heated up quickly and held on for a 62-6 football victory Friday night against the visiting Worthington Trojans.

MARSHALL -- On a night where the temperature at kickoff was 86 degrees, the Marshall Tigers heated up quickly and held on for a 62-6 football victory Friday night against the visiting Worthington Trojans.

Marshall, ranked tenth in the Minnesota Class AAAA field, scored four touchdowns for a 28-0 first quarter lead over Worthington at the campus of Southwest Minnesota State University. The Trojans answered back with a touchdown late in the first quarter -- something difficult to do against the Tigers -- but they didn’t exhibit enough firepower to pull off the upset.

WHS head coach Gene Lais was disappointed that his team didn’t get off to a better start.

“I’m pretty sure they’ll bounce back next week,” he said. “But if you want to be a big boy, you gotta play like a big boy.”

A week earlier, Marshall’s defense held Belle Plaine to less than 50 total yards in a 49-0 win. But the Trojans had three first half chances to score on Friday, the first coming midway in the first quarter following a 72-yard kick return by Emmett Bickett to the Tigers’ 25-yard line. From the 20, Robert Ortiz attempted a 37-yard field goal attempt that was blocked.

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After Marshall’s fourth TD of the first quarter, Worthington found paydirt. Quarterback Will Brandner completed a nifty pass to Karasharo Ojulo that reached the MHS 10-yard line, and on the next play -- with 14.8 seconds remaining -- Brandner ran the football into the end zone.

In the second quarter, WHS knocked on the door again, but a 4th-and-5 pass play at Marshall’s 12-yard line fell incomplete.

The bulk of the night’s offense, however, clearly rested with the Tigers. On their first play from scrimmage they scored on a 32-yard run by senior quarterback Bryce Paulsen. On their next possession, Jackson Hughes finished a short drive by scoring untouched on a 13-run through the middle of the WHS defense. Less than a minute later after a Trojan fumble, Paulsen passed 14 yards to Braedy Slagel for a score. Then with 3:02 still remaining in the first quarter, Paulsen hit Cody Greve for a touchdown pass.

Brandner’s score interrupted the Tigers’ offensive show, but they got it going again in the second quarter on a 15-yard scoring pass from Paulsen to Jeraco Parsa and a 12-yard TD run by Gabe Raini.

Paulsen rushed for 104 yards and passed for 77 in the half.

Even in the second half, Worthington moved the ball at times against the vaunted MHS defense. Bickett ran the ball well at his running back position and Brandner -- who finished with 110 yards passing -- showed an ability to move the ball through the air behind an offensive line that, for much of the game, gave him time to throw.

Lais praised the efforts of Brandner and Bickett, and also lineman Kyle Mullaney, who played both ways for the whole game.

But the Marshall offense continued to score. In the third quarter, a 10-yard run by Jacob Hughes and an 18-run by Brayden Hilgemann upped the score to 56-6. Tannyr Curry carried for a score early in the fourth quarter.

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The loss drops the Trojans to 1-2 on the season. Next Friday, the Trojans will have their homecoming against St. Peter.

Worthington 6 0 0 0 -- 6Marshall 28 14 14 6 -- 62

Doug Wolter joined the Worthington Globe in December of 1983 as a sports reporter. He later became sports editor, and then news editor and managing editor. In 2006 he moved to Mankato with his wife, Sandy, and served as an editor at the Mankato Free Press. In 2013 he and Sandy returned to Worthington to take up the job of sports editor at The Globe, and they have been in Worthington since.

Doug can be reached at dwolter@dglobe.com.
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