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Owls hit road to meet another NCMC, district foe

Friday, September 14, 2012

Offensive linemen like seniors Berry Benedick (59) and Mason Ryther (76) have paved the way for the Owls' rushing average of 238.7 yards per game.
(Chris Allen/Democrat-News)
It's hard to fathom that a football program with Marshall's tradition would enter the fourth week of the season with two wins for the first time since 2007.

However, last week's 35-15 NCMC win over Mexico was another step in the comeback for the Owls from a winless 2011 campaign.

"We're still getting better every day," remarked MHS head coach Jon Stockman.

After managing only 60 points all of last year, Marshall (2-1, 1-0 NCMC) has already tallied 75. The offense has nearly matched its 795 rushing yards of a year ago with 716 gained on the ground. The only serious negatives so far have been four turnovers in the first two games and 30 penalties in the last two.

"At times we play pretty well, at times we hurt ourselves with stupid mistakes and penalties," Stockman assessed. "We need to continue to block and tackle, better than we have."

The Owls step up again today during a road contest at league rival Kirksville (2-0, 0-1), which was off to an impressive start with convincing wins over Southern Boone (51-22) and Chillicothe (26-6) -- which the Birds beat by a mere point to open the season -- before being derailed during a 31-0 loss at Moberly last week.

"They're fast, they're physical up front -- on both sides of the line -- and their linebackers run and tackle very well," Stockman said. "They're a well-rounded football team."

Senior quarterback Mitch Kriegshauser has completed only 13 of 35 pass attempts, but has gained 174 yards and scored three touchdowns with them, while senior Scott Schwend is averaging 5.6 yards per carry and racked up 127.7 yards per game.

"The offense has a plethora of things they're going to try to do with us," Stockman noted. Schwend is "hard to get a hit on and bring down."

Not only that, but senior Austin Carlisle has an 81-yard kick return TD to his credit.

After rushing for 142 yards and four touchdowns against the Hornets, Marshall senior quarterback Alex Maupin has been a marked man for opponents, but maybe attention on him will be diverted by senior Marc Plummer's 205-yard performance last week.

"If we're going to win, we're going to have to rush the football," Stockman asserted. "We're going to go up there, pound them a little bit and try to run it down their throats."

That's no surprise, since 122 of the Owls' 150 offensive snaps have been running plays, although Maupin has thrown for 166 yards and two scores.

Heading into the contest, Marshall is seeded sixth in Class 4, District 6 with 30.33 points, while the Tigers are No. 5 at 34.33. Does that attach any extra significance to this clash?

"A win's a win," Stockman said. "We have to play real well to have a chance in the end."

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M-town! Great job Owls.

-- Posted by alloutowls on Sat, Sep 15, 2012, at 1:14 AM

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