MARCUS - The Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn Eagles piled up 251 yards of total offense to their opponents' 115 in Friday night football action at Marcus, and also topped that opponent, River Valley, in first downs, by a 14-4 count.
As "they" always say, though, the only stat that counts is the final score, and in that department, the Wolverines scored two fourth quarter touchdowns, including one on a 75-yard pass from Zach Hullinger to Tyrel McCrea, to take a hard-earned victory in what River Valley Coach Kent Bass termed a "very hard-hitting football game."
Coach Bass felt his team put out a "great team effort," but added that they need to work on offensive execution. He also said "Hats off to MMC."
Hullinger led Wolverine rushers with 13 net yards, and Chace Cullen added 10. Hullinger ran for paydirt on one occasion, in addition to a two-point conversion and his aerial to McCrea.
Pat Brinkman led the River Valley defense with 11 unassisted tackles and six assisted, for a total of 17. McCrea had 13 (6/7), Austin Hawkins 11 (8/3) Ethan Byers 11 (6/5), and Anthony Volkert 9 (8/1).
MMC scored its touchdown on a 34-yard pass from quarterback Justin Henke to Jerad letsche in the second quarter to take a 7-0 lead into the final frame.
Henke finished 10-18 passing for 122 yards, and his team rushed for 178 yards. Jacob Lehnhoff led MMC in rushing with 17 carries for 95 yards, while Jordan Petersen was 13-38, and Darren Morse 5-23.
Henke and Petersen led the Eagles on defense with five solo stops each, while Russ Godbersen and Lukas Nelson. registered three apiece.
"Looking at the statistics, we won every category except the score board," said MMC coach Brian Williams. Their one completion of the night was a 75-yard TD pass on a missed assignment, and our punt coverage team allowed a return to the 20-yard line to set up the other score.
"Offensively, we moved the ball well, and had first down inside the 35-yard line three times and each time the drive stalled due to penalties. A lot of the problems we had you can contribute to first game mistakes. It's just frustrating to not come out on top after controlling the game. I loved our effort and intensity."
River Valley hosts Westwood Friday, while MMC goes to West Monona.