MARCUS - Quarterback Tanner Utesch celebrated Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn's 2012 Homecoming in superb fashion here Friday night, leading the Eagles to a hard-fought 31-22 victory over neighborhood rival Remsen-Union, and also serving as Homecoming King in the festivities.
Utesch, a gritty senior speedster, was again a picture of efficiency, completing 12-17 passes for 193 yards and three touchdowns, and rushing for another to figure in on 24 of his team's 31 total points.
Utesch hooked up with Isaiah Petersen for two TDs, one from 24 yards out, and the other from eight yards; connected with Andrew Hoefling on a 28-yard TD pass; and ran in the end zone from six yards away for his rushing score.
Jake Meehan led the MMC receivers with six catches for 71 yards, Hoefling three for 63 yards, Petersen two for 32 yards, and Lee Hueser one for 27 yards.
The Eagles rushed the ball 39 times for 217 yards, with Hoefling leading the way with 20 carries for 88 yards, Utesch 12 carries for 88 yards, and Meehan seven hauls for 41 yards.
The visiting Rockets rushed the ball 57 times for 268 yards, with Nick Braun carrying the ball 23 times for 118 yards and a 25-yard TD run. QB Cam Kuchel rushed 17 times for 78 yards and a six-yard TD, and Austin Schmidt rushed six times for 13 yards and a two-yard TD. Jeremy Sanchez rushed eight times for 52 yards.
Kuchel completed 16-30 passes for 87 yards and two interceptions. A 52-yard pass play Kuchel to Sanchez went the distance early in the first quarter but the TD was called back on a holding penalty in the line.
The MMC defense came through big time against the pesky 1-3 Rockets, led by Nathan Zubrod with 26 combined, Justin Theisen 16, Jared Gross 15, Meehan 13, Dylan Rolfes 13, Nate Rassel 11, Dylan Spieler 11, Tyler Prunty 10, and Hoefling 10.
Hoefling and Spieler each had a pick for the winners, and Meehan and Theisen recovered fumbles. Spieler also kicked a 31-yard field goal and two PATs.
Ethan Van Dam and Aandrew Hagert each registered 13 tackles for R-U, followed by Austin Felts 12, Tanner Hilbrands nine, and Sanchez eight.
MMC (4-0) plays at 3-1 Harris-Lake Park Friday in 8-player District 1 action.