LARNED — The short passing game of the Marysville Bulldogs controlled the clock and the scoreboard Saturday as they edged by the Larned Indians 36-28 in the Class 3A second-round playoff game.
Larned (6-5) committed three turnovers, which cost the Indians. Larned gave up two interceptions and a costly first-half fumble.
Larned coach A.B. Stokes, in an emotional post-game interview, bemoaned the turnovers.
“Yes, the turnovers cost us the ball game but, I don’t want to talk about that. Congratulations to Marysville but, what about my seniors? I am so proud of them and what they have accomplished. They’ve been with me all four years and I am in awe of what they have accomplished. I’m sad that we lost but so proud of this football team.”
Marysville quarterback Jack Blumer was as good as advertised with 15 completions for 238 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for 47 yards. Atreyau Hornbeak rushed for 105 yards on 20 carries. The Bulldogs rushed 41 times for 182 yards.
Quarterback Carson Smith was 7 of 11 passing for 135 yards and two touchdowns. He added 23 yards rushing. The Indians were led in rushing by Anthony McConnell with 21 carries for 151 yards and a touchdown. Wes Davis added 13 carries for 48 yards. Both McConnell and Davis are seniors.
Marysville (10-1) plays Cheney (9-2) in next week’s quarterfinals.
The Bulldogs took the opening kickoff and with a mix of short passes and effective running plays quickly moved downfield. Gabe Pieschel pulled in a Blumer pass of eight yards for a touchdown with 8:26 left in the first quarter. Jacob Backus’ conversion made it 8-0.
Larned , behind the power running of McConnell and Davis moved quickly downfield. Quarterback Smith found Davis with a 20-yatrd touchdown pass. Logan DeMond’s kick made it 8-7.
Marysville’s Jack Blumer time after time found his receivers for 5 to 10 yard gains and successfully converted numerous third and fourth down plays with timely passes or key runs. Blumer had a personal hand in two thirds of the Bulldogs plays. A 23 yard touchdown pass to Backus and another 2-point run pushed the Marysville lead to 16-7. Blumer dove for a 1-yard score with six seconds left for a 24-7 halftime lead.
The Bulldogs would push their lead to 30-7 in the third quarter on a 25 yard scamper to paydirt by Hornbeak at the 5:11 mark.
With 2:52 remaining in the third quarter, Larned’s Anthony McConnell broke loose for a 44 yard touchdown run and following another DeMond kick, Larned had cut the lead to 30-14.
Marysville used a short field and Derek Roever dove into the end zone from 1-yard out for a 36-14 lead.
Larned coach A.B. Stokes, in his post-game comments said, “These kids have heart. They don’t quit.”
They didn’t and with 7:10 remaining, Mason Perez gathered in a 17 yard pass from Carson smith and sped into the end zone. A run for 2 points failed but the lead was now 36-20.
Larned’s defense held and forced a punt for only the second time in the ball game and the Indians converted with 3:43 remaining as Brock Skelton caught a screen pass and raced 55 yards for a touchdown. Quarterback Smith converted a 2-point run and, suddenly, Larned was within striking distance at 36-28.
But the ball-control offense of the Bulldogs successfully maneuvered the last three minutes of the game and held off the fast-closing Indians.
Marysville 8 16 6 6 — 36
Larned 7 0 7 14 — 28
M— Gabe Pieschel 8 pass from Jack Blumer (Jacob Backus run), 8:26; L—Wes Davis 20 pass from Carson Smith (Logan DeMond kick), 3:02; M—Backus 20 pass from Blumer (Blumer run), 11:43; M—Blumer 1 run (Blumer run), 0:06; M—Atreyau Hornbeak 25 run (run fails), 5:11; L—Anthony McConnell 44 run (DeMond kick), 2;52; M—Derek Roever 1 run (run fails), 10:59; L—Mason Perez 17 pass from Smith (run fails), 7:10; L—Brock Skelton 55 pass from Smith (Smith run), 3:43
LARNED PLAYOFF HISTORY (4-8)
2017—3A—Larned 42, Lakin 6; Marysville 36, Larned 28
2016—3A—Larned 35, Cimarron 30; Phillipsburg 14, Larned 7
2013—4A—Andale 60, Larned 0
1985—4A—Larned 10, Haven 6; Norton 35, Larned 7
1982—4A—Chaparral 23, Larned 14
1977—3A—Goddard 6, Larned 0
1972—3A—Goodland 24, Larned 14
1971—3A—Larned 30, Pratt 28, OT; Kapaun-Mt. Carmel 28, Larned 14