THAYER 8, MARIONVILLE 53
There can be little doubt that Lee Flood, Marionville's junior running back, is a special football player.
All Flood did two weeks ago in the Comets' District 5 opener against Miller was rush for 286 yards, 250 coming in the first quarter alone, on his way to six touchdowns in Marionville's 68-0 blanking of the Cardinals.
As they prepared for the long trip to Marionville Oct. 28, the Thayer Bobcats knew full well what to expect from the Comets; Flood left, Flood right, and Flood up the middle of the field.
And that's just what the Bobcats got, as Flood ran the football 22 times for 255 yards and seven TDs, while catching two passes for 119 yards in the Comets' 53-8 victory over Thayer.
The Bobcats (4-5, 0-2 District 5) were coming off a disappointing loss to Ash Grove the previous week, a game that Thayer could have claimed as its own, as they looked to knock off the Comets to climb back in the hunt for a state playoff berth.
And the playoffs are something the Comets (7-2, 2-0) definitely are well versed in, as Marionville has racked up 32 wins and a Class 1 State Championship over the course of the past three years.
Thayer looked sharp early, fashioning a lengthy march downfield that ended in the Comets' red zone to start the first quarter.
The drive did end in disaster, however, as the Bobcats fumbled the ball away to Marionville inside the Comets' 20-yard line, the first of two miscues deep in Marionville territory the Cats would suffer in the first half.
Marionville, which boasts a huge-but-athletic offensive line, wasted little time cashing Thayer's woes into points, as the Comets used four plays to hit paydirt. Flood found the end zone on a 75-yard run to give Marionville a quick lead, a lead they would continually add to over the course of the contest.
Flood would find the end zone once more in the quarter, this time from five yards out, giving the Comets a 14-0 lead after one.
A 16-yard scamper from Flood, plus an 80-yard TD pass he reeled in from quarterback Blake Stetzer, pushed Marionville in front 28-0 before the Cats found the scoreboard.
Bobcat quarterback Brett Ward hit wideout John Tollenaar for a 7-yard TD pass to get the Cats on the board. Tollenaar snagged four passes for 101 yards receiving on the night. Ward then connected with Tollenaar for the 2-point conversion, but Thayer still trailed 28-8 at intermission.
The Bobcats did pick up some yards through the air against Marionville, with Ward throwing for over 200 yards, but the potent ground attack Thayer had found in recent weeks was shelved against the Comets' massive defensive front. Freshman Jacob Eckman did have a breakout effort against Marionville, catching seven Ward passes for 110 yards, as Thayer moved the ball but couldn't find the end zone on a regular basis.
Marionville had no such troubles getting across the goal line, as Flood ran for three TDs in the third quarter as the Comets continued to build their advantage. Flood scored from 36, five and 16 yards out in the frame, giving his team a 46-8 cushion heading into the final quarter.
Layton Metcalf wrapped up the scoring for Marionville with a 7-yard TD scamper in the fourth quarter.
The Bobcats close out the 2005 season Nov. 4 by hosting the Miller Cardinals for a District 5 showdown.