The Marionville Comets must be wondering just how this happened.
Once upon a time, not too many years ago, the Comets were the football team in Class 1 District 3 that was feared.
Not only by the other teams in the district, but other Class 1 teams in the state, as well.
But no longer.
The Thayer Bobcats now occupy that coveted piece of turf that Marionville once claimed as its own -- top billing in District 3.
And the Cats took another step toward proving that with a dominating 41-18 road win over the Comets Oct. 23.
This one was really more lop-sided than the final score indicates.
Two of Marionville's (4-5, 0-2) scores came in the fourth quarter, with the game already decided and with Thayer's (7-1, 2-0) starters comfortably resting on the bench.
Thayer used a 69-yard drive on its opening possession to take a lead that the Bobcats would hold all night.
Josh Huckabee had another wildly successful night running the football for Thayer, racking up 176 yards rushing while scoring three touchdowns in basically two quarters of play.
He first TD came at the 8:41 mark of the first on a 4-yard run on second-and-goal. Ethan Leisenring kicked the extra-point to give the visitors a 7-0 lead.
Thayer tried an onsides kick, but Marionville came up with the football.
But the Cats' defense stood tall and forced the Comets to punt after three downs.
Thayer then put together a long drive that started at its own 18, taking the ball all the way to the Comets' 21-yard line in 11 plays. However, Marionville defensive back Landon Metcalf ended the drive with an interception, giving the Comets the ball at their own 8-yard line.
Thayer got a sack from Cody Ollar and Stefan Cotham on first down to keep the Comets bottled up and forcing Marionville to punt early in the second quarter.
Foley (76 yards passing) hit Leisenring with a 20-yard strike that moved the ball near the goal line and then Huckabee finished things off with a 4-yard TD at the 9:36 mark. Leisenring's PAT extended the Cats' lead to 14-0.
The Comets, despite their struggles this year, can still strike quickly and on their next snap from scrimmage, Caleb Wells broke free for a 60-yard touchdown that put Marionville right back in the game, down 14-6.
But Thayer got two more touchdowns from Huckabee in the last seven minutes of the half, one on a 5-yard tote, the other on an 11-yard scamper, that boosted the Bobcats' margin to 28-6 at the half.
Although the 22-point halftime lead was nice, Thayer decided to put the contest on ice in the third quarter.
Cameron Carey (38 yards rushing) scored on a 5-yard run, ending a drive that was set up with a big 15-yard pass reception by Tommy Martin (38 yards receiving) at the 6:43 point of the third.
With 58 ticks left in the third, Leisenring (35 yards rushing) scored on a 21-yard TD run that pushed Thayer in front 41-6 after three.
Marionville got two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, but the Bobcats still cruised to a big 41-18 victory.