September 21, 2018—The Excelsior Springs High School Tigers Football Team rushed 440 yards as they faced the Richmond Spartans, their longtime rivals, Friday.
Head Coach Mark Faubion said the offensive line helped the offense to be “unstoppable.”
“Our line played extremely well,” he said. “That allowed our backs to run the ball.”
Senior Dane Millsap intercepted Richmond’s Dionte Marquez’s pass early in the first quarter, running 81 yards to score the first touchdown of the game with 11:38 on the clock, leaving the score 6-0. Senior Jackson Creason followed that up rushing 11 yards, earning a first down. Junior Tae Rainey rushed for 30 yards scoring a touchdown with 10:43 left in the first quarter. Creason’s rush attempt proved to be good, earning Excelsior Springs the two-point conversion. This left the score 14-0.
Richmond’s Marquez completed Tyler Pyle’s 56-yard pass, earning the Spartans’ first touchdown of the game. Tigers’ senior Slade Covey blocked Spartans’ Patrick Jeffrie’s kick attempt, leaving the score 14-6 with 9:04 left in the first quarter.
Rainey answered this by returning Richmond’s kickoff for 86 yards, scoring a touchdown with 8:51 left on the clock. Sophomore Damon Ashworth’s extra-point kick left the score 21-6.
On Richmond’s next drive, Covey and junior Rock Mullin sacked Richmond’s Pyle. Pyle answered this rushing for 43 yards until Covey forced him out-of-bounds, earning Richmond a first down. Marquez completed Pyle’s 26-yard pass, scoring a touchdown with 7:19 left in the first quarter, leaving the score 21-12.
The Tigers’ answered, rushing a total of 50 yards, setting Rainey up to rush for 8 more, scoring the Excelsior Springs their fourth touchdown of the first quarter. A failed kick attempt left the score 27-12 with 2:16 left in the quarter.
Creason began the second quarter rushing for 14 yards to earn an Excelsior Springs first down. Richmond’s Hunter Crist recovered a fumble by Rainey, turning the ball over to the Spartans. Marquez completed a 76-yard pass thrown by Pyle to score a touchdown with 11:16 on the clock. Pyle’s pass attempt to Calvin Swafford proved to be good, leaving the score 27-20.
Rainey and Senior Corbyn Hutchings then rushed for a total of 54 yards, setting Rainey up for a 10-yard rush to the end zone. A failed kick attempt left the score 33-20 with 6:56 left in the second quarter. Later in the quarter, Cole completed Rainey’s 28-yard pass to score a touchdown with 11 seconds left in the second quarter. Hutchings’ successful rush attempt left the score 41-20.
In the third quarter, the Tigers rushed a total of 56 yards, setting Creason up for a 50-yard run to the end zone with 4:24 left on the clock. Hutchings rush attempt proved to be good, leaving the score 49-20.
Richmond answered back at the kickoff with Keyshaun Elliot returning 73 yards to the end zone. Pyle’s completed pass to Calvin Swafford made the score 49-28 with 4:11 left in the third quarter.
Hutchings and Creason began the fourth quarter rushing for 28 yards, setting Hutchings up for a one-yard rush to score a touchdown. A failed kick attempt left the score 55-28 with 9:42 left on the clock. Later in the fourth quarter, Hutchings rushed 43 yards for the Tigers’ ninth touchdown of the game with 6:26 left on the clock. Hutchings’ successful rush attempt left the final score 63-28.
Hutchings and Rainey led the Tigers in rushing, netting 172-yards each. Creason followed with 97.
Faubion said the yards gained showed how well the Tigers’ played up front. He said the team re-established the line of scrimmage that gave seams for the backs to run through.
The Spartans netted 37 yards throughout the game, which Faubion said showed how well the Tigers played defensively.
“We had a plan that our kids believed in and executed very well,” he said. “They had a great week of practice and prepared for their offense with great intensity.”
The Tigers begin conference play Friday as they host Harrisonville at Tiger Stadium. Faubion said he describes the conference as “tough.”
“Our conference is so good and so well coached, we’ll have to be ready to play,” he said. “We can’t make the mistakes we made tonight.”
Faubion said Harrisonville runs a similar offense to Excelsior Springs. He said the team will work to fix all the mistakes occurring that night.
Through the game, Faubion said the team kept fighting.
“(I’m) proud of our guys, proud of their fight tonight,” he said. “They wanted to play an entire game tonight and keep hammering and they did. They played a great game.”