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Tigers go 5-0 in historic win over Harrisonville

September 28, 2018—The Excelsior Springs High School Tigers Football Team achieved history in their win over the Harrisonville Wildcats Friday night where they became the first ESHS football team to go 5-0 in over 40 years.

The Tigers rushed 611 yards, which Head Coach Mark Faubion said broke the school’s all-time one game rushing record. Junior Tae Rainey’s 314 rushing yards also took him to second place in the Tigers’ all-time rushing by an individual player in a single game. Faubion said he described Rainey’s rushing during the game as “special.” Faubion said he played on another level. Other teams have found it difficult to stop the “rushing power” of Rainey and senior Corbyn Hutchings.

Faubion said the team finds it to be an honor to set the school’s rushing record.

“Thinking of all the great teams that have been here over the years, the state championships, being able to set an all-time record is something very special these guys will be able to look back on for years to come,” he said.

In the first quarter, Harrisonville snapped a punt snap over the head of their punter that went out of bounds, earning the Tigers a safety with 8:02 left in the first quarter.

Junior Ethan Cole followed that up returning Harrisonville’s next punt for 66 yards. Hutchings rushed for four yards, setting senior Jackson Creason up for a two-yard rush to score a touchdown with 6:35 left in the first quarter. Junior Brandon Gluhm’s successful kick attempt left the Tigers leading 9-0.

Tigers v Harrisonville

SENIOR MITCHELL BERNDT and juniors Ethan Cole and Rocky Mullin work together to stop Harrisonville from scoring a touchdown. The Tigers beat the Wildcats Friday for only the second time in school history. KIMBERELY BLACKBURN  |  Staff photo

In the Tigers’ next kickoff, Harrisonville’s Colby Knowles returned the ball for 71 yards scoring the Wildcats’ first touchdown. The Tigers stopped Jaydn Wilson’ rush attempt leaving the score 9-6.

The Tigers’ Rainey, senior Marco Martin and Hutchings rushed for a total of 59 yards setting Hutchings up to rush for six yards to the end zone, leaving the score 15-6 with 2:07 left in the first quarter.

Rainey and Hutchings ended the first quarter rushing for an additional 46 yards.

Creason began the second quarter earning the Tigers a first down, setting Rainey up to rush for 29 yards for a touchdown. Creason’s failed rush attempt left the score 21-6 with 11:24 left in the second quarter.

The Wildcats’ Knowles completed Landon George 64-yard pass, scoring a touchdown with 10:39 left in the second quarter. Brice Percival’s successful rush attempt left the Tigers leading 21-14.

In the Tigers’ next drive, Martin, Hutchings, Creason and Rainey rushed for a total of 68 yards, setting Hutchings up for a 12-yard rush to score the Tigers’ fourth touchdown of the game. Gluhm’s kick attempt proved to be good, leaving the score 28-14 with 7:15 left in the second quarter.

In the Tigers’ next drive Rainey and Hutchings rushed for 65 yards allowing Rainey to score a touchdown with 5:42 left in the second quarter. Creason’s successful two-point rush attempt left the score 36-14.

Harrisonville’s Kennedy Atkinso answered this by completing Landon George’s 14-yard pass to the end zone with 25 seconds left in the first half. Harrisonville’s failed rush attempt left the score 36-20, Tigers.

The Tigers’ Rainey and Hutchings ended the first half rushing for a total of 52 yards.

The Tigers’ began the third quarter with Rainey, Hutchings and Creason rushing for a combined total of 59 yards, allowing Creason to gain 8 yards to the end zone. Gluhm’s successful kick attempt left the Tigers’ leading 43-20 with 7:05 left in the third quarter.

Later in the third quarter, Harrisonville’s Braydon Tarwate received Excelsior Springs Cole’s 36-yard punt and returned it 78 yards, scoring Harrisonville’s fourth touchdown of the game with 1:41 left in the third quarter. Jace Reynolds’ failed rush attempt left the Tigers leading 43-26.

The Tigers immediate answered with Rainey rushing 65 yards to the end zone with three seconds left in the third quarter. Gluhm’s successful extra-point kick left the score 50-26.

In the fourth quarter, Cole punted for 38 yards, which Harrisonville’s Atkinso received and fumbled. Excelsior Springs senior Simon Holst recovered the fumble.

The Tigers’ gained 31 yards in their second drive of the fourth quarter, including Hutchings three yards rushing for a touchdown with 4:47 left in the game. Gluhm’s extra-point pick left the final score 57-26.

Faubion said the team played very focused during the game.

“A lot of these guys want to be special and want to be different than prior teams,” he said. “That comes put practicing the way they have and playing hard like they do.”

The Tigers host the Odessa High School Bulldogs Friday during the Excelsior Springs High School Homecoming.

Faubion said he considers Odessa to be one of the best teams in Missouri of schools of similar size to ESHS. He said the Tigers will need to improve in their special teams during this week’s preparation for the game.

“(Odessa is) fast, they’re physical. They’re a pretty special group too,” he said. “We’ll have to continue to play well. We won’t be able to make special team’s mistakes because these guys can capitalize on that.”

The homecoming parade begins at 3 p.m. in downtown Excelsior Springs. Kickoff will be 7 p.m. at Tiger Stadium

By Kimberely Blackburn • kimberely@leaderpress.com

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