November 9, 2018—The Excelsior Springs Tigers Football team battled the Platte County Pirates until the final seconds of the varsity district game Friday evening.

Although they eventually fell to No. 1 seed Platte County, Head Coach Mark Faubion said the Tigers played hard and should be proud.

“They gave one of the best teams in the state of Missouri, I think one of the best games that they’ve had this year,” he said.

The credit, he said, goes to the team. He said some of the seniors came in freshmen when he started as the Tigers’ defensive coordinator four years ago. Over his first three years as head coach, these players grew with him, he said. Advancing from a 6-4 regular season to a 7-3 and finally to this season’s eight wins during the regular season, Faubion said those seniors have been prolific for the program and for this season.

In the Tigers’ first drive, seniors Jackson Creason and Corbyn Hutchings and junior Tae Rainey rushed a combined 84 yards, ending in a turnover at the four-yard line. 

After forcing a turnover in the Pirate’s next drive, Rainey rushed 65-yards to the end zone, scoring the first touchdown of the game with 2:23 left in the first quarter.

Junior Brandon Gluhm’s extra-point kick left the Tigers leading 7-0.

Senior Corbyn Hutchings holds on to the ball after being tackled by several Pirates. Hutchings rushed 63 yards throughout the game against Platte County. Kimberely Blackburn  |  Staff photo

Platte County came back in their next drive returning Excelsior Springs sophomore Damon Ashworth’s 30-yard kickoff for five yards. Dylan Gilbert completing Spencer Stewart’s nine-yard pass with 48 seconds left in the first quarter. Grant Allen’s extra-point kick left the score tied at 7-7.

Senior Slade Covey intercepted Stewart’s pass, ending the Pirates next drive in the first play.

Hutchings then rushed for ten yards over two plays, setting Rainey up for a 14-yard rush to the end zone. Gluhm’s extra-point kick left the score 14-7, Tigers.

In the Pirates’ next drive, juniors Breyden Haight and Rocky Mullin and Rainey stopped Platte County’s Adel Freitek’s rushes. Senior Brody Willis sacked Stewart for a no gain rush. Junior Ethan Cole and Rainey stopped the Pirates’ Carter Utt after he completed Stewart’s 33-yard pass. Freitek then rushed for 2 yards to the end zone. Platte County’s Grant Allen completed his kick attempt, tying the score at 14-14.

Platte County began the second half with Brice Bertram returning the kickoff 79 yards to the end zone. Grant Allen’s kick made the score 21-14, Platte County with 11:50 left in the third quarter.

In their second drive of the third quarter senior Simon Holst forced of two of Simon’s passes to be incomplete. 

Later in the third quarter, Platte County’s Freitek rushed 5 yards to the end zone with 4:40 left in the third quarter. Allen’s extra-point kick left the Pirates leading 28-14.

The Tigers ended the third quarter with Rainey, Hutchings and senior Marco Martin rushing a combined 19 yards before the Pirates forced a turnover with 29 seconds left in the third quarter.

In their first drive of the fourth quarter, Rainey, Hutchings and Creason rushed for a combined 75 yards, setting Creason up for a four-yard rush to the end zone. Platte County blocked Gluhm’s kick, leaving the Pirates leading 28-20 with 6:31 left in the game.

In the final drive of the game, the Tigers’ fought to keep the Pirates from the end zone until the very end. Haight, Covey and senior Talen Chase stopped Freitek’s rush. Willis and Creason stopped Stewart’s rush. Chase stopped Dylan Gilbert after he completed Stewart’s 14-yard pass.

Gluhm, Mullin and Willis stopped Freitek’s rushes. Chase took down Don MacCuish after he completed Stewart’s 11-yard pass. Mullin, Covey and Creason stopped Freitek on this next three rushes. Freshman Derek Howerton and Rainey stopped Stewart’s rushes, keeping him from the end zone, leaving the final score 28-20, Platte County. 

Faubion said the team set many school record this year. He said statistically, this season proved to be the best offensively in the school’s history. The credit, he said, goes to his team.

“(This season), we did a lot of good things,” he said.

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