October 5, 2018—The Excelsior Springs High School Tigers Football Team rallied in their Homecoming game, but fell short, losing to the Odessa Bulldogs 16-34.

Head Coach Mark Faubion said the Tigers turned the ball over to Odessa in the first half. These turnovers, he said proves to be momentum killers.

JUNIOR ETHAN COLE punts the ball during a tigers fourth-down. Head Coach Mark Faubion said the team did not give up during the second half. KIMBERELY BLACKBURN  |  Staff photo

“In the second half, we were able to move the sticks, to stay in yards, move the ball and score,” he said. “All that momentum gets going.”

Odessa came out strong in the first quarter recovering a fumble forced by Odessa’s Jake Smith. Josey Meieraren threw an 11-yard pass, scoring a touchdown with 8:39 left in the first quarter.

The Tigers began their next drive with junior Tae Rainey rushing for 11 yards and senior Corbyn Hutchings rushing for three. Odessa’s Dylan Curtin intercepted Rainey’s pass, turning the ball back over to the Bulldogs. Dakota DeGraffe rushed to their end zone for a touchdown with 3:22 left in the first quarter. Nathen Pardee’s kick attempt proved to be good, leaving the score 14-0, Odessa.

The Tigers’ ended the first quarter with Rainey, Hutchings and senior Jackson Creason rushing for 45 yards, including Creason’s 24-yard rush to Odessa’s 25th-yard line.

The second quarter began with Hutchings, Creason and senior Marco Martin rushing for a combined 10 yards. Junior Brandon Gluhm completed a field goal leaving the score 14-3, Odessa with 10:27 left in the second quarter.

The Tigers’ continued their rushing, with Creason rushing for 49 yards. Odessa’s Hunter Garrison forced a fumble and recovered the ball turning the ball back over to the Bulldogs.

Odessa’s Dakota DeGraffe rushed for 34 yards scoring a touchdown with 5:38 left in the second quarter. Pardee’s kick attempt left the score 21-3, Odessa.

In the third quarter, the Tigers’ rushed for 64 yards, including Rainey’s six-yard rush for a touchdown with 1:03 left in the third quarter, leaving the score 21-9 Odessa.

The Bulldogs began the first quarter rushing for a touchdown with 11:30 left in the game. The successful extra-point kick left the score 28-9, Odessa.

The Tigers answered rushing 60 yards leaving Rainey with a three-yard rush to the end zone with 7:06 left on the clock. Gluhm’s successful kick attempt left the score 28-16, Odessa.

The Bulldogs finished the game with Jonas Bennett rushing 19 yards for a touchdown with 2:37 left on the clock, leaving the final score 34-16, Odessa.

“The rededicated themselves to what they were going,” he said. We came back and fought hard.”

The Tigers travel to Oak Grove Friday to take on the Panthers. The game starts at 7 p.m.

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