November 2, 2018—The Excelsior Springs Tigers Football team achieved history yet again Friday night, earning their first playoff victory on the Vic Bonuchi field.
Head Coach Mark Faubion said the Tigers battled throughout the game, battling an emotional roller-coaster. In the first half, the Tigers played great at first, he said, but then let the Irish back in the game. They began the second half a little slower, but then came back and played a very good second half, he said.
“These guys played their hearts out, they really did,” he said. “They left everything they had out on the field and didn’t want to be denied.”
The Three-Headed Monster, comprised of seniors Corbyn Hutchings and Jackson Creason and junior Tae Rainey continued to rack up the rushing yards with Hutchings gaining 247, Rainey, 156 and Creason, 88.
The Tigers started their first drive strong as Hutchings and Creason rushed for a combined 71 yards, setting Rainey up to a one-yard rush to the end zone. Official called Rainey’s two-point rush attempt good, leaving the score 8-0 with 8:52 left in the first quarter.
In Lafayette’s first drive, the Irish rushed a combined 58 yards. The Tigers’ defensive line kept them from reaching the end zone. Senior Dane Millsap stopped Lafayette’s Mike Henderson at the eight-yard line. Seniors Brody Willis and Slade Covey stopped The Irish’s Daeton McGaughy at the seven-yard line.
Lafayette’s Jakob Palmer completed a field goal with 5:23 left in the first quarter, leaving the score 8-3, Tigers.
In the next kickoff, Hutchings caught a fair catch, leaving Rainey a 65-yard rush to the end zone. Junior Brandon Gluhm’s kick attempt proved to be good, leaving the Tigers leading 15-3.
The Irish’s Derek May completed McGaughy’s 45-yard pass. Senior Marco Martin completed a tackle before the Irish reached the end zone. After a failed pass attempt to the Irish’s Jamar James, Derek May completed McGaughy’s 28-yard pass to the end zone with 4:31 left in the first quarter.
Palmer’s extra-point kick attempt failed, leaving the score 15-9, Tigers.
In their next drive, Creason, Hutchings and Rainey rushed a combined 63 yards, including Rainey’s one-yard rush to the end zone with eight seconds on the clock. Gluhm’s successful extra-point kick left the Tigers leading 22-9.
Layfette began the second quarter scoring a touchdown with 11:18 left in the first half. Palmer’s successful kick attempt left the score 22-16, Tigers.
The Tigers answered with Rainey rushing 40 yards to the end zone with 9:52 left in the first half. Hutchings’ rush attempt proved to be good, leaving the score 30-16, Tigers.
The Irish’s Austin Hook then completed McGaughy’s 38-yard pass, scoring a touchdown with 8:03 in the first half. Palmer’s successful kick attempt left the score 30-23, Tigers.
The Tigers rushed 33 yards in their next drive before turning the ball back over to the Irish.
The Irish rushed a combined 83 yards to score a touchdown with 53 seconds left on the clock for the first quarter. Palmers’ extra-point kick left the score tied at 30 going into the second half.
The Irish began the second half rushing a combined 58 yards to the end zone with 11:08 left in the third quarter. Palmer’s extra-point kick left the Irish leading the Tigers 37-30.
The fourth quarter began with the Rainey, Hutchings and Creason rushing 95 yards, complete with Rainey completing a 22-yard rush to the end zone with 5:07 left in the game. After setting up for an extra kick, officials ruled a one-yard encroachment penalty against Lafayette. The Tigers then set up for a two-point conversion play. Creason’s successful rush attempt left the Tiger’s regaining the lead, 38-37.
The Irish attempted to take back the game with their next drive, but Senior Derek Howerton sacked McGaughy for a loss of six yards. The drive ended with the Irish’s Hook punting the ball 37 yards, going out-of-bounds at the Tigers’ 40-yard line.
In their next drive, Hutchings rushed a total of 60 yards, including a 29-yard rush to the end zone. Creason’s successful rush attempt left the score 46-37, Tigers.
After the Tigers recovered the Irish’s next kickoff, the Tigers began their next drive with 50 seconds left on the clock, leaving the Tigers winning the game 46-37.
The Tigers will face off against number one seed Platte County High School tonight in Platte County.
Faubion said he describes the Pirates as a solid team. They scored some great wins this season, he said, rallying from behind on several occasions, winning the game.
The Tigers faced Platte County in the pre-season Jamboree. Faubion said preparations for this game will be no different from the rest of the season.
“We don’t really look at anyone any different,” he said.
We prepare how we can take advantage of some things for us offensively and find those that are difficult to deal with defensively and build around those things.”
Gameplay will begin at 7 p.m. in Platte County High School’s stadium.