The Colby Eagles started fast, but the Marysville Bulldogs finished faster.
Marysville scored the game’s final 31 points and held Colby scoreless in the second half, pulling away for a 45-21 victory in the first round of the Class 3A playoffs at Homer Hanson Stadium in Marysville on Friday night.
Colby scored on their first two possessions of the night to jump out to a 14-0 lead and led 21-14 midway through the second quarter, but a pair of big plays by Marysville’s Gavin Pieschl – a 79-yard kickoff return and a 49-yard touchdown reception – put the Bulldogs ahead to stay before the half ended, and Marysville dominated time of possession in outscoring Colby 17-0 in the second half.
Peyton Wahlmeier’s 58-yard touchdown catch-and-run from Ryan Myers gave Colby a dream start, giving them a 7-0 lead not two minutes into the game. Hagan Booi rumbled in from five yards out on Colby’s second drive of the night to make it 14-0 Eagles with 4:20 to play in the first quarter. Marysville responded with a 31-yard touchdown run by Caden Brinegar to get on the board and cut the Colby lead to 14-6, and then the Bulldogs stuffed a Colby run on fourth-and-1 to get the ball back in Colby territory. They took advantage, scoring the tying touchdown on the first play of the second quarter with quarterback Ayden Price running it in from three yards and tossing the two-point conversion pass to Brinegar.
The Eagles responded with their best drive of the night, with Myers hitting Collin Carroll for a 14-yard touchdown at the 6:46 mark of the second quarter to restore their lead. But Pieschl took the ensuing kickoff back for a tying touchdown, and after Colby was again denied on fourth down with the ball on their half of the field, Price hit Pieschl for a long bomb touchdown to give the Bulldogs their first lead.
Colby appeared to be going in for a tying score late in the first half, but Booi was stripped of the ball on a run inside the Marysville 10 yard line and the ball cruelly bounced out of bounds just outside the pylon for a touchback.
Marysville scored on all three of their second half drives and held the ball for 18:05 of the 24 minutes. Jack Lauer’s 38-yard field goal with 4:43 left in the third quarter extended the Bulldogs’ lead to 10 points, and Patrick Smith and Price would add fourth-quarter rushing touchdowns to account for the final margin.
Colby outgained Marysville 360-304, with Myers throwing for a season-high 166 yards and Booi rushing for 115 yards to lead the ground attack, but the red zone turnover and the kick return for a touchdown were swing plays that favored the Bulldogs, who advance to play Southeast of Saline in the regional round next Friday night.
The Eagles end their season with a 6-3 record.
Hear the postgame comments from head coach Rees McKinney:
And check out the game’s highlights: