MONONA — MFL MarMac’s dream season remains intact.
As Edgewood-Colesburg threatened a rude awakening, the Bulldogs found a way to hit the snooze button and remained wrapped up in an unbeaten season.
Fourth-ranked MFL MarMac overcame a one-point deficit with two fourth-quarter touchdowns and defeated No. 5 Ed-Co, 28-23, to capture the Class A District 5 title Friday night at MFL MarMac High School.
MFL MarMac secured its second postseason berth in school history and first since 2010.
“Honestly, it’s amazing,” MFL MarMac senior running back Kutter Anderson said. “I’m at a loss for words. We’re just ready to rock and roll and we’ll be ready for next week.”
The Bulldogs improve to 8-0 (4-0 A D5) for the first time in school history and had already secured their first winning season since 1993. When Ed-Co (6-2, 3-1) rallied with two Parker Rochford TD runs and a weird 2-point conversion that started with a bad snap and ended with a successful pass from Rochford to Riley Ashline for a 15-14 edge in the third, MFL MarMac stayed composed and fought back with two TD runs.
“They didn’t flinch,” MFL MarMac coach Dan Anderson said. “They acted like they’ve been there before and we haven’t. I’m just proud of them.”
Kutter Anderson capped a 75-yard, 11-play drive with a 10-yard TD run on fourth-and-3. He bounced off tacklers and then crossed the goal line with a defender draped on his shoulder. Gabe McGeough added a conversion run for a 22-15 lead with 7:15 remaining.
“I wasn’t thinking about the first down,” Kutter Anderson said of the scoring run. “I was thinking about getting into the end zone. I knew we had to get back on top. I just told the guys to keep fighting and we would get back in this ballgame.”
After forcing Ed-Co to go three-and-out, Cullen McShane added a 5-yard TD run to give the Bulldogs the lead for good with 2:42 left.
MFL MarMac quarterback Cedrick Drahn scored the first two TDs, plunging in from 2 yards out in the second quarter to give the Bulldogs a 7-0 halftime lead. His 1-yard QB sneak about midway through the third gave MFL MarMac a 14-0 advantage.
The Bulldogs were able to run the ball effectively all game. They amassed 286 yards on the ground, including 126 from Kutter Anderson and 101 from McGeough.
“We were the physical team,” Anderson said. “Our defensive and offensive line owned the night.”
The Bulldogs defense was impressive in the opening half, shutting out the Vikings who average 31.7 points per game. MFL MarMac only allowed four first downs before the break, turning Ed-Co away after starting inside the Bulldogs 40 twice and intercepting Rochford on their final possession of the half.
“That is the best half of defensive football I’ve ever seen out of our guys,” Anderson said. “We had our backs against the wall a couple times. They buckled down and didn’t give them anything.”
Rochford helped turn the slugfest into a track meet in the third, orchestrating scoring drives of 245, 58 and 80 yards. He added a 2-yard score in the final minute.
Rochford finished with 192 yards passing and 27 on the ground with three scores. Keegan Hansel was Ed-Co’s leading receiver with 110 yards on 7 catches.
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“Rochford is a heck of a good football player,” Coach Anderson said. “We had pressure on him and he’d get away from it. We knew that was going to happen. He’s such an athlete.
“He is the best player in the district, but we had the better team. I’m proud of the kids.”
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