The Marceline Tigers rode a superb all-around performance from running back Blake Belzer to a 26-0 shutout win at Milan on Monday night, in the Class 1, District 6 championship game broadcast on KTTN FM 92.3 and www.kttn.com.
Belzer dominated the game, scoring four touchdowns, two by the run in the first half, one by catch (on a 4th and 9 conversion) in the second half, and the final points on a 45 yard interception return for a touchdown in the third quarter.
The normally potent Milan ground attack found life difficult trying to move the football against a stout Marceline defense, and although the total yardage for the teams would end up fairly even, much of Milan's yardage came between the 20 yard lines, while Marceline spent most of the first half on the Wildcat side of the 50 yard line. The Tigers forced Milan into much more passing than is typical for the Wildcats, a job made challenging by cold and windy conditions.
Marceline has ripped off six consecutive wins since an October 4th loss at 2nd-ranked Westran, and the 9-3 Tigers will get a chance to avenge that loss to the Hornets on Saturday afternoon at 1:30, playing Westran in the Class 1 state quarterfinals. Westran cruised with a 56-7 bashing of South Shelby in the District 5 final.
West Platte won the Class 1, District 7 title by a score of 55-20 over Wellington-Napoleon. The Blue Jays, on Saturday, will play the KCI Conference rival Penney Hornets. The Hornets ran their winning streak to five games, improving their season record to 10-2, with a 40-34 victory on Monday night over East Buchanan.
In Class 2, Lawson returns to the state playoffs, courtesy of a 13-7 victory over LeBlond on Monday night. Lawson, on Saturday at 1:30, will battle the Higginsville Huskers, a 28-12 winner over the Holden Eagles. Lawson is the District 8 champion, while Higginsville wins District 7.
In Class 3, Maryville rolled past Cameron, 42-14, sending the Spoofhounds back to the state playoffs, looking to defend their 2012 state championship. Maryville plays at District 7 champion Oak Grove on Saturday, who rolled Hogan Prep for the District 7championship, 42-0.
In Class 4, Liberty North beat St. Joseph Lafayette 35-0 in the District 8 championship game. Liberty North now deals with District 7 champion Bolivar in Saturday's quarterfinal round.