PREP FOOTBALL: Marshall prepares for final home regular season game against Tri-City United today
MARSHALL – The Marshall football team and St. Peter entered last week’s matchup with undefeated records. The Tigers left with that perfect record still intact thanks to a 49-0 victory and with just two games remaining in the regular season, Marshall will look to have a repeat performance starting tonight against Tri-City United.
Marshall coach Terry Bahlmann said he was pleased with his team’s efforts on both sides of the ball against St. Peter and felt they controlled the game right from the start.
“I thought we played really well and came out strong; we had struggled the week before (against Waseca) in our passing game, but I felt we came out and really executed well. I think we were 12 out of 14 for the night, so we made some big plays there and controlled the game from the start.”
The Tigers will square off against the Tri-City United Titans, who enter the game with a 3-3 record and are coming off a tight 17-14 victory over Albert Lea.
Bahlmann said the Titans will have their quarterback back after an early-season injury and feature a defense that will look to force the passing game for the Tigers.
“They’ve got their quarterback returning, so it’s going to be a little bit different; he was out with an injury early in the year and is a three-year starter. He’s got good size and going to move the ball around,” Bahlmann said. “They play hard on defense and are another 4-3 team but we expect them to put an extra guy down in the box to make us throw the football. So we’re going to need to execute our passing game and offensively for us, we need to run the football a little bit better than we have been.”
Bryce Paulsen led the way for the Tigers with 137 yards passing and three touchdowns while Braedy Slagel caught five passes for 56 yards and a couple of scores. Jackson Hughes rushed for 83 yards and a touchdown while Gabe Raini added 70 yards on the ground and two scores of his own.
Bahlmann said their main focus this week on offense has been looking to get running plays into the secondary and provide better blocking to create those longer runs.
“Offensively, we just want to break some longer runs,” Bahlmann said. “We’re getting through the first line of scrimmage and we need to work harder with our blocking downfield and our backs need to make some guys miss.”
Defensively, the Tigers tossed up their third shutout of the season against the Saints. Bahlmann said Tri-City will look to throw the ball a lot, so they need to prepare to shut down the passing game.
“Coming off a shutout, we’re happy, and we’re just preparing for Tri-City’s offense,” Bahlmann said. “Everyone’s a little bit different, they’ve turned more into a spread shotgun team over the last couple of years, so we’re expecting that they’re going to want to throw the football a lot.”
Tonight also marks Senior Night for Marshall, as the Tigers feature 18 seniors on their roster. Bahlmann said he’s looking forward to honoring the senior group and appreciates the work they’ve put in.
“It’s a special night, it’s our Senior Night. Our seniors have been undefeated on that field so far and we want to continue that,” Bahlmann said. “It’s the last regular season home game for them; three years goes by fast for those guys and we appreciate everything they’ve done and hopefully they have a great Senior Night there.”