Marcus Marshall put on quite a show Friday night, leading the Millbrook Wildcats to a 43-35 win over Jack Britt in a first-round 4AA football playoff game.
The senior runningback ran for 338 yards and five touchdowns, but he was at his best whenever his team fell behind the Buccaneers.
Britt held the lead three times in the fourth period, but Marshall brought his team back with four touchdowns, covering 8, 30, 63, and 80 yards. He rushed for 222 yards on seven carries in the final 12 minutes of the game.
“He’s been a tough, physical runner for us all season,” Millbrook coach Clarence Inscore said of Marshall. “He’s not easy to tackle and he’s got that burst of speed. If he’s not one of the best backs in the state, I don’t know who is. He’s something special and he kind of put us on his shoulders tonight.”
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The Wildcats defense kept the game close early, as Britt led 16-14 at halftime. Millbrook senior Nick Viola kicked field goals of 35, 34, and 24 yards and Marshall scored on 25-yard run for Millbrook in the first half.
But in the fourth quarter the two teams traded scores until Elijah Coley and Raul Oquendo stopped Britt scoring threats with interceptions.
“We’ve relied on our defense a lot this year, but we put the defense in the hole early,” Inscore said. “Coley had a great night, going against a good receiver a lot. Then he came up with the big interception and Raul came up with another to ice the game.”
Britt’s last lead was 35-30, but Marshall took a toss and went around the left end 63 yards for the 36-35 lead. He followed up Coley’s interception by going 80 yards on the next play to complete the scoring with 1:14 left in the game. Oquendo then came up with his pick with just 16.8 seconds left to play.
The Wildcats, seeded fifth in the East, now travel to fourth-seed Richmond County.
“We knew coming in Britt was a tough, battle-tested football team, all we wanted,” Inscore said. “I hope we can play a little better, especially defensively, next week. Our kids have grown together and have each other’s backs. Richmond will be a great atmosphere, we’re glad to be in the second round.”