West Marshall wallops cross-county rival

STATE CENTER – Heading into the Class 2A District 3 rival matchup with East Marshall, the West Marshall football coaching staff had discussions with quarterback Cameron Bannister. Head coach Cody Hackett and crew told the sophomore signal caller to not take off so quickly running out of the pocket looking to make plays happen.

Bannister trusted his big guys up front Friday night, and the result was a 263-yard passing performance with five touchdowns to go with it. Bannister added a 19-yard touchdown run for good measure in the Trojans’ 51-16 victory against the cross-county Mustangs.

“We know what we’re capable of,” Hackett said. “It’s just getting things rolling for us seems to be the issue we have. A slow start, but when things click and get going our way, our kids work hard and know what we can do.”

Bannister finished 10-of-18 passing, with four of his touchdown passes being from 28 yards or longer. Beau Coberley caught the first of five scores, a 73-yard catch and run on the first play of West Marshall’s (3-3, 1-3) third possession. Coberley also had a touchdown catch of 40 yards late in the second quarter to finish the night with 123 yards on four receptions. Coberley also found the end zone in the fourth quarter on a 40-yard run.

Ross Randall led the Trojans with 126 yards receiving on five catches. The senior wide receiver caught a hat trick of touchdown passes, hauling in a 28-yarder in the first quarter, a 50-yard touchdown in the second quarter and a 4-yard score in the third quarter.

“Our receivers did a great job of getting open,” Hackett said. “We’ve really hounded about crisp routes this year. They’re buying in. The whole team is buying in, and that’s what’s great about it.”

The Trojans also had a run game to compliment the passing. Alex Dickey carried the rock 21 times for 154 yards and a third quarter score from four yards out. The Trojans as a unit ran for 251 yards.

East Marshall (1-5, 0-4) is not a team to make excuses, but the Mustangs were thin coming into Friday night due to injuries, and got even thinner as the game went on. The Mustangs were put in a position where they were having to move guys around, playing positions they hadn’t practiced or weren’t used to, and were drawing plays up on the sideline as the game was going to suit the skills of the players they did have.

“You just have to look at the attitude and effort,” East Marshall coach Matt Bandstra said. “Look at the heart. They kept going. I can’t ask for anything more than that.

“We’ll watch the film Sunday afternoon as a coaching staff. We’ll pick a few plays to say, ‘Hey, here’s somethings we did well. Here’s somethings we need to work on.’ We just have to flush this and get ready for next week.”

East Marshall did turn a Trojan turnover into points. Jordan McAnulty recovered a Bannister fumble to put the Mustangs in business in the red zone. Noah Bandstra scored a couple plays later on the ground from 6 yards out. The other Mustang score came in the fourth quarter. Quarterback Tyler DeBondt threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Logan Nicholson on a dime. The junior wide receiver just had to put his hands out, and the football graciously met his gloves.

DeBondt finished the game 10-of-22 passing for 105 yards, the score and two interceptions. Nicholson had 98 yards receiving on eight catches.

West Marshall travels to South Hardin this coming Friday, and East Marshall hosts Saydel.