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Brennan edges Marshall in District 29-6A action


Quick take: With nine seconds remaining in Saturday’s matchup between Brennan and Marshall at Farris Stadium, the Rams snapped the ball with 30 yards separating them from an unprecedented upset over the Bears. After gouging the Brennan defense on the ground for four quarters, Marshall needed to make a play through the air to pull off the win. The Rams looked to hit a receiver in the corner of the end zone, but Brennan sophomore defensive back Tyler Turner came away with the interception as time expired to lift the Bears to a 35-34 victory.

Highlights: Marshall (3-4, 2-4 District 29-6A) moved methodically down the field on its opening possession, draining almost five minutes off the clock before Josiah Garcia punched in a 5-yard touchdown run to give the Rams a 6-0 lead. Brennan (7-1, 6-1 District 29-6A) answered with a lengthy drive of its own, finished off by a 10-yard carry by freshman running back Jason Love, who strolled untouched through a gaping hole created by the offensive line for the touchdown.

Early in the second quarter, Brennan quarterback Ashton Dubose hit receiver Chase Campbell on a screen pass, who followed his blockers 56 yards into the end zone to extend the Bears’ lead to 14-6.

Garcia showed off his athleticism later in the quarter on a 10-yard run that saw the senior hurdle over a Brennan defender to set up a first-and-goal. Quarterback Dylan Cooper finished the drive with a designed power run from 5 yards out to cut the deficit to 14-13.

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Brennan FB Josiah Garcia rambles for yardage. Brennan vs Marshall on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020 at Farris Stadium.

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Marshall’s RB Josiah Garcia bulls over Brennan’s Dominic Velasquez in first quarter action. Brennan vs Marshall on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020 at Farris Stadium.

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Brennan QB Ashton Dubose leaps over Marshall DB Kimarion Todd. Brennan vs Marshall on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020 at Farris Stadium.

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Marshall celebrates after DB Tyler Turner ,5,interception ended Marshall chance at a game winning touchdown in closing seconds. Brennan vs Marshall on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020 at Farris Stadium.

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Brennan WR Chase Campbell outruns Marshall DB Juwan Mendoza for a touchdown. Brennan vs Marshall on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020 at Farris Stadium.

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Brennan RB Jason Love celebrates his touchdown with teammates. Brennan vs Marshall on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020 at Farris Stadium.

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Marshall’s FB Josiah Garcia rambles for a touchdown. Brennan vs Marshall on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020 at Farris Stadium.

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Brennan vs Marshall on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020 at Farris Stadium.

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Brennan DB Caleb McGarity knocks away a pass intended for Marshall WR Jack McCord,85. Brennan vs Marshall on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020 at Farris Stadium.

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Marshall FB Josiah Garcia leaps over a would be tackler. Brennan vs Marshall on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020 at Farris Stadium.

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Brennan Elief Orozco-Rosas tries to stop Marshall’s FB Josiah Garcia. Brennan vs Marshall on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020 at Farris Stadium.

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Brennan WR Jalin Spells celebrates game winning touchdown with teammate. Brennan vs Marshall on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020 at Farris Stadium. Brennan 35 Marshall 34

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Marshall celebrates after DB Tyler Turner ,5,interception ended Marshall chance at a game winning touchdown in closing seconds. Brennan vs Marshall on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020 at Farris Stadium.

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To begin the second half, Marshall kicked the ball with enough hangtime for one of its special teams players to fall underneath and recover it to give the Rams possession on the 32-yard line. On the next play, Cooper connected with Anthony Conway on a deep post route for a touchdown to give the Rams a 20-14 lead. That was the first score of a 35-point third quarter between the two teams that featured five lead changes.

On the following possession, receiver Avron Carter broke off his route and ran over the top of the Marshall secondary, leaving an open target for Dubose, who hit his man in stride for a 63-yard touchdown. Marshall responded with a long touchdown of its own when Cooper rolled out and found receiver Schay Reichwein streaking down the field for a 57-yard score.

Bears receiver Jailin Spells proved problematic for the Rams’ secondary all afternoon, snatching a 45-yard touchdown late in the third quarter before making the play of the game for the Brennan offense late in the fourth. The senior wideout ran toward the back of the end zone and hauled in a pass at full speed, ensuring one foot was down before crashing into the fence in front of the bleachers, somehow holding onto the ball through all of the contact. The extra point put Brennan in front 35-34, while the Bears’ defense handled the rest to hang on for the narrow victory.

What it means: With the win, the Bears retain sole possession of first place in District 29-6A and control their destiny with one game remaining on the schedule. If Brennan defeats Harlan next week, it will clinch the league title. However, if Brennan loses and Warren wins out, the Warriors will come away with the district championship because of the tiebreaker they hold over the Bears. While Marshall hasn’t been mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, the Rams will need to win out for a chance to extend their season.

Game balls: Dubose put together a prolific performance, completing 14 of 18 passes for 331 yards and four touchdowns while rushing 10 times for 27 yards. Carter was Dubose’s top target, tallying five catches for 137 yards and a touchdown. For Marshall, Cooper gave a heroic effort, completing nine of 22 passes for 188 yards and three touchdowns, with 14 carries for 105 yards and another score on the ground.

Up next: Brennan will face Harlan at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Farris Stadium. Marshall will host Jay at 2 p.m. Friday at Gustafson Stadium.

Zach Mason