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Macon Chronicle-Herald - Macon, MO
  • Huerta Boots Brookfield to Bell

  • In a game that had more hype than one in many years, the 2013 Bell Game lived up to some lofty expectations. The long-time rivals, playing the latest game since the start of their 1922 rivalry, fought tooth-and-nail for the 30 pounds of brass that both teams eternally desire to possess.
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  • In a game that had more hype than one in many years, the 2013 Bell Game lived up to some lofty expectations. The long-time rivals, playing the latest game since the start of their 1922 rivalry, fought tooth-and-nail for the 30 pounds of brass that both teams eternally desire to possess.  
    The teams endured some pre-game festivities, and finally took the field to play the game. Both teams came out hitting hard, and exchanged one possession each. While both teams had a three-and-out, it was a special teams play that made the early difference.
    Brookfield was preparing to punt at the conclusion of their opening drive. Marceline’s Blake Belzer dashed through the line, and got a mitt on the pigskin. Anthony Steffes advanced the football to the Brookfield six yard line. It would take one play, as Dakota Lewis would take it to the house for the game’s opening score. Isaac Smith booted through the point-after to give the Tigers an early lead.  
    Q1 7:27 - Marceline 7   Brookfield 0
    The Dogs would go three-and-out on their next drive, with a tackle for a loss coming from Duane Avila on third down. The Tigers would earn their first fresh set of downs, thanks to a 15-yard gain by Lewis. Three plays later, though, Marceline would put the ball on the ground, and Brycen Corf would recover the fumble at the Tigers 43 yard line.  
    JJ Abongo would take a second down run for a 25-yard gain, netting Brookfield a first down. Runs from Abongo, Corf, and a returning Reed McBroom would net another Brookfield first down. With time winding down in the first quarter, Abongo would punch the score in from eight yard line. Arturo Huerta added the point-after to knot the game up.  
    Q1 1:51 - Marceline 7   Brookfield 7
    Marceline would start their next possession deep in their own territory, and would go three-and-out. Tis was thanks, in part, to a third down sack by McBroom and Zach McConkey. With a short punt, Brookfield faced a short field.  
    Runs by Abongo, McBroom, and Anthony Cupp would net a first down in three plays. For pays later, though, Brookfield would be stuffed by the Marceline defense, and would turn the ball over on downs.  
    Belzer would bust out a 16-yard gain on the first play of the drive for a Black Rage first down. On the next play, though, Abongo would strip the football from the ball carrier, and would take it to the Tigers 23 yard line.  
    Brookfield would be unable to take advantage of the turnover, and Abongo would quick-kick the ball for a touchback. A sack by Cade Ewigman and Steffes would help force this punt.  
    Marceline would again go three-and-out, with a sack by McBroom and Corf making a difference. Blake Linebaugh would punt the ball away to Abongo, who returned it from his own 49 to the Marceline 20. Abongo and McBroom would use two runs to reset the down marker. McBroom would get the ball to the one, where Corf would take it home to give Brookfield the lead. The extra point was tipped by Daniel Haas to make it go errant.  
    Page 2 of 3 - Q2 3:06 - Marceline 7   Brookfield 13
    With no timeouts, the Tigers next drive utilized their passing game to move down the field. A pass from Linebaugh to Lewis would gain 17 yards. Another pass, this time from Linebaugh to Trevor Hamilton, would gain 23 yards. Anthony Cupp tipped the next pass, but Linebaugh would find Hamilton for a 20-yard touchdown pass. Smith sent the point-after through the uprights to give the Tigers the lead.  
    Q2 0:29  - Marceline 14   Brookfield 13
    After the kickoff and one play, the teams would head into the locker rooms at halftime. For the second week in a row, Brookfield trailed at halftime.  
    Halftime - Marceline 14   Brookfield 13
    The second half became a war of attrition. Both teams had players down with severe cramping, and Brookfield would eventually lose quarterback/safety Anthony Cupp to what appeared to be a broken ankle.  
    The teams would exchange possessions to start the second half. Marceline had tackles for a loss by Belzer and Haas. On Brookfield’s second possession, McBroom would set up Corf for a 12-yard run for a first down. Corf, McBroom and Abongo would combine for another first down for the Dogs. McBroom would follow this with a 14 yard gain to make it first and goal.  
    From here, Lewis and Dan Corbin would both net tackles for a loss for Marceline, and Brookfield would be left with a field goal opportunity on forth and goal.  
    For the second time this season, the Dogs called on Arturo Huerta, their sophomore kicker. Huerta lined up the shot, and booted through the kick from 34-yards out to give Brookfield the lead.  
    “I knew that I had to put it in,” said Huerta, who (to Bulldogs fans) earned the nickname of “The Golden Boot”. “I knew that all of the practice and time I have put in was paying off. I feel so honored that we won the Bell.”
    Q3 4:08 - Marceline 14   Brookfield 16
    Marceline would put together a good drive in response to the field goal. Avila would gain 12 yards on the first play if the drive for a first down. Runs from Avila and Linebaugh would set up a fourth down pass from Linebaugh to Haas, who came up just short of the first down marker.  
    Belzer, Avila, and Cade Ewigman would have a big tackle for a loss, and the Tigers defense would force a three-and-out. Lewis, Belzer and Linebaugh would combine on three runs for a Marceline first down. Marceline would turn the ball over on downs four plays later, after a key sack from Quincy Cooper and Matt Teter.  
    Brookfield would burn the remainder of the game clock, with Abongo finding Cort Speichinger on a key play for the final first down of the game.  
    Page 3 of 3 - Final - Marceline 14   Brookfield 16
    “It was exciting,” said Abongo. “We would rather have a close game than a blowout. Marceline gave us a tough fight. They brought all they had, but we still won the Bell.”
    Looking at stats, the game was just as close numerically as one would assume. Brookfeld had 12 first downs, while Marceline had nine. The Tigers had 168 total yards of offense, while the Dogs had 173. The difference that sticks out, though, are the two fumbles more that Marceline committed than Brookfield.  
    “This definitely means a lot to us to win this game,” said Brookfield Head Coach Nile Thudium. “That is a good quality football team we faced tonight. I have nothing   but respect for their coaches and players. I am proud of the way our kids played in the second half. They dug deep at gut-check time, and played their hearts out tonight.”
    “It was a a hard fought ball game,” said Marceline Head Coach Paul Thomas. “I thought both teams played very well with mistakes on both times. It was a tough one to lose.”
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