No. 8-state ranked Salisbury football team scored 20 unanswered points in the second half Wednesday to put away Marceline and win 41-18 at home in Class 1 District 6 semifinal play.

“Defensively, we made a couple of adjustments for our linebackers to make some big stops and I thought our offensive line played their best game of the season,” said Salisbury football coach Kirk Stott. “Austin Francis had a very nice game, and when we went to using four wide receivers that caused a match-up problem for them. Marceline went into a man coverage for much of the second half and I think we won each of those 1-on-1 battles by putting the ball into the hands of our receivers.”

The Panthers (10-1) put up the first two touchdowns on a short run by senior quarterback Austin Francis and then a touchdown pass thrown to Austin Wyatt before Dakota Lewis of the Tigers trimmed Marceline’s deficit to 14-6 when he broke free on a 69-yard touchdown run.

Francis scored another rushing touchdown in the second quarter and Marceline answered the call but would fail again on its 2-pt.

conversion attempt, allowing the Panthers hold a 21-12 halftime lead.
Francis threw for 231 yards completing 11 of 19 passes and a pair of touchdowns last night.

Senior Zach Wyatt caught three passes for 99 yards, and Austin’s sophomore brother Brady Francis had four receptions netting 68 yards and a score. Meanwhile, Austin Wyatt and Alex Wilson each had two receptions for 45 and 19 yards respectively.

The Panthers running game was led by senior Jake Latamondeer who rumbled 107 yards on 11 carries. Austin Wyatt rushed for 92 yards, and Francis added 45 including three rushing TDs.

Marceline (7-4)  received the second half kickoff and put together a long scoring drive capped by a touchdown pass thrown by quarterback Blake Linebaugh to Chase Hilsabeck.

But the Tigers scoring stopped there, and Salisbury rang up three consecutive touchdowns to pull away.

Linebaugh completed 11 of 21 passes for 215 yards in a losing effort for the Tigers.

“I can’t express enough about how proud I am of these kids. They’ve played unselfish football all season long and have gone through many adjustments due to player injuries  that we’ve had since the preseason,” said coach Stott. “They’ve listened and have been willing to step up and do some things that they have not done before. We’re playing some good football right now and hopefully we can ride this momentum into next week for our next game.”

Salisbury will travel Monday to  play at top-seed and No. 9-ranked Milan for the district championship. Milan (10-0) knocked off Princeton 63-27 in the other semifinal game last night.