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Wabash County Sports

Often copied, never equaled sports coverage

Outside The County-Maconaquah


Results from Maconqauah for Friday, October 20th

Braves explode with record 42-point second quarter in 55-13 win over Northwestern

The Maconaquah Braves rode the accurate arm of senior quarterback Braxton Birner and a tenacious defense to rout the Northwestern Tigers, 55-13, in the opening round of Class 3A Sectional 28 tournament action Friday night.

 Coach Tyler Campbell's troops, now 7-3, advance to the sectional semi-finals at Hamilton Heights Friday where they will face the unbeaten and fifth-ranked (AP poll) Huskies.  Northwestern ended its season at 3-7.  MHS now leads the all-time series, 32-24.

 A week after being held to a season-low 14 points, the Braves high-octane offense shifted into high gear after Fuddy Kile picked off a NW pass and returned it 19 yards to his own 42 with 6:52 left in the first period.  Junior speed demon AJ Kelly outran Tiger defenders with a 56-yard Birner TD bomb 15 seconds later and the scoring barrage had begun before most Brave fans had settled in their seats.  Nolan Tarrh added the PAT kick for a 7-0 lead.

Campbell called the game Mac's "most complete game" in his three years as Brave skipper.  "Our defense was amazing", he said.  "You don't get 42 points in a quarter without your defense creating possessions.   Our defensive line pressure (Eli Price, Austin Ringeisen, Jacob Isley and Dakoda Dauenhauer) helped create the interceptions".  Besides Kile's interception, Marcel Sims and Kaleb Shelton got in on the fun with second-quarter picks and Ringeisen added a fourth with a 20-yard return in the fourth stanza.  The Braves now own a +22 turnover margin this year, forcing 33 turnovers ... second-most in school history.

 Now back to the offense.  The Braves got five touchdown passes from Birner in the game . . . four in the second quarter.  "Braxton played his butt off", Campbell said in the lockerrom after the game.  He set a school record with 16 of 17 accuracy (.941) before exiting in the third quarter.  The state's third-leading passer (yardage) finished with 308 yards and shattered his single-season TD record he set a year ago.  He has now tossed 33 TD passes this year and has 83 in his career.

 Giving Birner plenty of time to pass all night long during his record-setting performance were linemen Cody Miller, Chris Mitchell, Joey Butcher, Isley and Isaac Pearce.  

After Kile's 13-yard TD catch got things started in the second act, misfortune struck the Tigers on their next possession when Kelly broke up a Tiger pass which Sims grabbed and rambled 33 yards to paydirt.  Tarrh's boot made it 20-0.  On the night, Tarrh was perfect on 5 of 6 PAT kicks.

 After Shelton pilfered a NW pass, Kelly ran in untouched from 20 yards out, 27-0.   Mac's defense forced the Tigers to punt on their next three possessions and the Braves took advantage, scoring three more times to bolt to a commanding 49-0 lead at intermission.  Kile (57 yards), DJ Elliott (4 yards) and Kelly (23 yards) were on the receiving end of Birner TD passes to end the half.  The 42-point second quarter blitz tied the school record set vs North Miami in 2021.

 Mac's freshman duo of Aiden Robinson and Sims sandwiched a pair of Northwestern touchdowns in the final half when Sims took a 30-yard screen pass to the house with 4:14 left in the game.  The second half was played with a running clock due to the IHSAA "Mercy Rule".

Sideline Notes . . . KELLY'S three touchdowns moved him past Jerry Peters into 8th place on Mac's career scoring list with 154 points.  Kelly topped the Braves with 113 yards on five catches vs NW

 . . .  KILE, the state's leading receiver (yardage), caught five passes for 101 yards and has now scored at least one touchdown in 19 of Mac's last 20 games.  He now has 108 points this year, becoming eighth player in MHS history to score over 100 points in a season.

 . . .  The 55 points vs the Tigers is the most-ever scored by Maconaquah vs Northwestern

 . . .  The 55 points scored is the most-ever scored by the Braves in an IHSAA tournament game

 . . .  The Braves tied a school record by scoring 40+ points in a game for the fifth time this season

 . . .  The Braves also set new MHS season records for most first downs by passing and most passing yards in a season, breaking marks that were set a year ago

 . . .  Heading into the showdown with Hamilton Heights, Maconaquah is currently averaging 37.3 points per game, best in the school's 61-year history

 . . .  Five of Maconaquah's first six offensive scoring possessions were the result of the Braves rattler-like, quick-strike offense and took less than a minute to light up the scoreboard.  Time of possession on the six TD drives were: :15, 1:07, :09, :50, :40, and :51
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