MARSHALL - Colton Citrowske had three second-quarter touchdowns as part of a 38-point first half for the Marshall Tigers, who steamrolled the Mankato East Cougars 52-6 in an opening-round game of the Section 2AAAA football playoffs Tuesday night at Mattke Field.
Citrowske scored on runs of 21, nine and 17 yards and totaled 89 yards rushing in the win for the third-seeded Tigers.
"I'd like to give a lot of the credit to my linemen," Citrowske said. "They open up the holes for me. I can break some tackles, but mostly it's the open holes from my lineman for me to get through."
Photo by Travis Andries
Marshall’s Leo Zerr busts a run down the Marshall sideline during the Tigers’ 52-6 win over Mankato East Tuesday night in a first round Section 2AAAA playoff game played at Mattke Field at the Regional Event Center in Marshall.
Rhett Struve also had a big night for Marshall with 161 total yards, a 50-yard touchdown run in the third quarter and an interception. Both Citrowske and Struve eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark on the season during the game, with Struve having a slight edge with 1,057 yards to Citrowske's 1,044. The duo have also combined for 27 rushing touchdowns.
Marshall's offense shined in all phases against the sixth-seeded Cougars, as the Tigers outgained Mankato East 585-251. Quarterback Austin Saugstad went 10 of 12 passing for 191 yards and a touchdown in the win.
"I think we had a good game plan coming in," Saugstad said. "A lot of the coverages we were game planning for and we liked. We haven't necessarily always had to throw it a lot with our running game. It's there, we do have the ability to throw it and it showed tonight."
The Tigers' head coach, Terry Bahlmann, was impressed by what he saw out of his team, especially in the first half.
"We moved the ball up and down," Bahlmann said. "I thought our running game, we controlled the game with that. We got a chance to run our two-minute (offense) before half and did a good job executing there. Overall, we want to advance in the playoffs and keep moving on."
Marshall (9-0 overall) has outscored its opponents 291-41 in the first half this season, including outscoring the Cougars 66-7 in the first 24 minutes in two games during 2012.
Despite allowing a season-high 251 yards, the Tigers' defense was stout when it needed to be and held the Cougars to just one touchdown on a one-yard run by quarterback Nic Seiler. The Tigers forced three turnovers by intercepting three Seiler passes, including two in the red zone, to limit the scoring of the Cougars' spread offense.
"Our strength is our front seven so it spreads us out all over the field, gives us some different things," Bahlmann said of the Mankato East scheme. "We bent a little bit, but we did some good things down at the goal line, some big interceptions."
Struve, Saugstad, and Brock Baumgarn each had a pick, while Campbell Hofstetter led the Tigers with 10.5 tackles. Timmy Vang, who scored Marshall's final touchdown in the fourth quarter, recorded a sack for the Tigers, as did Alex Werner. Linebacker Stephen Womack had 6.5 tackles as well.
Tanner Cirks started the scoring for the Tigers with a 29-yard field goal on the game's opening drive. Baumgarn scored Marshall's first touchdown with five minutes, 36 seconds remaining in the first quarter and has now scored in four straight games. Saugstad followed up Baumgarn's 5-yard run with a 22-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Mathiowetz to give Marshall a 17-0 lead with 2:45 left in the quarter.
"We did a lot of good things on offense," Bahlmann said. "We threw the ball well and ran our two-minute about to perfection. In the playoffs you just want to advance. You play well, you advance and get another game. And we're looking forward to going to Glencoe on Saturday."
The Tigers, ranked seventh in Class AAAA, face off against second-seeded and fourth-ranked Glencoe-Silver Lake (7-1 overall) at 3 p.m. Saturday in the Section 2AAAA semifinals.
Mankato East 0 0 6 0-6
Marshall17 21 7 7-52
M-Tanner Cirks 29 Field Goal, 10:06
M-Brock Baumgarn 5 run (Cirks Kick), 5:36
M-Aaron Mathiowetz 22 pass from Austin Saugstad (Cirks kick), 2:45
M-Colton Citrowske 21 run (Cirks kick), 11:45
M-Citrowske 9 run (Cirks kick), 6:10
M-Citrowske 18 run (Cirks kick), :09
M-Rhett Struve 50 run (Cirks kick), 3:51
E-Nic Seiler 1 run (kick failed), 2:03
M-Timmy Vang 2 run (Cirks kick), 9:08
Rushing: M-Rhett Struve 7-133, Colton Citrowske 12-89, Leo Zerr 3-39, Austin Saugstad 4-39, Brad Bahlmann 3-29.
Passing (comp-att-yards-int): ME-Nic Seiler 11-25-126-3; M-Saugstad 10-12-191-0, Bahlmann 1-1-21-0.
Receiving: M-Tanner Cirks 2-58, Aaron Mathiowetz 3-48, Adam McVey 1-37, Struve 3-28, Drew Hmielewski 1-21, Zerr 1-20.
Tackles: M-Campbell Hofstetter 10.5, Stephen Womack 6.5, Jared Holland 3, Saugstad 3, Zerr 3, Sam Marshall 3.
Sacks: M-Alex Werner, Timmy Vang.
INT: ME- none; M-Saugstad, Struve, Brock Baumgarn.