MARSHALL - The Marshall football team may have been a little stunned to start the game, but they turned it around quickly.
The Tigers overcame an opening onside kick recovery by New Ulm to win 59-9 in the Class 4A Section 2 quarterfinals on Tuesday.
The Eagles (0-9) came out with a play from Marshall's playbook, going for - and recovering - an onside kick.
Photo by Alex Oey
Marshall’s Hunter Greve (55) and Max Roelfsema (29) fall on the ball in the end zone after its fumbled by New Ulm during a Class 4A,?Section 2 Tournament quarterfinal game Tuesday at The Schwan Regional Event Center. The Tigers’ Jason Polzin ended up recovering the ball for a touchdown.
"The frustrating part is it's our play basically that we use," said Marshall head coach Terry Bahlmann. "Coach Ortmann was on our staff a few years ago and he knows it. We talked to the kids about it, but they didn't react to it."
New Ulm marched all the way down to the Marshall 13-yard line before turning it over on downs. The Tigers promptly returned the favor, going on an 86-yard drive which was capped with a four-yard keeper from Brad Bahlmann at 3:46. The extra point from Paul Citrowske was good and Marshall (6-3) had a 7-0 lead, but the next 19 seconds would hold a dramatic swing.
On the ensuing kickoff, Citrowske put the ball in the left corner of the field and the Eagle returner grabbed it on the three yard line and retreated to the end zone where he kneeled.
For a safety.
After the Eagles kicked off from their own 20 after the safety, it took the Tigers only one play to score again, this time on a 37-yard run from Sam Marshall at 3:27. A Bahlmann run on the conversion gave Marshall a 17-0 lead, which they would take into the second quarter.
"It felt good," Marshall said. "The offensive line did great up front, got good blocks."
After a solid first quarter, the Tigers turned it on in the second quarter, scoring five straight touchdowns to take a commanding 52-0 lead.
"We came out a hair tight early," said Bahlmann. "We wanted to play fast. We thought speed was our advantage. Once we got in the open field we showed we could make some plays."
Bahlmann and Marshall started it off with a 20-yard shovel pass 12 seconds into the quarter. Max Roelfsema followed 19 seconds later with a 46-yard fumble return to give the Tigers a 31-0 lead after the Citrowske kick.
"It was a good tackle," said Roelfsma. "They punched the ball out and it ended up in my hands."
On New Ulm's next possession, Marshall pinned the Eagles on their own 12 yard line, forcing a punt. The snap went between the punters legs and a host of Tiger defenders got into the end zone with Jason Polzin coming away with the touchdown and a 45-0 Marshall lead.
"Hunter Greve tipped it back in," Polzin said. "I saw it laying there and jumped on it."
"Hunter Greve made a nice play to keep the ball in bounds," said Bahlmann. "Jason Polzin gets a touchdown. That's a great team effort."
The Tigers got two final touchdowns in the half when Bahlmann ran his second one in, this time from 18 yards out, before Marshall pulled down a 34-yard interception return, putting Marshall up 52-0 with 5:31 left in the half.
"I just read the quarterback's eyes and took it to the house," said Marshall.
The New Ulm offense got to work and put together a 12-play drive that was capped with a six-yard keeper by quarterback Nate Glaublitz with 35 seconds left in the half. The kick was good and the Eagles were on the board, trailing Marshall 52-7.
"That's a big play," said New Ulm head coach and Marshall graduate Anthony Ortmann. "It was a good momentum builder for when we go into the locker room. That was a big punch for us at the end to get some points on the board."
In the second half New Ulm elected to receive, but Marshall's Nick Crowley recovered a fumble on the return, which the Tigers turned into a one-yard touchdown run from Matt Thompson, giving Marshall a 59-7 lead.
"It's great to play everybody and it helps build for the future," Bahlmann said. "I thought (Thompson) ran really well and ran hard. It gets everyone else excited. We look forward to seeing him in the future."
Neither team was able to garner much offense in the rest of the third quarter, but New Ulm threatened in the fouth, reaching the Marshall three yard line, but Aaron Polejewski recovered a fumble to keep the Eagles from scoring.
Marshall went three and out on their next possession and the Eagles scored a safety as the snap sailed over the punter's head and out of the end zone, making it a 59-9 game, which would stand.
The Tigers will travel to Waseca on Saturday, where they face the second-seeded and undefeated Bluejays.
"It's a chance for us to go play an undefeated team," said Bahlmann. "We haven't been the underdog much in the past few years and we're going to go there and be ready to compete."
MARSHALL 59, NEW ULM 9
No. 6 New Ulm0 7 0 2 - 9
No. 3 Marshall17 35 7 0 - 59
M - Brad Bahlmann 4 run (Paul Citrowske kick), 3:46.
M - Safety, 3:40.
M - Sam Marshall 37 run (Bahlmann run), 3:27.
M - Marshall 20 pass from Bahlmann (Citrowske kick), 11:48.
M - Max Roelfsema 46 fumble recovery (Citrowske kick), 11:27.
M - Jason Polzin fumble recovery in end zone (Citrowske kick), 9:33.
M - Bahlmann 18 run (Citrowske kick), 7:01.
M - Marshall 34 interception return (Citrowske kick), 5:31.
NU - Nate Glaublitz 6 run (Connor Forbrook kick), 0:35.
M - Matt Thompson 1 run (Citrowske kick), 8:02.
NU - Safety, 3:26.
RUSHING - New Ulm (41-158); Marshall (Brad Bahlmann 7-98, Matt Thompson 11-62, Sam Marshall 4-38, Drew Hmielewski 1-14, Jack Bock 2-5, Brock Klaith 3-3).
PASSING - New Ulm (1-8-32-2); Marshall (Bahlmann 3-5-50-0, Aaron Polejewski 2-2-7-0, Jacob Deines 0-2-0-0).
RECEIVING - New Ulm (1-32); Marshall (Hmielewski 2-30, Marshall 1-20, Thompson 1-5, Adam Schultz 1-2).
TACKLES (Solo-Assisted) - New Ulm (N/A); Marshall (Max Roelfsema 5-2, John Lothert 4.5-2, Reece Winkelman 4-4, Collin Reilly 3.5-3, Tyus DeBoer 3.5-1, Bahlmann 3.5-1).
SACKS - New Ulm (N/A); Marshall (Winkelman 1).
INTERCEPTIONS - New Ulm (none); Marshall (Bahlmann 1, Marshall 1).
RECORD - New Ulm (0-9 overall); Marshall (6-3 overall).
NEXT GAME - New Ulm (season complete); Marshall (plays at Waseca (8-0 overall) in Class 4A Section 2 Tournament semifinal game at 3 p.m. Saturday).