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Mustangs Too Much For Marines In Early NEC Conference Matchup

The Marines definitely had their hands full in the trying to stop the pass Friday night when they rolled into Little Chute for a contest with the Mustangs. Little Chute came away the victor by way of a 45-14 differential.

The Mustangs, who ended the evening with 332 passing yards scored three of their touchdowns through the air. Behind the attack was quarterback Devin Plate who was the lone single caller of the night for Little Chute. He was 20 of 32 in the stellar performance.

That's not to say that Marinette didn't do a little passing of their own. With Matt Eldredge behind center, the Marines amassed 109 yards in a six of 14 showing. Unfortunately two of Eldredge's passes went the other way with one going back to the house for the pick-six. James Jagielski pitched into the passing effort with four passes which went for a total of 13 yards

Marinette found small gains on the ground against a tough Mustang defensive front as Eldredge led the way with 45 yards on nine carries. He was followed by teammate Connor Nelson with 30 yards on six carries.

To start the game, the Marine defense appeared to be ready to set the tone, forcing Little Chute to a third and one attempt. On the play, the Mustangs's Eric Hietpas fumbled the ball allowing the Marines to take possession on the Little Chute 38 yard line.

With a short field ahead of them, the Marines started their day on offense. After a quick first down, the Marine Machine was ground down to a halt failing to convert on the fourth and eight attempt from 18 yards out.

The Mustang's offense returned to the field for their second drive of the evening and employed a grueling 12 play drive that would run out of steam at the 17 yard line of Marinette.

Facing a fourth and two attempt, the Mustangs elected to try a field goal which flew wide left.

Marinette's next drive found no success on its first play as Eldredge was unable to connect with his intended receiver. On second down Jagielski was able to pound out four yards.

Looking at 79 yards in front of him, Eldredge dropped back on third down. Throwing from his own 18 yard line, he connected with Jagielski who pulled down the pass at the 38. After catching the ball, Jagielski was off to the races crossing into the end zone for the 79 yard score. The two point conversion was unsuccessful, giving Marinette the 6-0 lead.

Little Chute was forced to a four and out on their next possession, but found the ball back in their hands four plays later due to some good defensive from their guys.

It looked as if the Mustangs wanted to show Marinette that they also could run and gun. Taking to the air on first down, they would need only one play to find six points as Devin Plate connected with Kyle Hietpas for the 52 yard score. The point after the kick was good, and Little Chute took the narrow 7-6 lead.

After that point Marinette started to loose its footing, thanks to an interception by the Mustang's Kyle Hietpas on the third play of the drive.

With a stop needed in order to keep the game in reach, the Marine defense answered the call forcing the Mustangs to a turnover on downs four plays later.

After sputtering out on the Mustangs 33 yard line on fourth down, the Marines quickly saw the lead differential increase as Little Chute's Vanhandel busted loose for a 30 yard rushing score two plays into the drive. With the extra point good the Mustangs furthered their lead 21-6.

Marinette's next drive ended on fourth down with three yards to gain. On the attempt, Jagielski dropped back but was unable to find an open receiver giving the ball back to Little Chute on the 50 yard line.

To start the second half, the Mustangs scored this time on a field goal from 33 yards out for the 24-6 lead. A short while later they found pay dirt again, entering the end zone from 43 yards out on a Debruin pass.

During the closing minutes of the third quarter, Vanhandel crossed the goal line one more time from two yards out to help bring the Mustangs to a 37-6 lead.

As time began to wind off the clock in the fourth quarter, Marinette stuck to its guns keeping the air attack on end. But a quick move by a Mustang DB turned the drive on its head, as he pulled down a Eldredge pass and carried it to the 81 yard line bringing the score to 45-6.

With the game pretty much out of reach, Marinette gave it one last effort and was rewarded with a 19 yard passing touchdown from Eldredge to Spencer Hipke. Eldredge scored on the two point conversion to give the game its final score of 45-14.


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