Trojans surrender 685 yards in playoff loss to No. 7 MMC

MARCUS – Senior quarterback Dylan Spieler was a one-man wrecking crew for the Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn football team Wednesday night during the first round of the Class 8-man state playoffs.

The seventh-ranked Eagles (9-1) rode their leader to a 64-40 victory over Northeast Hamilton and into a second-round date with No. 8 West Bend-Mallard (10-1) on Monday.

Spieler accounted for eight touchdowns – five passing and three rushing – and 366 yards of total offense against a Trojans’ defense that was simply over-powered.

“They’re just so well-balanced and physically there was only so much we could do,” NEH head coach John Seiser said. “We’d try to sell out against the run and they’d beat us with the pass … it was a physical mismatch and that’s what it came down to.”

MMC – the reigning 8-man state champion – had three players go over 100 yards on the ground and compiled a ridiculous 685 yards of offense. Spieler completed 14 of 21 passes for 200 yards and also ran the rock 14 times for 166 yards. Derek Erdman also picked up 166 yards and reached the end zone once on 23 carries, and Conner Holmes went off for 151 and one touchdown.

The Eagles had weapons everywhere, but it’s Spieler who will haunt the Trojans (6-4). He reached the end zone on runs of 3, 24 and 65 yards. His touchdown tosses covered distances of 12, 12, 7, 10 and 16 yards.

“He’s very good and the scary part is he really didn’t play offense last year,” Seiser said of Spieler. “We didn’t tackle well, but I don’t know if it was them or us just not wrapping up.”

NEH did plenty of offensive damage as well with 440 yards, led by senior quarterback Logan Seiser, who made good on 11 of 28 passes for 179 yards and three touchdowns.

Logan Seiser hit Nick Jeffers on a 2-yard touchdown toss with 5:50 remaining in the second quarter and then closed out the half with an 11-yard TD pass to Tyler Smith in the final minute.

Smith was also on the receiving end of a 43-yard scoring strike in the final period.

Senior fullback Gabe Rapp chugged for 138 yards rushing on 15 totes. A big chunk of his output came on a 57-yard touchdown scamper late in the first quarter to pull NEH within 12-6.

Smith racked up 116 yards on the ground and 135 receiving. His fourth and final touchdown came on a 22-yard run with 40 seconds left in regulation.

“We couldn’t stop them, but they really weren’t stopping us consistently either,” John Seiser said. “I thought our effort was really good.”

MMC led 32-20 at the half and then scored three unanswered touchdowns over the initial 10:41 of the third quarter to push its cushion to an insurmountable 30 points, 50-20. Erdman raced across the goal line from 12 yards out, and Spieler threw back-to-back touchdown passes during the stretch to put the game out of reach.

Smith ended the flurry with a 59-yard sprint through the defense with 39 seconds to go in the quarter, but by then it was too little, too late.

Smith also had a team-high 15 tackles on defense. Rapp made 13 1/2 stops and Andy Pate was in on seven.