COOS BAY — Ashland High football coach Charlie Hall was well aware of the potential pitfalls that awaited his young team against Marshfield in its third game of the season. He couldn't have possibly envisioned a worse scenario than the one that unfolded Friday night.
Ashland fumbled twice in the first three times it touched the ball and Marshfield capitalized with a pair of short touchdown drives in the first two minutes, then held off a fourth-quarter rally for a 33-28 nonleague victory over the eighth-ranked Grizzlies.
Marshfield (2-1) ran all of its 14 first-quarter plays in Ashland territory, jumping to a 21-0 lead before the Grizzlies (2-1) could mount a sustained drive.
In fact, Ashland's first four possessions ended with a pair of fumbles, a bad snap in punt formation and a failed fake punt that resulted in a turnover on downs. Each gave the Pirates the ball inside the Ashland 30-yard line.
Marshfield converted on three of the four opportunities.
Ashland quarterback Talon Haggard got the Grizzlies on the board with a 16-yard touchdown pass to Oliver Krant early in the second quarter. But Haggard was repeatedly forced from the pocket and struggled with the wind for much of the first half, completing just 3 of 13 passes for 46 yards before intermission.
The Grizzlies' struggles began on their first play from scrimmage, when Haggard and Lewis Sebrell mishandled an exchange and Marshfield's Bo Cutting recovered on the Ashland 28-yard line. Talo Silver capped a four-play drive with a 9-yard run around the left end for a 7-0 lead.
Ashland failed to cover the ensuing kickoff and Marshfield recovered the ball at the 22-yard line. Two plays later, Kyle Brown scored from 5 yards out for a 14-0 lead less than two minutes into the game.
Marshfield threatened again minutes later, but Travis Reeder recovered a fumble by Brown at the Ashland 5-yard line. It turned out to be only a temporary reprieve, however.
After managing one first down, Charlie Sebrell was tackled for a loss on a fake punt, giving Marshfield the ball at the 21. Tedder threw a 5-yard touchdown pass four plays later to give the Pirates a 21-0 lead with 1:57 remaining in the first quarter.
After the Grizzlies cut the deficit to 21-7, Tedder ran 30 yards on a fourth-and-four to boost the lead to 27-7 at halftime.
Haggard found his game after intermission, both running and passing. He gave the Grizzlies a slight glimmer of hope, marching the team 87 yards in six plays, capped by a scoring pass to Charlie Sebrell, to cut the lead to 27-14 midway through the third quarter. But Marshfield responded with a 10-play, 80-yard scoring drive of its own to push the lead to 33-14 and effectively put the game out of reach.
Haggard marched the Grizzlies on fourth-quarter scoring drives of 68 and 67 yards, closing the margin to 33-28 on a 22-yard scramble with 5:09 remaining. But Ashland would not see the ball again, failing to recover an onside kick and allowing Marshfield to grind out three first downs.
The Pirates dominated the line of scrimmage, rushing for 321 yards on 42 carries, a 7.6-yard per carry average. Tedder ran the option play to perfection, rushing for 190 yards on 19 carries. Brown finished with 110 on 18 attempts, largely through the middle of the Ashland defense.
Haggard finished with 109 yards on 19 rushes while Lewis Sebrell ran for 77 yards on 15 carries.
The Grizzlies were again hurt by penalties, 12 in all, including four unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. Linebacker Issa Shahin was ejected in the third quarter.
Ashland returns home to face Willamette in a nonleague game next Friday.
Marshfield 33, Ashland 28
Ashland 0 7 7 14 — 28
Marshfield 21 6 6 0 — 33
MHS — Silver 9 run (Tedder kick)
MHS — Brown 5 run (Tedder kick)
MHS — Krajcir 5 pass from Tedder (Tedder kick)
AHS — Krant 16 pass from Haggard (C. Sebrell kick)
MHS — Tedder 30 run (kick blocked)
AHS — C. Sebrell 12 pass from Haggard (C. Sebrell kick)
MHS — Tedder 1 run (kick failed)
AHS — Haggard 1 run (run failed)
AHS — Haggard 22 run (Haggard run)
First downs 21 18
Rushes- yards 35-182 42-321
Passing yards 179 30
Total yards 361 351
Penalties/yards 12/91 7/41
Punts/yards 0/0 2/40.5
Turnovers 2 1
Time of possession 23:15 24:45
RUSHING — Ashland: Talon Haggard 19-109, Lewis Sebrell 15-77, Charlie Sebrell 1- (-4). Marshfield: Kyle Tedder 19-190, Kyle Brown 18-110 , Talo Silver 5-21.
PASSING — Ashland: Talon Haggard 10-23-0 179 . Marshfield: Kyle Tedder 5-7-0 30.
RECEIVING — Ashland: Charlie Sebrell 6-121, Lewis Sebrell 2-25, Oliver Krant 1-16, Nicholas Hall 1-17. Marshfield: Chris Krajcir 2-22, Levi Meline 2-9, Talo Silver 1-(-1).