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MARSHALL — The Marshall Tigers outplayed the Worthington Trojans on both sides of the ball in their 44-0 home win on Friday night, giving them their fourth straight win to start the season. The Tigers led by 21 points after only their third possession and Worthington was never able to make things any harder for the Tigers from there.
Marshall’s success in the trenches was one of the main reasons they were able to retire early. The offensive line turned every run play in the gut into a sizable win, while the defensive line stuffed the Trojans’ run game and gave the Worthington quarterback no time to let the game go. develop in the passing game.
“Everything we do revolves around these guys up front,” said Marshall head coach Terry Bahlmann. “Tonight we had 16 different guys carrying the ball so we know they are doing their job.”
On the defensive side, excellence has become the norm. Their shutout of Worthington is their third in four games. The only game they allowed points in was against Waseca, when they allowed just one touchdown. Their play against the Trojans, however, was exceptionally good as they didn’t allow a first down in every game.
Bahlmann was pleased with his team’s performance, saying the only thing they needed to clean up was finding the right blitz gaps.
It should be noted that those blitzes were still effective, as Worthington’s quarterback was terrorized by Marshall’s front seven all night.
Chidi Nwakuma was electric in the Tigers win. He rarely let the potential first tackle stop him, and at times he looked like he could break through Worthington’s entire defensive front on his own. In the first half alone, Nwakuma scored a pair of touchdowns and made a number of big plays to advance Marshall’s position on the court on their other three scoring drives. He then finished the game with eight carries for 61 yards as well as a pair of touchdowns. He also caught a seven-yard pass
As a second-year starter, the team learned to expect high-quality performances from Nwakuma. Still, with six running backs in regular rotation, the ability to distribute the ball and keep players fresh always comes in handy, Bahlmann said.
Mason Eichoff was also a major on-field contributor. He made his eight carries, tied for a team high, for 53 yards and two more touchdowns.
The passing game wasn’t a main feature of the Tigers’ attacking game plan, but Tyler Maeyaert did his job when called upon. He threw for 120 yards on 11 attempts, including a touchdown to Omar Abdi in the first quarter. Abdi finished the game with 48 yards and a touchdown.
Marshall (4-0) will look to continue his unbeaten start to the season on the road next week against Tri-County United on Thursday at 7 p.m.
Marshall 44, Worthington 0
MARSH 14 21 9 0
VALUE 0 0 0 0
Pass (Att-Yds_TD): Marshall (Maeyaert 6-11-120-1)
Rushing (Att-Yds-TD): Marshall (Nwakuma 8-61-2; Eichoff 8-53-2; Maeyaert 4-16; Coby Brownlee 4-16)
Receiving (Rec-Yds-TD): Marshall (Abdi 3-48-1; Sahlmon Osman 3-32; Gavin Schaeffer 1-15)