With home-field advantage for the first round of the playoffs on the line, the Marionville Comets used that very same advantage to help pull off a week nine win over Stockton last Friday. After a scoreless first half, the Comets rallied for three touchdowns in the last two quarters for a 22-8 win over the Tigers on Senior Night.
Solid defense and penalty flags on both sides kept the teams off the board in the first half of the contest at Bill Redus Field, but Stockton finally broke the stalemate with 5:44 remaining in the third quarter. A four-yard touchdown pass was followed by a successful two-point conversion to put the Tigers up 8-0.
But the Comets responded quickly, as senior quarterback Ryan Mayberry led a drive that ended with him scoring on a 29-yard run to the end zone. A two-point pass to junior Alex Gracia knotted the score at 8-8 with four minutes left in the quarter.
A minute later, it appeared Stockton had regained the lead on a 60-yard play, but a holding penalty brought the play back and kept the score tied. That is, until the final 23 seconds of the quarter, when Mayberry broke through on the left side for a 75-yard touchdown run to put the Comets ahead. An extra point kick by junior Coltin Elliott made it 15-8 in the Comets' favor at the end of the third period.
After a Stockton fumble was recovered by the Marionville defense deep in Tiger territory, the Comets added one more score for good measure. This time Mayberry ran it in from 20 yards out, and Elliott added the extra point to make it 22-8 with 3:45 to go in the game.
From that point on, the Marionville defense did its job, keeping the Tigers out of the end zone to clinch the win and the fourth seed in Class 1, District 2.
As the fourth seed, the Comets (6-3) will host Ash Grove (6-3) this Friday. At the teams' previous meeting in week four, the Comets were victorious with a 27-18 win at home. This week's game is scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m.