Genskow and Miller prove to be too much for White Lake/Elcho

Dustin Riese

Coming off a loss to open their 2023 8-player season, Marion/Tigerton was back on the field Friday for a matchup against White/Lake Elcho. As expected, this was another high-scoring affair, but one that Marion/Tigerton controlled from the second quarter on.

All it took was a massive second quarter that saw Marion/Tigerton score 22 of their 48 points and an offense that put up 36 points in the first half. That was more than enough to pull a victory as Marion/Tigerton improves to 1-1 on the season with their 48-28 victory on Sept. 1.

“All week during practice, we talked about having each individual do their job on the field,” coach Micah Schwantes said. “They did just that and more tonight as we played a tremendous game.”

If the first quarter was any sign of what was to come, this was going to be an offensive shootout as both teams came out on fire offensively. After White Lake grabbed an early 8-0 lead following a short run, it was the passing game of Braxton Genskow that got the offense going as he completed 16 of his 26 passes for 205 yards and five TDs, with 118 of those yards going to Parker Miller.

Not only did Miller come down with eight receptions, but four of those receptions were for touchdowns, as the White Lake defense seemingly had no answers for him. The duo hooked up for a 13-yard TD midway through the first to tie things up 8-8 before connecting on a 42-yard gain later in the quarter to make things 14-14 after one. Their second TD came after White Lake connected for a long TD pass of their own, as neither defense was able to settle in early on.

Once the second quarter got underway, the Marion/Tigerton defense made some adjustments; they not only shut the White Lake/Elcho offense down, but their offense continued to inflict damage. While Miller may have been the primary focus of the game, Jackson Krohn made his presence known with two receptions for 26 yards — including a go-ahead 24-yard TD in the second to put Marion/Tigerton up 22-14. Marion/Tigerton then saw its lead cut to 22-20 after another TD run from White Lake/Elcho kept things close before the offense closed out the first half with a flurry.

Already with three TD passes under his belt, Genskow hooked up two more times with Miller before the end of the half to stretch the Marion/Tigerton lead out to 36-20 after one half of play. Unlike the first half where the offense was the story, it was much more of a defensive battle the rest of the way as 20 total points were scored in the second half. Eight of those points came from White Lake/Elcho, as another TD run in the third made things 36-28 as they refused to go away. That is something that Schwantes wants to fix in the weeks ahead, as his team had a tough time stopping the run.

“Credit White Lake for being able to run the ball as well as they did,” he said. “They are a very physical team and did a nice job setting the tone early in both halves. Thankfully our guys found ways to adjust in each half to get back on track. That is something we need to get better with defensively if we want to reach the level we expect to this season.”

Looking for the knockout blow in the fourth quarter, it was time for Marion/Tigerton to show off their ability to run the football. Look no further than Genskow. Not only did he have 205 yards passing with his five scores, but he added another score on the ground by taking one in from 40 yards out to make things 42-28. Genskow also led the team in rushing with 162 yards on 23 carries, as he had more than 360 yards of combined offense with six TDs.

Miller also had a massive game, as he had more than 200 all purpose yards and five TDs of his own; 86 of his yards came on the ground off just four carries — including his 67-yard burst late in the fourth quarter to extend the Marion/Tigerton lead to their biggest margin of the game, 48-28. Those would be the final points of the night for either side as Marion/Tigerton picked up their first win of 2023 in dominating fashion.

“I am very happy with our performance on the field tonight,” Schwantes said. “Sure, we weren’t perfect, but no one is going to play a perfect game this early in the season. I couldn’t have asked for much more from our kids tonight as they took what we were discussing in practice and put it to use on the field, and the results showed.”