Tascosa throttles Marcus in dominating effort, advances back to state quarterfinals
Tascosa quarterback Joseph Plunk runs for a touchdown against Flower Mound Marcus in the second quarter of a Class 6A Division II regional semifinal at Memorial Stadium in Wichita Falls. [Lauren Roberts/ For Press Pass Sports]
Tascosa is a force to be reckon with in the playoffs.
The Rebels showed what a force they can be with an absolute mauling of Flower Mound Marcus, 46-14, in a Class 6A Division II regional semifinal game at Memorial Stadium in Wichita Falls on a blustery Saturday afternoon.
The win catapults the Rebels (10-3 overall) back into the state quarterfinals for a second straight year. Tascosa is also in the midst of one of the greatest runs in Amarillo ISD football history.
By winning its seventh playoff game over a two year stretch Saturday, Tascosa is now tied with only Austin Westlake for the most playoff victories in Class 6A Division II during that span.
“It’s huge,” Tascosa coach Ken Plunk said after the Saturday’s game. “It shows the level of commitment from our players, and it shows the experience we have in winning playoff games. Who would have thought that. I think we show people that the Texas Panhandle plays really good football, and we can play at the top level.”
The Rebels road leads them toward the Metroplex where they now get set for a very talented Denton Guyer (12-1) squad in the state quarters at 11 a.m. Saturday at The Star in Frisco.
If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. Tascosa snapped Marcus’ 11-game win streak, as the Marauders end the year at 11-2, with its powerful Flexbone offense. Marcus had no answer for the Rebels physicality, nor quarterback Joseph Plunk. Joseph, who is having one of the best seasons in school history, as usual, led the Flexbone to perfection, as the Rebels once again totaled all of their yards on the ground. Tascosa attempted three passes, one of which was intercepted, but chewed up and spit out the Marcus defense, finishing with 462 rushing yards.
“We took what they gave us,” Joseph said. “We were able to score and score, and take over momentum.”
Tascosa took full control in the second quarter. Leading 7-6, sophomore running back Major Everhart took a pitch 54-yards, that included a stiff arm that planted a Marcus defender, on the way in for a score, putting Tascosa up 14-6. On the Rebels next two possessions, they started to pull away, with Joseph gashing the defense for touchdown runs of 16 and 6 yards, for a commanding lead into halftime.
In the second half, momentum never strayed from the Rebels. Joseph scored on the first two possessions, building a 39-6 lead, as Marcus was ready to waive the white flag.
“The offensive line was amazing today,” Joseph said. “They dominated up front and created holes for us. They were the reason we got all those yards.”
Joseph ended his day with six rushing touchdowns on 33 carries for 257 yards. Through three playoff games the senior signal caller has 615 yards with 13 TDs, and the 13 games, Joseph has an astounding 2,502 yards with 38 touchdowns.
“Joseph is playing well,” said Plunk about his youngest of three sons. “He’s executed and put the ball in the end zone. He’s also not making a lot of mistakes. But there’s a lot of guys doing their job to make him successful and he knows that.”
Four-star LSU commit and Marcus quarterback Garrett Nussmeier never got on track. The Tascosa defense flustered the 6-foot-5 gunslinger most of the day, as well as a steady 35 mile per hour swirling wind. Tascosa limited to 163 yards on 19 of 34 passing with two interceptions. The Marauders sputtered most of the contest with only 271 yards against an up for the challenge Tascosa defense.
Tascosa 46, Flower Mound Marcus 14
Marcus 6 0 0 8 — 14
Tascosa 7 19 13 7 — 46
T—Joseph Plunk 11 run (Max Burleson kick), 5:27
FMM—Michael Sturdivant 5 pass from Garrett Nussmeier (kick failed), 0:33
T—Major Everhart 54 run (Burleson kick), 11:07
T—Plunk 36 run (run failed), 7:02
T—Plunk 3 run (kick failed), 1:25
T—Plunk 16 run (kick blocked), 8:55
T—Plunk 6 run (Burleson kick), 2:05
FMM—Connor Vaughn 13 pass from Nussmeier (Dallas Dudley pass from Nussmeier), 3:51
T—Plunk 3 run (Burleson kick), 1:36
First downs 20 23
Rushing 107 468
Passing 164 0
Total yards 271 468
C-A-I 20-35-2 0-3-1
Punts-Avg. 4-34.5 2-50.5
Fumbles-lost 1-1 0-0
Penalties-yards 6-66 8-112
RUSHING— Marcus: Tyler Gainey 12-50, Gabe Espinoza 2-3, Sturdivant 2-4, Alex Fontaine 8-27, Nussmeier 2-8, Jack Saunders 3-15. Tascosa: Parker Settle 17-55, Plunk 33-257, Everhart 5-76, Darius Sanders 4-44, Burleson 2-60, Jaiton McMorris 1-10, Anthony Tuttle 3-20.
PASSING— Marcus: Nussmeier 19-34-2-163, Zach Ohlmeier 1-1-0-1. Tascosa: Plunk 0-3-1-0.
RECEIVING—Marcus: Sturdivant 8-50, Jaden Robinson 2-22, Dudley 4-43, Seth Sanchez 1-1, Collin Sutherland 2-17, Fontaine 2-18, Vaughn 1-13. Tascosa: None.