WASECA — Although Waseca was in control for most of Saturday's Section 2AAAA football game against Marshall, the visiting Tigers hung around for more than three quarters.
The Bluejays eventually wore the visitors down, recording a 33-6 victory to advance to the section title game on Friday in Hutchinson.
"That's who we are; we're a second-half team," Waseca coach Brad Wendland said. "Every game this year we've played better in the last two quarters.
"We definitely left some plays on the field in the first half but defensively we were pretty strong throughout. We narrowed our play list a little bit at halftime and that helped get our offense going."
After forcing a 3-and-out to start the game, Waseca quarterback Thomas O'Neil and the rest of the Bluejays took over near midfield. Thirteen plays later, including three fourth-down conversions, Brady Bomsta darted into the end zone from the 1 and Waseca led 6-0.
Neither team scored again until just before halftime. That's when O'Neil floated a perfect 11-yard strike in the end zone to Tyler Kolander for a 12-0 Bluejays lead at the break. The drive was aided by two big penalties covering 30 yards against Marshall.
"We were misfiring a little bit on offense in the first half," O'Neil said. "Fortunately our defense was strong again. They've been playing well all season, keeping us in games and getting the ball back for us."
Marshall got on the board at 10:18 of the third quarter. The score was set up by Reece Winkelman's 39-yard interception return to the 1-yard line.
Quarterback Brad Bahlman kept it for the final yard. The PAT kick was blocked by Jimmy Ebertowski, keeping the score 12-6 in favor of Waseca.
The Jays answered back right away on a 3-yard scoring run up the gut at 6:51 of the third, increasing the lead to 18-6. The march included an 18-yard pass to Jacob Laube between two defenders and a 16-yard sweep of the left side by Dylan Hermanstorfer.