Grizzlies ride offensive explosion to MWL road win

The Ashland Grizzlies are officially on a roll.

Especially on offense.

Sophomore quarterback Danial White amassed 301 all-purpose yards and the ninth-ranked Grizzlies scored touchdowns on seven of their 10 offensive possessions in a 50-36 Midwestern League victory over Marshfield on Friday at Coos Bay.

A week after Ashland crushed formerly undefeated Willamette 49-12, White completed 15 of 22 passes for 188 yards and two touchdowns and rushed 10 times for 113 yards and two more scores to lead the Grizzlies (4-1, 3-1 MWL) to their third win in a row.

Ashland needed every bit of White's heroics thanks to Marshfield's own offensive explosion. The Pirates (1-4, 1-3) racked up 380 yards of offense and scored with 4:21 to go in the game to cut Ashland's lead to 43-36. The Grizzlies refused to turn conservative after recovering the ensuing onside kick, however, marching 43 yards in six plays to finally punch out the Pirates on White's 17-yard touchdown pass to Quaid Walters with 1:39 left on the clock.

Moments later, Ashland defensive back Sam Geisslinger intercepted Jason Sweet's pass to Chase Messerle to ice it for Ashland.

Ashland's final drive was a fitting clincher. The touchdown pass came on a third-and-13 play, the sort of clutch conversion that the Grizzlies came up with all night.

"(Marshfield's) kids were pretty fired up," Ashland head coach Charlie Hall said. "But you have to give our offense a lot of credit because every time things went bad on defense, the offense answered the call."

That started early.

The Grizzlies, who finished with 443 yards of total offense, scored on three of their first four drives to take a 22-8 lead late in the second quarter. White was key in each drive, completing a 28-yard touchdown pass on third-and-16 for the first touchdown, rushing 65 yards for the second touchdown and converting another third down before running in TD No. 3 from 11 yards out.

White's first-quarter touchdown pass went to tight end Franklin Lime, capping the first drive of the game for either team.

Marshfield answered on its first drive, converting two third downs and then a third when Sweet busted into the end zone on third-and-1 from the 2. Sweet then hit Max Whiteley for a two-point conversion that gave the Pirates an 8-7 lead.

The Grizzlies reclaimed the lead following a sudden turn of events early in the second quarter. Looking to go up by eight or more, the Pirates marched 50 yards to the Ashland 18 before the drive stalled, leading to a fourth-and-19 pass from Messerle to Cody Roark. Ashland safety A.J. Atteberry was there for the interception, and on Ashland's next play White broke free for his longest run of the season, giving Ashland a 15-8 lead with 8:51 to go in the first half.

The Ashland offense was at it again on its next drive, chugging 76 yards on six plays, including White's 29-yard strike to Taylor Humphrey on third-and-five from the Marshfield 40.

Humphrey had four catches for 78 yards and Walters four for 47 yards. Ashland running back Jon Volz rushed 14 times for 88 yards.

For Marshfield, Sweet completed 15 of 17 passes for 168 yards and three touchdowns, while Ty Cutting rushed for 132 yards on 15 carries.

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