GLADSTONE - Just take three touchdowns and call Gladstone in the morning.
The Marquette Redmen prescribed a heavy dose of Alex Sherbinow to the Gladstone Braves Friday evening, spoiling the GHS homecoming game and running away in the second half to a 35-14 Great Northern Conference victory at Marble Field.
Sherbinow and the Redmen's rushing attack simply wore down the Braves defense in the second half as Sherbinow ate up clock and chunks of yards. He carried 29 times for 165 yards and three scores.
Marquette running back Alex Sherbinow scores in the first quarter against Gladstone Friday at Marble Field. Sherbinow scored three touchdowns in the Redmen’s 35-14 victory. (Escanaba Daily Press photo by Keith Shelton)
"They're a little bit better football team than us," said Gladstone coach Josh Mileski. "They had a nice game plan at the end and settled into one formation that really exploited where we struggled. Hats off to Marquette, they did a nice job."
Gladstone hung with the Redmen for a while. The score was tied 14-14 at the half, but things began to slip away in the third quarter.
Marquette scored on its first possession of the second half when sophomore quarterback Brett Place ran it in from 29 yards out and the Redmen led 21-14.
Gladstone's next possession started on its own 13. After a delay of game penalty the Braves faced third down-and-13 from their own 10 yard line, but quarterback Sam Pouliot dropped back and hit a wide open Justin Pederson for a 27-yard gain to keep the drive alive. The Braves drove all the way down the Redmen 19 yard line and had a chance to shift the momentum. That's where the drive fizzled and the Braves turned the ball over on downs.
"On both sides of the ball, kids stepped up. We had them pinned in their own zone and gave up the third down long pass," said Marquette coach Dave L'Huillier. "Give Gladstone credit, they moved the ball well for a while, but when we needed a big play, we made it."
The Redmen punched it in again on their next drive, on a 44-yard bomb from Place to Brett Beauchamp, preceded by five runs by Sherbinow.
Down by two touchdowns with just over 11 minutes remaining, the Braves drove back into Redmen territory, but facing a fourth-and-short, Pouliot's pass fell incomplete.
Marquette then launched a time killing drive that was extended by a fourth down conversion in Gladstone territory with just over four minutes remaining. Four straight handoffs to Sherbinow later, he was back in the endzone and the Redmen led by the final score.
L'Huillier said that it was the plan to go for it the entire time from the Braves 40.
"We were going for it the whole time, we weren't even thinking about punting," he said. "We had that mistake on third-and-one and didn't make it (after an illegal procedure penalty).
"That's kind of been our Achilles heel. We have to clean those things up or else it's going to bite us in the long run."
Gladstone fullback Jared Vuksan, who was named homecoming king at halftime, received six carries and held mostly in check by the Redmen defense, though he did run for 32 yards and caught a 33-yard pass. Justin Jurek receiving the bulk of the carries and rushing for 99 yards on 24 carries.
"We're going to call the plays that are open and working well," Mileski said of Vuksan's light workload. "Justin Jurek is carrying the football well, and what Marquette (4-1) was going on the defensive front - dive bombing on fullback running plays - it really does take those plays away for the most part."
Place passed for 80 yards on 4 of 5 passing and a touchdown for the Redmen.
Marquette outgained Gladstone in total yards 325-288.