Marist got a record-breaking performance from quarterback Connor Cigelske and advanced to the second round of the AAAA State Playoffs with a 42-22 win over visiting Cedartown Friday night at Hughes Spalding Stadium.
The War Eagles wasted no time scoring as Cigelske raced 59-yards for a Marist touchdown after only two plays from scrimmage. It would be the first of six rushing touchdowns for the senior signal-caller, setting a new school record.
Cedartown responded on their first offensive series, going 80-yards in 11-plays with running back CJ Washington scoring on a 6-yard run to even the score at 7-7. Marist pushed back on their next series when Cigelske connected on a 52-yard pass completion to running back Thomas Rollauer. The War Eagles took the lead 14-7 when Rollauer ran it in from the 2-yard line at the end of the 1st quarter.
The visiting Bulldogs got a 22-yard field goal from Jorge Pineda early in the second quarter to narrow the lead to 14-10.
Neither team gained much ground in ensuing drives until shortly before the half, when Marist, starting on its own 23, hit paydirt again. A 44-yard pass completion to Matthew Houghton, followed by a 31-yard touchdown run for Cigelske gave Marist the lead 21-10 at the half.
The defenses took charge of the third quarter as neither team could score. Marist was able to capitalize off a Cedartown muffed punt late in the period, though, and on the first play of the fourth quarter Cigelske ran in from the 6 to put Marist ahead 28-10.
Cedartown then went 60-yards in 6-plays to narrow the lead to 28-16 after missing on a 2-point attempt. Following the score, the Bulldogs attempted an on-side kick that was unsuccessful. With a short field in front, Marist then went 50-yards in four plays ending with another Cigelske touchdown.
Cedartown scored again on their next series, starting at midfield and ending with a 1-yard touchdown pass play from quarterback Jayden Johnson to Jeremiah Johnson. Another 2-point attempt was unsuccessful.
Cigelske set the Marist School record with his sixth rushing touchdown of the night on the following series with a 17-yard run, breaking Brandon Russell’s 1998 record of five touchdowns in one game.
The touchdown capped the scoring on the night. Cigelske finished the game with 181-yards and went 3-5 in passing for 121-yards.
The Marist defense was able to contain the Bulldogs’ run game, holding them to only 124 yards. Bulldog quarterback Jayden Johnson threw for 308-yards and 2 touchdowns but had 2 costly interceptions that stopped scoring opportunities.
The War Eagles will travel to Columbus to face the Carver Tigers (10-1 and No. 1 seed in Region 1-AAAA) Friday night, kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
Carver defeated Richmond Academy 52-7 in their playoff opener.
For all Marist scores and schedules, visit https://www.marist.com/athletics/schedules--scores.