Herrin's Chase Merrill ran for a pair of scores, including the game winner in overtime as the Tigers edged the Marquette Explorers 20-14 in the opening round of the IHSA Class 4A football playoffs. Marquette led 7-6 at halftime and took a 14-6 advantage into the fourth quarter thanks to a pair of touchdown catches by Danny Holtz, but Herrin's Partrick McCowen tied the game with an 18 yard run midway through the final quarter.
It was 14-14 at the end of regulation and the Explorers opened overtime with the ball, but Herrin's defense came up big, intercepting a pass from Brandon Kizer in the end zone. The Tigers went right back to Merrill on their first posession in overtime and the running back found the end zone after just two plays to give Herrin the 20-14 win.
Marquette finishes the year with a 7-3 record. Herrin imroves to 8-2 and will host Belleville (Althoff) in the 2nd round of the playoffs next weekend.
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