A tale of two halves turned into a double overtime thriller as Marion-Franklin outlasted Beechcroft, 34-28, Friday in a Division II, Region 7 quarterfinal.

The Red Devils improved to 10-1 and advanced to play DeSales, a 20-17 winner over Watterson.

Marion-Franklin got the ball first in overtime and stalled on fourth down, but the defense blocked a field-goal attempt and intercepted a pass on Beechcroft's overtime possessions.

Dominique Marsh recorded the interception, and Jay Dingess led the charge that overwhelmed the Beechcroft line and blocked the field goal.

"The blocked field was what kept us in it," quarterback Verlon Reed said. "We never gave up, and we always believed that things were going to go our way."

Unlike in regulation when they had rushed for 300 yards, the Cougars were unable to move the ball on the ground in ovetime.

"Our kids were fatigued. We were tired," said Beechcroft coach Tom Dunlap, noting that many of his starters played both ways.

The Red Devils didn't miss a second chance to come away with the win. Reed made sure of that, scrambling away from several defenders and converting a third-and-15 with a 17-yard completion over the middle to

Brandon Wentzel in traffic to keep Marion-Franklin's second overtime possession alive.

"We felt like we had the middle of the field open on the pass all night, and that's what we went with," Marion-Franklin coach Brian Haffele said.

Two plays later, Tyrell Massey scored the game-winning touchdown on a 4-yard run.

"We had a few breakdowns, but we never put our heads down. We went our there and did what we had to do to get the 'W,'" said junior defensive lineman Travone Youngblood."

That was enough for Marion-Franklin, which managed to recover from a near meltdown in the second half.

In the first half, the Red Devils limited the Cougars to three first downs, zero passing yards and 62 total yards. Marion-Franklin led 14-7 at the break. In the opening half, the Red Devils had a 95-yard drive that ended with a 25-yard pass play from Reed to Jeremy McCoy.

But Beechcroft, which closed at 9-2, dominated the third quarter as running backs Wallace Hale and B.J. Watkins found their stride.

"Our kids were ready to go," Dunlap said. "They knew that one touchdown wasn't going to make any difference.

"They weren't willing to leave it that way, at 14-7."

Hale and Watkins broke off big run after big run, leading the Cougars to a pair of third-quarter touchdowns and a 21-14 lead. The insertion of quarterback Antonio Stevenson into the game also helped spark the Cougars, as the senior completed all four of his pass attempts in the second half.

"We've used two quarterbacks much of the year, and if one is not having the night we'd like, we go to the other one," Dunlap said.

Marion-Franklin was able to capitalize on a Beechcroft fumbled exchange at the beginning of the fourth quarter, pulling within one point on a Massey touchdown run. The extra point was blocked by Hamid Turay.

"The big fumble that we were able to recover in the fourth quarter was huge," said Haffele. "The fumble really changed the momentum of the game."

But the Cougars answered right back as Hale scored on a 62-yard run just two plays later to move the score to 28-20.

After the teams traded punts, Reed and Massey teamed to lead Marion-Franklin on a 70-yard scoring drive capped by Reed's 1-yard keeper with 1:25 remaining in the fourth. A Reed-to-Massey two-point conversion pass tied the score at 28.

Reed was 9-for-21 for 162 yards and a touchdown, and Massey scored three touchdowns and rushed for 80 yards on 14 carries.

For Beechcroft, Wallace Hale had 26 carries for 201 yards and three touchdowns. B.J. Watkins added 87 yards on 18 carries.

BEECHCROFT 7 0 14 7 0 0 28
MARION-FRANKLIN 7 7 0 14 0 6 34
B Hale 5 run (Tawiah kick)
MF Massey 2 run (Little kick)
MF McCoy 25 pass from Reed (Little kick)
B Hale 6 run (Tawiah kick)
B Walton 4 pass from Stevenson (Tawiah kick)
MF Massey 1 run (kick blocked)
B Hale 62 run (Tawiah kick)
MF Reed 1 run (Massey pass from Reed)
MF Massey 4 run (no conversion attempted)