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Marshall, McLean to meet in first district football games

Highlanders have not defeated the Statesmen since 2014 season
Marshall High School quarterback Ian Olson and runningback Carter Michael Oketunji will be key players for the Statesmen against McLean.

The McLean Highlanders host the Marshall Statesmen in Sept. 22 football action in the 7 p.m. 2023 Liberty District opener for both high-school teams.

McLean is undefeated at 4-0 and Marshal is 3-1. The Highlanders are enjoying their best start in years and would like to keep the success going with a district win. 

The game between geographical rivals is important because both teams are considered district contenders in a league that appears wide open, with six of the seven teams in the mix to finish first.

The defending champion Langley Saxons and Washington-Liberty Generals are currently tied for first with 1-0 records, the Yorktown Patriots are 1-1 and the Wakefield Warriors, 0-2. McLean and Marshall are the only Liberty teams that have yet to play district opponents.

“We’ve seen Marshall on film and we saw they moved the ball well at times in their loss to Madison,” McLean coach Joe Cockerham said. “We will have our hands full.”

Marshall lost to two-time defending 6D North Region champion Madison, 27-7, on Sept. 14. McLean is coming off a 19-6 victory  over the Edison Eagles, a team expected to be a top contender for the National District title.

Marshall is led by quarterback Ian Olson and McLean by signal caller Ethan Ball. Both have enjoyed success throwing the ball so far this fall.

On defense, each team has one shutout.

The other five Liberty District teams will play non-league opponents in Sept. 22 action.

NOTE: McLean has lost six straight times to Marshall, last defeating the Statesmen, 22-21, in 2014. The teams did not play each other during the 2020-21 shortened COVID season.