When Marion scored 20 seconds into the game Friday (Oct. 17), the Herington High School football team seemed only slightly surprised. The Warriors pushed their lead to 27-0 in the first quarter, but the Railers did not lose their steam until Andy Kelsey tore off a 20-yard touchdown run on the snap following a blocked punt with 6:50 left in the second quarter. Kelsey's touchdown—one of three for the night—made it 41-0, and Marion added 14 more before the halftime gun. A 28-yard burst by Kelsey capped the scoring while the clock ran past the 2:31 mark of the third quarter.
Herington got on the board with a 16-yard touchdown with 2:30 remaining in the fourth, but the final score reflected accurately Marion's dominance from start to finish.
Marc Washington got Marion out of the gate, doubling back to catch a slightly underthrown deep pass down the Railer sideline on the Warriors first play from scrimmage. After making the catch, Washington shook off a tackler and darted into the end zone, the catch-and-run totaling 52 yards. Brian Fruechting made it 7-0 with the point-after kick.
Drew Maddox upped the bulge to 13-0, catching a short pass and outrunning multiple defenders en route to a 33-yard score. The PAT sailed wide. Washington broke a 45-yard run at 5:58 of the first quarter, and with the point-after, Marion led 20-0. Mitchell Leppke scored a 26-yard run that, with the extra point, made it 27-0 with 1:42 left in the first.
The romp continued into the second, with Maddox ripping off what would have been a 45-yard touchdown run if not for a personal foul flagged against Marion. Instead, Sheldon Boone pounded it in from a yard out, giving the Warriors a 34-0 lead with 9:00 to go in the half. The Railer special teams melted down shortly thereafter. Marion blocked a punt at the conclusion of Herington's subsequent drive, and Kelsey ripped his 20-yarder into the end zone for a 41-0 lead at 6:50. Poor execution on another Herington punt led to a 16-yard Kelsey run, and Boone broke off a 49-yard punt return touchdown for a 55-0 lead.
Then came Kelsey's third touchdown and a 61-0 Marion lead.
And the shutout might have been brought to conclusion if not for a misplaced pass interference penalty flagged against a Warriors defensive back on a deep pass. The penalty sustained Herington's scoring drive, which began on the Railer 18 and culminated with a completion from Lance Shriver to Ryan Floyd with just over 150 seconds remaining.
The Marion JV squad took the field for the final moments of the game for the second straight week.
Up next, Marion plays at Southeast of Saline. SES most recently defeated Hillsboro, 32-13.