The Marion High School football team battled a high-powered Hoisington team to a standstill for three quarters Friday (Oct. 3), and broke through with the 6-0 gamewinner 1:22 into the fourth frame. Drew Maddox did the honors, capping off a drive that began at the Marion 20 after the Cardinals missed a field goal try late in the third quarter. Marion ran 11 plays, including a pristine punt fake that saw a direct snap to Mitchell Leppke, who ran like a jitterbug for six yards on fourth-and-2. On the subsequent first down, Leppke faked the run and threw a long pass down the sideline Luke Gordon, who had already proved himself practically unstoppable in the Hoisington secondary. Gordon's catch went for 24 yards, making it first-and-10 Marion on the Cardinal 15 to start the fourth.
Five plays later, Maddox scooted into the endzone with the game's first and only score. The extra point was blocked, putting an even greater onus on the Warrior defense to hold off the Cardinals down the stretch. Fortunately, Marion had all the answers, forcing two straight three-and-outs that allowed the Warrior offense to leech the clock down to 1:01.
Then Gordon came up big again, not with his hands, but with a perfect punt that dropped on the 1-yard line with enough backspin to keep it from carrying into the end zone, forcing Hoisington into a first-and-99 situation with under a minute to go. Marion's defense did not let up and stifled Hoisington, allowing only 13 yards on six plays despite playing four defenders 20-plus yards off of the line of scrimmage in a "prevent" formation. Marion's linebackers—Brad Klenda and Matt Thierolf in particular—made the gambit stick, applying tremendous heat to quarterback Jared Powell and forcing would-be receivers to drop routine passes with heavy hits.
Marion's next game is at home against Ellinwood.