Marion scored all 10 points in the first quarter, and the Warrior defense held Trinity to one first down the duration of the first half. As it was, Trinity managed four first downs on the night.
Marion was forced to punt on the game’s opening drive. The snap was high, but Caleb Williams managed to get the punt off, but the the Celtics enjoyed good field position at the Marion 38-yard line.
The drive was short-lived, however, as Grif Case recovered a Celtic fumble on the first play of the drive.
Marion went three-and-out, but Trinity couldn’t respond. Pushed backward as a result of penalties, the Celtics gained only 1 yard from the original line of scrimmage. Facing fourth-and-9 from their own 19-yard line, Trinity opted to punt. But the snap sailed high and into the end zone, where the Celtic punter kicked the ball out the back for a safety. With 4:48 left in the opening quarter, Marion led, 2-0.
The Warriors kept the momentum rolling and orchestrated the game’s only scoring drive. Marion stuck to its running game, and four plays into the drive, Adam Janzen broke loose for a 32-yard gain. That set the Warriors up, first-and-10, at the Trinity 13-yard line. Two plays later, Taylor Heidebrecht rushed in for a 10-yard score to cap a six-play, 58-yard drive.
Trevor Kruse added the 2-point conversion run, and Marion increased its lead to the final, 10-0, margin with 2:00 remaining in the first quarter.
Marion had opportunity to add to its lead at the end of the first half. Seven plays into the drive, Heidebrecht was in the end zone after a 14-yard run, but a block in the back penalty negated the touchdown.
Heidebrecht gained yardage on the next play, but following a false start penalty, an incomplete pass and a 5-yard gain by Heidebrecht, Marion faced fourth-and-15 from the Trinity 20-yard line. The Warriors opted for a field goal attempt, but Case’s kick missed wide left.
Heavier rain began to fall at the start of the second half, and the teams traded punts for seven straight possessions.
After Heidebrecht fumbled the ball away on a punt return, Trinity took over at the Marion 32-yard line with 7:20 left in the game. After a Celtic 16-yard pass play on first down, Kyle Palic tackled the ball-carrier for a 1-yard loss. Morgan Wheeler followed with a quarterback sack for a loss of 8. A third-down pass fell incomplete, and James Jones knocked down the fourth down pass to force a turnover on downs.
Marion ate up nearly 5 minutes on the ensuing drive and turned the ball over on downs with less than 1 minute to play.
Time expired after four Trinity snaps, and Marion claimed the 10-point shutout.
With the win, Marion advances to regional action. The Warriors (9-1) will face Heart of America league rival Sedgwick (9-1) at Sedgwick Saturday at 2 p.m.
Sedgwick comes into the matchup after a 36-14 victory over Douglass (5-4).
Sedgwick handed Marion its only loss of the season in week two, 34-14.