Written by Katie Morford Friday, 28 September 2012 22:20
The Marion football team shook off last week's loss and were in fine form again tonight, taking care of business against Sunrise Christian Academy, 54-10, in front of a cheering homecoming crowd. With the win, the Warriors improve to 2-3 on the season heading into a tough league game with Hutch Trinity next week.
The Warriors came out of the gate firing on all cylinders, taking the first possession and moving the ball up the field. Senior running back Brody Carroll had the carry to the Marion 49 to convert on the fourth-and-one, and a pass to senior wide receiver Jacob Harper brought the ball to the seven-yard line with nine minutes left in the first quarter. Then junior quarterback Taylor Heidebrecht scrambled in for the touchdown and junior tight end/linebacker Grif Case hit the PAT to put Marion up, 7-0, at 8:16 on their first drive of the game.
Sunrise took over at their 11-yard line, but a sack courtesy of junior defensive/offensive lineman Zac Lewman and junior linebacker Morgan Wheeler prevented the third-down conversion and forced the Buffaloes to punt the ball away. But after Marion, too, was forced to punt, Sunrise took the ball down field to near Marion's 17-yard line. But with the Buffaloes threatening in the red zone on third and eight, Warrior James Jones, a junior defensive back, nearly got the interception in the end zone to force Sunrise to be content with a 33-yard field goal with 17 seconds left on the clock.
Marion ended the first quarter with a 7-3 lead, and went right back to work to start the second period as Carroll returned the kick-off all the way back to the Sunrise 45-yard line. But the Warriors absorbed back-to-back holding penalties, and that could have spelled the end of the drive. Instead, with 11:32 on the clock Carroll broke tackle after tackle and ran down field through traffic right into the Buffalo end zone to make it 14-3, Marion.
The Buffaloes would then go scoreless for the next 10 minutes of play time, unable to handle Marion's offensive line and running game. The Warriors would score twice more before the half - first on a Heidebrecht scramble on a third-and-eight at 7:42 after he and Carroll traded carries to get down field, and the second, off a 28-yard run at 4:44 from Heidebrecht to set up a quarterback carry for the touchdown, putting the score at 27-3 after Case split on the extra point kicks.
But Sunrise wouldn't go into their locker room without a parting shot, as senior quarterback Zach Howell threw a long pass into the end zone to connect with junior wide receiver Daniel Lee as the clock ticked down to zero.
Marion still had a 27-10 lead going into halftime.
The momentum could easily have swung in the Buffaloes' favor in the second half, after their big play to end the first, but Marion got the stop on Sunrise's first possession and drove down to the Sunrise 15-yard line half-way into the third period. But Lee made his mark again, halting the drive with an interception for Sunrise at their own 20.
When that drive fizzled out, Marion took over at their 30-yard line and Heidebrecht made tracks into Sunrise territory, handing off to Carroll to cap off the 70-yard drive for a touchdown to end the third quarter. A two-point conversion pitch to Carroll made it 35-10.
It was Marion's turn to get the turnover as play started in the final period, with senior defensive back Eric Regnier picking off Howell and running to the Sunrise 42-yard line. Senior wide receiver Jacob Harper snagged a deep pass to the Buffalo 15-yard line, setting up a run from junior running back Caleb Williams for the score, 41-10 with the PAT, with 10 minutes remaining in the game.
The Warrior back-ups would score twice more to close out the night, first on a quarterback sneak from junior Zach Robson after sophomore running back Adam Janzen set it up with the 12-yard run to the eight, and then on an interception by Robson at the Sunrise 48, which turned into Warrior points as Janzen sped in for the TD with three minutes on the clock. Marion kicker Case hit the PAT to go 5-1 on the night and give the Warriors their 44-point margin of victory.