Written by Katie Morford Tuesday, 25 September 2012 14:14
Costly turnovers in the third quarter offset Marion’s halftime lead and led to a 39-28 loss Friday at Inman.
“The longer you let teams hang in there and believe they can play well, the harder it gets,” coach Grant Thierolf said. “And that’s exactly what happened tonight.”
The loss drops the Warriors to 1-3 for the season.
Marion started strong, forcing Inman to punt on its first possession. Marion running back Brody Carroll then converted on a fourth-and-one at the 35-yard line and scrambled for a touchdown midway through the first quarter. Grif Case’s extra point made it 7-0.
Inman came right back, driving downfield before scoring on a pitch on a fourth-and-four to tie the game with 58 seconds left in the period.
The Warriors were forced to punt on their next possession, but the Teutons fumbled the ball and Marion’s Lance Knolla recovered it on Inman’s 23-yard line.
On fourth-and-seven, quarterback Taylor Heidebrecht connected with Jacob Harper for a first down. Heidebrecht then scored for a 14-7 lead with a 9:07 left in the half.
Two missed tackles by Marion gave Inman a 45-yard run on their next possession, setting up a touchdown scramble up the middle by speedy Josh Miller.
“He was a tough, hard-nosed running back,” Thierolf said. “He kept his body leaned low, he just did a nice job.”
The two-point conversion failed, leaving Marion with a narrow 14-13 lead at intermission.
But as the second half began, so did the Warriors’ troubles. They fumbled the ball to Inman on their first drive of the half. Starting at Marion’s 41-yard line, Inman quickly moved downfield. Inman took the lead with just under nine minutes left in the third period. A two-point conversion attempt failed, making it 19-14.
Marion drove to the Inman 33-yard line on its next possession, but the Teutons picked off a Heidebrecht pass at the 25 with seven minutes remaining.
On their next possession, the Warriors drove to near midfield, but were stopped on downs.
Fueled by Miller’s running, Inman scored again. A two-point conversion made it 27-14 with 11:37 to play. Marion responded with a touchdown drive capped by a four-yard keeper by Heidebrecht at 10:32. Case’s kick made it 27-21.
It appeared the Warriors would get another stop on Inman’s next possession, but the Teutons converted on a fourth-and-three, then broke free to the Marion 24-yard line.
Inman scored on the next play, but failed to add the two-pointer, making it 33-21 with seven minutes to go.
Marion caught a break on Inman’s next possession when Miller broke free at the 48 and ran in for a touchdown. But a holding nullified the score and Marion forced the Teutons to turn over the ball on downs with 2:42 left.
Marion passed more in the final quarter than it has all season, picking up first downs in rapid succession on Heidebrecht passes to Jones, Case and Harper. Harper made a leaping catch in traffic for the touchdown with 1:11 to play, making it 33-28.
Marion tried an onside kick to regain possession, but Inman secured the ball. With 58 seconds to go, Miller scored a 60-yard touchdown run for the final 39-28 margin.
“We have good kids,” Thierolf said. “But there comes a time when you just need to show that backbone and too often we just can’t make that play.”
Thierolf said the Warriors need more intensity.
“That starts in practice, that starts in everything,” he said. “The intensity with which we practice and play isn’t what it needs to be to be a good football team.”
Heidebrecht led his team in with 106 rushing yards, followed by Carroll with 90. Harper caught eight passes for 123 yards.
Inman outgained Marion rushing, 395 yards to 206.
Coming—Marion is scheduled to host Sunrise Christian Academy Friday in a non-league matchup. Kick-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.