ORIGINALLY WRITTEN ERIC CLARK
Football analysts say the ability to make an extra point after a touchdown can become a key element to preserve a win in close situations.
Marion learned that lesson the hard way Thursday night in a 21-18 loss to Eureka in the district title game.
The Warriors missed all three of their extra points in the three-point loss.
The two teams duked it out in the first quarter, with neither team reaching the end zone by quarters’ end.
In the second quarter, Eureka connected on a 62-yard pass play for a touchdown and an early 7-0 lead after a successful point-after kick.
Later in the quarter, Marion had an opportunity to tie the game when Steven Boone rammed his way in for a 1-yard touchdown. But Boone missed the extra point, and the Warriors still trailed by one heading into the locker room at halftime.
In the third quarter, Eureka struck again on a big pass play, this one for a 63-yard touchdown to take a 14-6 lead after the PAT.
The Warriors added six more points later in the quarter, but failed to convert the 2-point conversion. After three quarters of play, the Warriors trailed by two.
In the final quarter, Eureka added a touchdown run and connected on the extra-point attempt to take a 21-12 lead.
The Warriors remained resilient. Tyler Stubenhofer and Chamberland connected on an 8-yard pass play to pull within three, but the Warriors could not convert the 2-point conversion and fell three points short.
Chamberland led the offensive attack with 142 yards on a 7-for-17 night passing. He threw for one touchdown and one interception.
Running back Jason Matz finished with 123 rushing yards on 19 carries.
Defensively, Neil Waner had five solo tackles and four assists to spearhead the Warrior defense.
Coming-The Warriors finished district play as runner-up to Eureka and were scheduled to play undefeated and top-ranked Conway Springs on the road Tuesday night. If the Warriors could pull the upset, they would play the winner of the Hillsboro-Riley County game on Saturday.