Big second half propels Marion past Sedgwick, 44-21

Corbin Wheeler carries the ball during the first quarter at Sedgwick. Wheeler led all rushers with seven carries for 94 yards and two touchdowns in Marion’s 44-21 win.
Corbin Wheeler carries the ball during the first quarter at Sedgwick. Wheeler led all rushers with seven carries for 94 yards and two touchdowns in Marion’s 44-21 win.
In a game that began with a lackluster first-half performance by Marion, the Warrior football team ended it in dominating fashion to enjoy a 44-21 victory over Sedgwick. Trailing 14-6 at halftime, Marion outscored the Cardinals 38-7 after intermission to spoil Sedgwick’s homecoming in what Grant Thierolf said was Marion’s first win over the Cardinals since joining the Heart of America league.

Sedgwick ran all over the Warrior defense to start the game, leading to a touchdown less than three minutes in. Conversely, Marion’s offense netted just 1 yard on its first three plays from scrimmage and was forced to punt.

Marion later was unable to capitalize on an interception catch by Mason Pedersen, and the first quarter ended with Sedgwick leading, 7-0. The Cardinals added to their lead with a 38-yard touchdown pass with 9:34 left in the first half. The extra-point kick made it 14-0.

Midway through the second period, Jack Schneider connected with Pedersen for a 56-yard touchdown pass on first down, putting Marion on the board, 14-6, at the 6:13 mark.

Sedgwick fumbled the ball away on its final possession of the half, and Marion covered 43 yards in two plays, only to have Schneider’s pass intercepted in the end zone to end the half with Sedgwick leading, 14-6.

Marion started the second half with an intensity that was absent in the first half.

Schneider lit the fire with a 49-yard touchdown sprint on the first play of the half to tie the game at 14 after Corbin Wheeler’s two-point conversion.

Marion’s defense matched the intensity of its offense, as Garrett Hoffner intercepted a Cardinal pass three plays into Sedgwick’s first drive of the half. That led to a second rushing touchdown for Schneider, this time from 6 yards out to cap a five-play, 43-yard drive to give Marion its first lead, 20-14.

Mason Pedersen hauls in a 56-yard touchdown reception from Jack Schneider during the second quarter at Sedgwick.
Mason Pedersen hauls in a 56-yard touchdown reception from Jack Schneider during the second quarter at Sedgwick.

Marion continued its solid play, forcing a Cardinal three-and-out. On the first play of Marion’s ensuing drive, Corbin Wheeler took the ball, dodged a potential tackler and rushed for a 52-yard score. Aaron Riggs’ two-point conversion made it 28-14.

Wheeler scored again late in the third quarter. Having rushed for a 19-yard gain on the first play of the drive, Wheeler got the nod a second time and ran for a 23-yard score. That made it 36-14, which held through the end of the third quarter.

A defensive play set up Marion’s final score. With Sedgwick in possession at midfield, Tyler Palic tipped a Cardinal pass and Peyton Heidebrecht intercepted it. Three plays later, Marion was in the end zone again, this time on a 10-yard run by Riggs, who added the two-point conversion for a 44-14 margin with 4:09 to play. That marked 38 unanswered points since halftime.

With Thierolf sending in reserves, Sedgwick orchestrated one final scoring drive. The Cardinals crossed the goal line with 31 seconds left, bringing it to the final, 23-point spread.

Marion rolled up 330 yards of offense compared to 302 for Sedgwick. Marion rushed for 203 yards, led by Wheeler with seven carries for 94 yards and two touchdowns. Through the air, Schneider was 4-for-10 for 127 yards and one touchdown.

Coming—Marion (3-0) will host Remington Friday for homecoming. Remington (0-3) enters the game after a 30-6 loss to Hutchinson Trinity.

For scores and updates during games, follow Janae on Twitter @janaerem13