Marion blanks Halstead, 27-0, in first district win

 Caleb Williams (10) carries the ball after intercepting a Halstead pass in the second quarter Friday night. The interception set up Marion?s third score of the night, and the Warriors rolled to a 27-0 shutout over Halstead.The Marion football team opened district play with a shutout Friday night, defeating Halstead, 27-0.

Marion got off to a rough start, fumbling the ball away on the first play of the game.

Halstead took over on downs at the Warrior 18-yard line, but the Warriors escaped unscathed when a Dragon field goal attempt on fourth-and-goal from the 4-yard line was no good.

The Warriors then pieced together their first scoring drive of the night. A 19-yard run by Adam Janzen followed by a 34-yard run by Caleb Williams gave the Warriors first-and-goal from the 1-yard line. Janzen found the end zone on the next play to cap an 8-play, 80 yard drive. Grif Case?s kick gave Marion a 7-0 lead with 7:56 left in the first quarter.

Marion added to its lead on the first drive of the second quarter. After rushes by Williams and Taylor Heidebrecht, Trevor Kruse broke free for a 66-yard touchdown run on the third play of the drive. Case?s kick gave Marion a 14-0 advantage with 10:49 left before halftime.

The Warrior defense came up big on Halstead?s next drive when Kyle Palic sacked quarterback Blake Beckett. Two plays later, Williams intercepted a Beckett pass.

That set up Marion?s final scoring drive of the half. Janzen scored on a 4-yard touchdown run for a 21-0 halftime lead after Case?s kick.

The Warriors came out after the half and orchestrated one final scoring drive for the night. Janzen capped a 10-play, 61 yard drive with a 2-yard touchdown run. Case?s kick failed for a 27-0 Marion lead with 7:15 left in the third quarter.

Halstead saw another drive cut short when Case intercepted a pass on the first play of the fourth quarter.

The Dragons had one final attempt at a score, when, after an incomplete pass on fourth-and-10 at the Warrior 23-yard line, a Marion personal foul penalty gave the Dragons first-and-10 at the 13-yard line with 8 seconds left in the game. But two passes fell incomplete, and Marion rolled to the 27-0 victory.

With the win, the Warriors improved to 6-1 on the season. Marion will host Hillsboro (3-4) Friday at 7 p.m. Hillsboro dropped a 40-35 loss to Moundridge Friday.

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