Battling injury and pitted against a solid opponent, the Marion football team overcame adversity in a 38-35 victory over Sedgwick Friday.
Sedgwick scored on every possession but one in the first half, bruising its way to a 14-0 first-quarter lead with a pair of touchdowns—both passing plays—sandwiching a Warrior fumble.
With Marion at risk of falling behind by three touchdowns, Zachary Stuchlik hauled in an interception late in the opening quarter. That set up Marion’s first scoring drive, which ended when Corbin Wheeler found the end zone on a 30-yard touchdown run two plays into the second quarter. Wheeler added the two-point conversion to bring Marion within 14-8.
Those were the first of 22 second-quarter points for Marion as the teams traded blow for blow.
Sedgwick needed seven plays to cover 80 yards and extend its lead to 21-8, but Marion answered quickly when Jack Schneider rushed down the right sideline for a 49-yard score on first down for a 21-14 margin.
The Cardinals responded with an eight-play scoring drive, gaining 67 of their 80 yards on three passing plays, including a 13-yard touchdown strike that extended Sedgwick’s lead, 28-14, with 5:16 left in the half.
Again Marion had an answer, capping a five-play drive with a 37-yard touchdown pass from Chase Stringer to Stuchlik. Wheeler’s two-point conversion run brought Marion within 28-22, a score that held through halftime.
The Warriors took their first lead 10 plays into the second half. Schneider capped the 61-yard drive with a 7-yard touchdown run, and Chase Stringer’s two-point conversion run pushed Marion in front, 30-28.
Marion forced a turnover on downs after that, then added to its lead on another touchdown run by Schneider, this time from 8 yards out. The play was set up by a 29-yard pass completion from Stringer to Stuchlik. Schneider cashed in the two-point conversion, putting Marion in front by 10, 38-28.
But Sedgwick would not go quietly. The Cardinals pieced together a five-play, 60-yard scoring drive to draw within 38-35 with 2:09 left in the third quarter.
When Marion’s next possession ended in a turnover on downs, Sedgwick marched to the Warrior 24-yard line. A defensive stop by Jarret McLinden and Garrett Hoffner on fourth down ended the scoring threat.
Sedgwick had another opportunity after a Marion three-and-out, but Jared Rahe sealed Marion’s victory by intercepting a Cardinal pass, allowing the Warriors to run out the final 1:48.
Marion rolled up 394 yards of offense, including 328 yards rushing, led by Schneider with 20 carries for 137 yards and three touchdowns. Stringer also surpassed the century mark, rushing for 103 yards on 19 carries.
Through the air, Stringer was 1-for-3 for 37 yards and one touchdown.
Sedgwick, meanwhile, recorded 454 yards of offense, 249 rushing and 205 passing.
Coming—Marion (3-0) will travel to Remington Friday for a 7 p.m. game.
For scores and updates during games, follow Janae on Twitter @janaerem13