Marion falls to Sedgwick, 45-6, in home opener

The Marion football team showed improvement over last week’s performance, playing with more effort and energy, but it didn’t translate to points on the board as defending league champion Sedgwick walked away with a 45-6 win tonight in Marion’s first home game. The Warriors will take their 0-2 record into Friday’s home match-up with Bennington. 

Sedgwick received a stellar performance from senior running back Logan Thompson, who scored nearly every time he got his hands on the ball, recording four touchdowns from 198 combined yards on the ground and through the air. The Cardinals got the jump on Marion from the start thanks to Thompson, who capped off of a drive on Sedgwick’s first possession with a 55-yard touchdown reception from sophomore quarterback Brylie Ware. The extra point was no good, giving the Cardinals a quick 6-0 lead just over a minute into the game. 

The Marion offense stalled and went three-and-out but forced Sedgwick deep into their own territory with a punt into the end zone from sophomore running back/linebacker Kyle Palic, who was strong for Marion in the field position game all night. When Sedgwick’s drive fizzled out near midfield, the Warriors had their turn at the ball but had no better success and punted it away. 

Thompson struck again for Sedgwick on the Cardinal’s third possession, taking over the ball from his teammates and running it in 55 yards for the touchdown, making it 12-0 after a failed extra point attempt with five minutes remaining in the first quarter. 

The Warriors caught a break on Sedgwick’s next possession, as Palic recovered a fumble on the Cardinal’s 45-yard line. But Marion couldn’t capitalize on the turnover, once again unable to convert on third down and resorting to a punt. 

Junior wide receiver/defensive back James Jones snagged an interception for the Warriors with 23 seconds left in the quarter, giving Marion the ball on their own 17-yard line after a 10-yard penalty. But once more, as Marion entered into the second quarter, they did not take advantage of the turnover and punted away the opportunity.

Sedgwick drove down field into the red zone on their first possession of the second quarter, finishing off with a seven-yard scramble by junior running back/defensive back Dalton Brandt for the touchdown at 7:31. The two-point conversion fell just short, leaving Sedgwick with an 18-0 lead. 

Following another Marion three-and-out, Sedgwick strung together a drive from their own 35-yard line for three first downs, concluding with a 10-yard pass to Thompson for another touchdown at 3:18. Thompson made the extra point, giving the Cardinals a 25-0 margin. 

Things appeared to be looking up for the Warriors when they took over the football, as Palic pounded ahead for a first down with just over a couple minutes left in the half. But in an unfortunate twist, Marion fumbled the ball and Sedgwick returned it to Marion’s 46-yard line at 2:14. The Cardinals moved the ball down field, before Ware completed a 35-yard pass to Thompson for another touchdown with a minute left. Sedgwick went into the locker room at halftime with a 32-0 lead after a successful extra point kick. 

The tune didn’t change much for Marion in the second half. Palic and junior quarterback Taylor Heidebrecht joined forces to run the ball down field, but a botched hand-off resulted in a fumble recovery by Sedgwick and Thompson’s final touchdown at 9:14 off a 43-yard run. The point-after-touchdown failed, resulting in a 38-0 Cardinal advantage. 

On Sedgwick’s next drive, Ware found senior wide receiver Dalyn Anderson far down field to put the Cardinals at the Warrior 31-yard line, with Marion’s senior running back/defensive back Brody Carroll making the stop to keep Anderson from escaping for the touchdown. His efforts paid off, as the Warrior defense broke up passes and junior running back/linebacker Morgan Wheeler got the sack for the loss to force Sedgwick to give up the ball on downs. 

The Cardinal’s Brandt earned another chance to shine with just two minutes left in the third quarter, as he broke free at his own 10-yard line and scooted through traffic until finally chased down by Marion’s Jones at the Warrior 17-yard line. Ware made the five-yard quarterback scramble to give Sedgwick their final touchdown of the game and a 45-0 lead at the end of the third quarter with the extra point.

Marion finally put points on the board in the fourth quarter against the Cardinals’ junior varsity players. The Warriors received the ball at midfield and a pitch from Heidebrecht to junior running back/lineback Caleb Williams brought it in to Sedgwick’s 29-yard line. Heidebrecht gained 10 yards and a first down with 5:32 left, then connected with senior wide receiver/defensive back Jacob Harper for a 10-yard touchdown pass at the three-minute mark for the final score of 45-6 after the failed extra point. 

Sedgwick won the first-down battle far and away, racking up 19 first downs to Marion’s four. The Cardinals also had 316 yards on the ground to the Warriors’ 77, and 219 yards through the air to Marion’s 15 yards. 

Palic led the Warriors in rushing with 64 yards, and Harper led the receiving core with two receptions for 15 yards and a touchdown. 

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