Behind two touchdown runs apeice from Austin Hager and Mitchell Leppke, the Marion Warriors built an early lead into a 28-6 win over Ellinwood on Friday.
Now 2-0 on the season, the Warriors have already matched their 2006 win total
Ellinwood elected to kick to Marion to start the game and Leppke helped get the Warriors out of the gate in a hurry.
On the team?s first play from scrimmage, Leppke connected with Chase Carlson for a 64-yard gain on the team?s first pass play. Carlson was brought down by a desperation dive at the 2-yard line, and Hager rumbled into the end zone two plays later. The extra point kick attempt failed, and Marion led 6-0 only 54 seconds into the contest.
Ellinwood punted as the first quarter ended with the score unchanged.
Adam Regnier ran for 12 yards on the second play of the second quarter, and Marion was on the move again. Hager carried five times for 36 yards to set up a 2-inch touchdown plunge by Leppke that put the Warriors up 12-0. A 2-point conversion try came up short, but the Warriors had all the points they needed with 8:08 remaining.
Then the kickoff ricocheted off an Ellinwood player?s shin into Eric Vogel?s arms, putting Marion first-and-10 at midfield. Hager found a seam on two consecutive carries and ripped 26 yards. Leppke then got loose for the longest run of the night, covering 24 yards on a nifty option keeper, side-stepping the last would-be tackler at the 3-yard line and trotting into the end zone.
MHS made good on the 2-point coversion to take a 20-0 lead with 6:34 left before halftime.
To their credit, Ellinwood battled back in the second half. The Eagles longest play of the night came on a gutsy fourth and nine reverse that saw quarterback James Lyman pitch to a running back on the right flank and then hand off to wide receiver Tanner Osburn, who was headed full speed back to the left.
The play went for 34 yards and set up the Eagles only score, an eight yard scamper by running back Glenn Whitaker. Marion denied Whitaker the 2-point conversion and led 20-6 with 13 ticks remaining in the third quarter.
Hager re-entered the game in the fourth quarter after sitting out most of the third frame and promptly tallied 32 yards and a touchdown on four carries. A 7-yard blast up the middle followed by a nearly identical run for the 2-point conversion provided the final score with exactly 10:00 to go in the game.
Hager finished with 142 yards on 22 carries. Leppke logged 103 yards on 11 carries.