Marion rebounds for first district win, 34-6

The Warrior seniors helped carry their team to a home victory tonight over Remington, overcoming a third-quarter slump to win by a somewhat deceptive score of 34-6. 

Marion got the jump on the Broncos from the start, returning the opening kickoff to the Remington 41 yard line. For a moment it looked as if the drive would stall on fourth down, but a Bronco penalty gave the Warriors the first down. At 6:47 it was fourth and one on the Remington 10 yard line, but senior running back standout Colten Johnson ran in for the touchdown. 

Kicker Grif Case had struggled for a good part of the season, but tonight he was perfect, making the extra point on his way to a four out of four performance. 

Remington tried to swing the game back their way on the next drive, as Remington ran the ball all the way up the middle to the one yard line with 3:41 left in the quarter. But a penalty went against the Broncos, moving them back to the 10 yard line, and Marion knocked down the fourth and five pass to give the Warriors the ball on downs. 

Senior Dakin Letford made his return to the game known with just 20 seconds left in the quarter, as he snagged a Cole Lewman pass at the 50 from about the Marion 10 yard line. Letford was back in for the Warriors after being sidelined with an apparent leg injury two weeks ago during the Sedgwick game. The pass set up a run play for teammate Brody Carroll, who broke free at the 34 with 11 seconds left, executed the vertical cut, and ran in for the touchdown. Case once again made the extra point to make it 14-0. 

With 1:38 left in the half, Letford struck again, hauling in another pass near midfield and scrambling to the Remington 12 yard line for the Warriors. Johnson broke a couple tackles and dove for the right end zone marker for the touchdown with 55 seconds remaining. A bungled snap prevented an extra point.

Carroll got the interception on Remington at the Marion one yard line with four seconds left to keep the Broncos from scoring before the half, keeping the score 20-0. 

The beginning of the second half might as well have been a different ball game. The Warriors came out flat and the Broncos returned with fire, coming up with some big plays and driving downfield. At 6:23 the Remington quarterback ran in on the left side for their first score, though Marion stopped the two-point conversion to make it 20-6. 

At 2:29 Johnson broke free at the Remington 47 for a touchdown run that was brought back on a contested call. The next play the Broncos intercepted at their 20 yard line with 1:46 remaining. But the Marion defense stepped up to eventually halt the Remington drive as the fourth quarter began. 

With 10:43 remaining Carroll ran to the 44 and a couple plays later Johnson scrambled for the critical first down on fourth and one to keep the drive alive. But with 6:13 left the Warrior line fumbled the ball on Remington’s 15 yard line. Penalties and the passing game kept the Broncos moving down the field, but they came up just short of the first down and turned over the ball at the Marion 19. 

With just 3:26 left in the ball game Johnson ran into the cluster of defenders and seconds later burst out the other side and ran away with an 80-yard gain for a Warrior touchdown, 27-6. But Lewman was injured on the play and back-up Taylor Heidebrecht came in for Marion.

Unphased, they drove down the field. Johnson broke free at 1:14 and cut back at the Remington 10 yard line to get another touchdown run and make it 34-6. 

Though Remington strung a drive off a long run, threatening in the red zone at Marion’s five yard line, the Warrior defense got the stop to save the final score, 34-6. 

Coming up – After coming in third in league play behind Sedgwick and Hutch Trinity, the Warriors will look for the tough road win against Ell-Saline next Friday to continue district play. 

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