Victory for the Marion football team was sweet Friday on homecoming night as the Warriors defeated Ell-Saline, 40-22.
While the Cardinals rivaled Marion in terms of speed, the potent offensive attack of the Warriors provided an effective complement.
Marion rolled up 318 yards of total offense and found success on the ground and through the air.
The Warriors took advantage of four Ell-Saline turnovers, including a fumble on the Cardinals? first drive. Corbin Wheeler recorded runs of 20 and 15 yards to move the chains, and Marion needed just five plays to score. The drive culminated in a perfectly thrown 30-yard touchdown pass from Jack Schneider to Mason Pedersen down the left sideline. Schneider?s two-point conversion gave Marion an 8-0 lead with 10:44 left in the second quarter.
The teams traded fumbles before Marion pieced together a scoring drive late in the half. Schneider showed off his speed with a 34-yard rush on second down, then Aaron Riggs got the nod on four consecutive plays. Schneider connected with Peyton Heidebrecht for a 12-yard pass completion, and Riggs leaped over the pile for a 1-yard touchdown to punctuate the drive. With Schneider?s two-point conversion, Marion took a 16-0 lead. Pedersen intercepted an Ell-Saline pass to end the half.
Ell-Saline got on the board after intermission. Dakota Came rushed for a 52-yard gain on the third play of the drive. Pedersen chased him down to save the touchdown, but Ell-Saline found the end zone two plays later, closing the gap to 16-8.
Marion struck back immediately, covering 59 yards in eight plays. Heidebrecht scored on a 3-yard run, making it 24-8 after Wheeler?s two-point conversion.
Jeremy Hett recorded his second fumble recovery on the night, and Marion?s offense was back in business. Schneider connected with Pedersen for a 32-yard pass, and the eight-play drive ended with a 3-yard Riggs touchdown. The 32-8 score held through the end of the third quarter.
The Cardinals scored when the speedy Came ran for a 58-yard touchdown, making it 32-14. Marion answered with its final scoring drive. Heidebrecht capped the drive with a 3-yard touchdown, making it 40-14 with 7:39 to play.
Ell-Saline scored once more against Marion?s junior varsity, bringing the final margin to 40-22.
Marion tallied 244 rushing yards, led by Wheeler with 15 carries for 94 yards. Through the air, Schneider was 3-for-3 for 74 yards and one touchdown.
Ell-Saline managed 254 yards of offense, including 229 rushing and 25 passing. Came carried the ball 13 times for 187 yards and all three touchdowns.
Coming?Marion (4-0) will begin district play Friday at Chase County. Chase County comes into the game after a 12-7 loss to Lyndon.
For scores and updates during games, follow Janae on Twitter @janaerem13