Although Marion head coach Grant Thierolf said much is still to be improved, a win is a win, and Thierolf?s Warriors put their first victory in the books with a season-opening win over Moundridge Friday, 24-14.
The Warriors established their lead early. On the second play of the game, Aaron Riggs found running room down the left side for a 53-yard gain that set put the Warrior offense on the Moundridge 6-yard line. Quarterback Jack Schneider was in the end zone on the next play, giving Marion the lead just 70 seconds into the game.
The 8-0 score held through the end of the first quarter.
Marion added to its lead on its first possession of the second quarter. Schneider connected with Peyton Heidebrecht for a 24-yard completion to start the drive. Six plays later, Schneider completed a 21-yard pass to Mason Pedersen in the end zone and added the two-point conversion to boost the Warriors? lead to 16-0. That score held through halftime.
Moundridge countered after intermission by piecing together a 10-play, 76-yard scoring drive, cutting Marion?s lead in half, 16-8, at the 7:02 mark.
Riggs moved the chains with some hard running on Marion?s ensuing drive, but the drive was cut short with a Moundridge interception on fourth down. The Warriors clung to a 16-8 lead heading into the final period.
With 6:38 to play, Riggs scored on a 2-yard touchdown run, capping a 12-play, 44-yard drive to give Marion a 24-8 lead. Again, Moundridge answered, using a 40-yard pass completion on first down to advance to the Warrior 19-yard line. Five plays later, the Wildcats were in the end zone. A holding penalty negated Moundridge?s two-point conversion completion, and a second Wildcat attempt fell incomplete, making it 24-14 with 4:04 to go.
Marion went three-and-out after that, but Bryce Shults ended any chance of a Wildcat comeback with an interception, allowing Marion to run out the final 1:53.
Marion tallied 290 yards of total offense, including 245 on the ground. Riggs rumbled his way to 150 yards on 23 carries. Through the air, Schneider was 2-for-8 for 45 yards and one score. Moundridge, meanwhile, had 258 total yards, including 190 rushing and 68 passing.
In a penalty-laden game, Marion committed nine penalties for 81 yards.
Coming?Marion will travel to Hutchinson Trinity Friday for a 7 p.m. game.
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