One score was all it took to beat the Marion High School football team
Friday night, but host Southeast of Saline punched in two and added two
2-point conversions for a 16-0 win over the Warriors. Marion's offense
misfired at important moments throughout the night; the defense shot
itself in the foot with an encroachment foul after stuffing the Trojans
on first-and-goal at the six late in the first quarter. The penalty,
followed by a hard-nosed run by Brant Weaver, brought up fourth down
with the ball near the one yard hash. Bryant Beneke finished the drive
with a plunge, and the SES defense turned the score into a back-breaker.
The Trojans had consecutive big gainers called back by penalty early in
the second quarter, and were unable to add another score before the
break. The Warriors nearly took advantage, entering the red zone on
Sheldon Boone's interception return, but promptly threw an interception
of their own. SES capitalized, converting a fourth-and-a-foot via
encroachment penalty and breaking a 47-yard cutback run to double their
lead with 5:15 left in the third quarter.
The Warriors kindled a lifeless offense with an 8-play series aided by
two Trojans penalties, but a fumble on first-and-goal from the six was
cold water to Marion's hopes of rallying for a win. The Warrior
defense, displaying the greatest urgency they offered all night,
stuffed a fourth-and-short with 4:51 left, but Marion's ensuing series
ended with a turnover on downs.
Next Friday, the Warriors will face cross-county rival Hillsboro;
assuming Southeast of Saline defeats Herington, Marion will be vying to
advance as district runner up. Marion would need both the win and a
significant margin of victory to advance, while Hillsboro would clinch
the district title with a win regardless of the final score.