The Marion High School defense repeatedly checked the Wichita Collegiate passing attack, but got little help from a fumble-prone offense in Friday's 21-14 road loss.
The Warriors stifled a first-and-goal from the four early in the first quarter, and sacked quarterback Blake Jablonski starting the second quarter. Marion's offense produced few yards and just one first down in the first half, but the stout defense held the Spartans scoreless until Jablonski connected to LeMaster for a 17-yard touchdown with five minutes left in the first half.
But the Marion special teams kept the Warriors in the game, springing Drew Maddox for a touchdown return on the ensuing kickoff. Maddox took the ball at his own 15, darted toward the right sideline to slip past the initial wave of Spartans, then cut back through the middle of the field to escape Collegiate's scheme to contain him. He stiff-armed a tackler near midfield, then outran one last pursuer to the left corner of the end zone. The extra point made it 7-7.
?Jablonski led a scoring drive in the final four minutes of the half, capping it with a pass to Nate Cornejo with 1:27 left in the second quarter.
?Collegiate threatened again early in the third quarter, but Colten Johnson jumped in front of one of Jablonski's short throws and came away with an interception. He returned it to the Spartans 9, and Matt Sprowls punched it in from a yard out three plays later. The point after made it 14-14.
But Collegiate had one more weapon to throw into the fray?halfback Raymond Taylor, who was starting in place of injured senior Tyler Coughenour. Taylor took an inside handoff 27 yards up the gut for the 21-14 marker, and the Spartan defense forced two turnovers to make that lead stand.