With senior Colten Johnson running for four touchdowns and 238 yards on 19 carries, the Marion Warriors trampled Lyons in Friday?s season opener at Warrior Stadium.
?He works awfully hard at what he does,? coach Grant Thierolf said of Johnson. ?He?s blessed with great vision. His offensive line did a pretty good job blocking for him. His quarterback did a great job making the right reads.?
Marion set the tone for the game right out of the gate, driving down the field after receiving the kickoff. Johnson scored the first touchdown with 8:48 left in the first quarter. The extra point was no good.
After the defense recovered a Lyons fumble at the 28-yard line a couple of plays later, quarterback Cole Lewman eventually scored from six yards out with 6:28 left. Mikael Antoszyk ran in the 2-point conversion for a 14-0 lead.
Marion scored again with just over a minute left in the half when Johnson found the end zone from the 1-yard line. Grif Case kicked the extra point for a 21-0 lead at halftime.
In the third quarter, Johnson quickly put an end to any notion of a Lyons rally when he ran in from 52 yards out with 9:44 left for a 27-0 bulge.
Marion did falter late in the game, committing a couple costly penalties and giving up an interception.
?In a big ball game we can?t have those,? Thierolf said of the penalties. ?Some of them were lack of focus, some of them just come from being aggressive. You?re going to get those in a first game.?
The Warriors finished strong with Johnson scoring one more time with a 76-yard burst for the 34-0 finish.
?I?m just really pleased for my seniors,? Thierolf said. ?They?ve hung in there through a lot, and are just now starting to understand how good they can be. And that?s always good, because in life you?re not always going to be successful ?right now.? The whole point is just to get better.?
Thierolf also praised the play of Antoszyk.
?Mike is a very strong kid who is figuring out that he can play this at a very high level,? he said of the senior. ?I thought he made some nice runs, ran through traffic that I don?t think he would have done last year.
?He?s got to take as much pride in his blocking as he does in his running, and when he does that he?ll be a very competitive football player.?
Thierolf liked the way his defense played.
?I thought the run defense was really solid,? he said. ?Jon Tacha and David Helmer played like senior defensive tackles should play. They were very aggressive.?
Thierolf said his team needs to work on its blocking around the perimeter, but he is confident the Warriors will get better.
?These kids work hard and want to get better,? he said. ?That?s the nice thing about Cole and Colten and some of these kids?they recognize when something isn?t right, diagnose it themselves and make the adjustments.?
In the end, the big victory was the ultimate adjustment.
?It?s nice for a group that kind of came off a tough end last year,? Thierolf said. ?It?s nice to get back on that winning streak.?
Coming?The Warriors (1-0) travel to Inman (0-1) Friday to face the Teutons, who lost to Moundridge 40-12.