Marion blanks Trinity in bi-district win

The Marion football team celebrates its bi-district shutout of Hutchinson Trinity, 10-0, Tuesday. With the win, the Warriors advanced to face Sedgwick Saturday in regional action. Marion lost that game, 35-0.Wind and rain did not keep Marion from a 10-0 victory over Hutchinson Trinity Catholic last Tuesday in bi-district football action.

Marion scored all 10 points in the first quarter, and the Warrior defense held Trinity to one first down the duration of the first half. Trinity managed only four first downs all night.

?It was one of those games where, after we got up 10-0, I never really felt that (Trinity) had a chance to score,??coach Grant Thierolf said. ?I was really confident in our defense.

?I thought (coach) Jerry (Smith) put a great gameplan together, and the kids executed it very well.?

When Marion was forced to punt on the game?s opening drive, the Celtics enjoyed good field position at the Marion 38-yard line. The drive was short-lived, however, as Grif Case recovered a Celtic fumble on first down.

Marion went three-and-out, but Trinity couldn?t respond. Facing fourth-and-9 from its own 19-yard line, Trinity opted to punt. But the snap sailed high and into the end zone, where the Celtic punter kicked the ball out the back for a safety. With 4:48 left in the opening quarter, Marion led, 2-0.

The Warriors orchestrated the game?s only scoring drive on the strength of its running game. Four plays into the drive, Adam Janzen broke loose for a 32-yard gain. That set up a first-and-10 at the Trinity 13-yard line. Two plays later, Taylor Heidebrecht ran in for a 10-yard score to cap a six-play, 58-yard drive.

Trevor Kruse added the 2-point conversion run, and Marion led 10-0 with 2:00 left in the first quarter.

Marion had opportunity to add to its lead near the end of the first half. Seven plays into the drive, Heide?brecht was in the end zone after a 14-yard run, but a block-in-the-back penalty negated the touchdown.

Heidebrecht gained yardage on the next play, but following a false start penalty, an incomplete pass and a 5-yard gain by Heide?brecht, Marion faced fourth-and-15 from the Trinity 20-yard line. The Warriors opted for a field goal, but Case?s kick missed wide left, keeping the score 10-0 at halftime.

As heavier rain began to fall at the start of the second half, the teams traded punts for seven straight possessions.

Trinity had its best opportunity after Heidebrecht fumbled the ball away on a punt return, and the Celtics took over at the Marion 32-yard line with 7:20 to play.

But the Warriors limited the damage. After a Celtic 16-yard pass play on first down, Kyle Palic tackled the ball-carrier for a 1-yard loss. Morgan Wheeler followed with a quarterback sack for a loss of eight. A third-down pass fell incomplete, and James Jones knocked down the fourth-down pass to force a turnover on downs.

Marion ate up nearly 5 minutes on the ensuing drive and turned the ball over on downs with less than one minute to play.

Time expired after four Trinity snaps, and Marion claimed the 10-point shutout in Marion?s first playoff victory in 10 years. In November 2003, the Warriors clinched a bi-district win over Medicine Lodge by the same 10-0 score.

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