The Marion seniors helped their team over a third-quarter slump Friday to beat Remington by a deceptive margin of 34-6 in the first round of district play Friday at Warrior Stadium.
?The first district win is always good to get,? coach Grant Thierolf said. ?Reality is, you look at it one game at a time and you have to win that first game in the district if you want to go on. Right now we?re in good position to be where we need to be.?
Marion got the jump on the Broncos, returning the opening kickoff to the Remington 41-yard line. With a fourth-and-one at the Bronco 10, running back Colten Johnson ran in for the touchdown with 6:47 left in the quarter. Grif Case kicked the first of four extra points.
Remington ran the ball all the way to the 1-yard line with 3:41 left in the quarter, but a penalty pushed them back to the 10. Marion knocked down the fourth-and-five pass to gain possession.
With 20 seconds left in the quarter, senior Dakin Ledford, back from an injury, snagged a Cole Lewman pass at the 50 from about the Marion 10.
?Dakin just adds a lot to our team,? Thierolf said. ?He?s a good football player and anytime you lose those kids who are all-league, it just makes it a little bit tougher.?
Ledford?s catch set up a 34-yard touchdown run by Brody Carroll, who broke free at the 34 with 11 seconds left, and ran in for the touchdown. Case?s kick made it 14-0.
?We?ve worked hard on that particular play, running it the way it?s supposed to be run, and Brody ran it the way it?s supposed to be run,? Thierolf said. ?Brody hit the seam and really did a nice job on it.?
With 1:38 left in the half, Ledford hauled in another pass near midfield and scrambled to the Remington 12-yard line. Johnson broke a couple tackles and dove for the end-zone marker for the touchdown with 55 left. A bungled snap prevented an extra point.
Carroll intercepted a Remington pass at the Marion 1-yard line with four seconds left to keep the Broncos from scoring before halftime, which ended at 20-0.
The beginning of the second half might as well have been a different ball game.
The Warriors came out flat and the Broncos returned with fire. At 6:23 the Remington quarterback ran in for their first score. Marion stopped the two-point conversion to make it 20-6.
At the 2:29 mark, Johnson broke free for a 47-yard touchdown, but it was called back on a penalty. The next play, the Broncos intercepted a pass at their 20-yard line.
The Warriors drove deep into Remington territory as the fourth quarter began, but with 6:13 left the Warriors fumbled away the ball on Remington?s 15-yard line.
The Broncos then drove down field before the drive ran out of gas at the Marion 19.
With 3:26 left, Marion found a needed spark in Johnson, who burst out of a cluster of players for an 80-yard touchdown run to make the score 27-6.
?We knew he was going to pop one or two big ones, because it?s just hard to contain him all the time,? Thierolf said.
Lewman was injured on the play and backup Taylor Heidebrecht came in for Marion.
Unphased, the Warriors drove down the field. Johnson broke free at 1:14 to get another touchdown run and make it 34-6.
?I thought first half we played really well defensively,? Thierolf said, though he added that Marion gave up way too many overall yards, despite getting the stop at critical moments.
?We just have to do a better job of tackling,? he said. ?They threw the ball better than we thought they were going to. But they gashed us on the run, too, so we just need to play better.?
Coming?The Warriors will face a tough 6-1 Southeast of Saline team Friday. Thierolf hopes to have his team healthy next week to give them an extra boost. Regardless, it?s going to be tough road contest for the Warriors.
?We?re going to have to play a lot better than we did tonight against (Remington),? Thierolf said.
?But we can. We?ll get everyone healthy and playing, and we?ll take our chances.?