Marion running back Drew Maddox sheds a tackler on his way to the end zone in the first half of Marion?s 56-14 win over the Herington Railers on Friday. This, his second score, put Marion ahead by 21 points.
By a score of 56-14, the Marion High School football team crushed Herington on the first night of district play.
And that was without a handful of regulars.
?We had some different players in the game at times but overall we played a pretty good game last Friday,? coach Grant Thierolf said. ?We have been working on our offensive execution and when you have players absent from practice, that makes the timing of plays a little difficult. We were able to overcome that, but we will have to be much sharper this week.?
The Railers were swarmed under during a 21-point second quarter surge that saw the Warriors score on runs by Drew Maddox, Colten Johnson and Sheldon Boone. Maddox and Boone had each already scored in the first quarter, and the Warriors tacked on a 15-yard fumble return touchdown by Eric Vogel and a 22-yard run by Mitch Cady in the third quarter.
The fourth quarter began with a running clock and Dillon Wildin popped a 22-yard run with 7:04 left in the game.
Herington scored twice and converted one of two 2-point attempts. The Marion defensive front limited Herington to 71 rushing yards?more than half of which came on a single play late in the fourth quarter.
Boone ran for 143 yards on 19 carries and Maddox totaled 112 yards on nine tries. Five others totaled more than 20 yards: Johnson (72 yards), Wildin (48), Cady (29), Dillon Richmond (29) and Les Riggs (26). All together, they manufactured 459 rushing yards.
?Our rushing attack was pretty solid this week and all of our running backs ran the ball well,? Thierolf said. ?Our defensive line and linebackers shut down their run pretty well and once again, we have to be better this week than we were last week.?
After Marion forced a 3-and-out on the Railers? first possession, it took just five plays for the Warriors to get on the board behind Maddox?s 9-yard outside run at 8:50 of the first quarter.
Herington punted again, and had the kick partially blocked. Again, it took five plays for the Warriors to score?this time on a 21-yard sprint by Boone.
Marion forced another 3-and-out, and again got a hand on the punt attempt, setting up first-and-10 at the 48. Seven plays later, the Warriors celebrated Maddox?s second touchdown, and the rout was on. The key play of the drive was a 25-yard pass from Dillon Richmond, who stood in at quarterback for an ill Matt Sprowls, to Nick Klenda on fourth-and-10.
The Warriors hope to have both good health and good execution for the duration of district play, but were neither healthy nor crisp Friday. They gave up two turnovers among three fumbles, and misfired on half their third down conversion attempts.
Marion will visit Southeast of Saline Friday and end district play Oct. 29 at home against Hillsboro.
?We know that the level of competition gets ratcheted up the next two weeks and we look forward to the opportunity to play good teams,? Thierolf said. ?I think we will be up for it.?