Colten Johnson cuts behind Brian Fruechting?s block but gets snared by two Ellinwood defenders. Johnson wrecked havoc on the Eagles? plans, with two interceptions and two offensive touchdowns.
Displaying a level of intensity not seen at any point during an ugly loss against Hoisington last week, the Marion High School football team took command from the literal outset of a 41-0 win Friday night at Ellinwood.
After scoring on an interception return by Colten Johnson on the first play from scrimmage, Marion recovered an onside kick, but was forced to punt. Two plays later, Johnson made his second interception of the night. Two plays after that, he scored on a 7-yard touchdown run, just 3:08 into the contest.
?Colten played the way we have come to expect him to play,? Thierolf said. ?He has a very good feel for the game and always seems to be in the right place. He is a good athlete and has worked hard to earn his place on the team.?
The Eagles offense collapsed under the weight of an aggressive, determined Warriors defensive effort.
?We were very pleased with how our defense played,? coach Grant Thierolf said. ?To only allow 73 yards of total offense and to hold their running game down to 52 yards is a pretty solid defensive effort.
The Warriors controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, but were outstanding on the defensive side.
?We were able to put pressure on their offense line and that really helped our linebackers run to the ball,? Thierolf said. ?Eric Vogel has been very steady for us this year. He and (fellow defensive end) Nick Klenda really give us some great pressure from the edges during a game.?
Johnson had a superb touchdown run wiped out by a holding call, but later scored on a 31-yard catch-and-run completion from Matt Sprowls. In between, Sheldon Boone broke a 57-yard run that set up a 5-yard plunge for a 21-0 lead heading into halftime. Johnson's touchdown catch came at the 3:05 mark of the third quarter, and Sprowls hit Mitch Cady for his second touchdown pass of the night.
?Matt threw the ball better and continues to improve as the season progresses,? Thierolf said.
?We are able to move the ball with the pass now and we could not do that earlier in the season.?
Cady's reception went for 36 yards with 1:18 left in the third. The fourth quarter would have started with a running clock if not for a misfire o n the point-after kick.
Vogel recorded two sacks, two tackles for loss, forced a fumble and set up the last score of the game when he picked off a poorly-executed screen pass at the Ellinwood 23. Moments later, Les Riggs sparked the running clock with a short run good for a 41-0 lead.
?We need to be more complete with our assignments as an offensive line but we made some progress from the week before,? Thierolf said.
Coming?Marion hosts Herington on the first night of district play Friday.