MHS defense tames hapless Lyons, 28-0

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Chase Carlson (3) and Charlie Holub knock Casey Dwyer to the turf Friday at Lyons. Marion?s stifling defense downed Lyons 28-0.? Andrew Ottoson / Free Press

Despite Lyons High School?s best efforts to gain the upper hand?including a stirring rendition of Abba?s 1975 mega-hit ?Dancing Queen? incorporated by the marching band into pre-game homecoming festivities?the Marion Warriors cruised to a 28-0 win Friday.

Chase Carlson recorded his first touchdown reception, a 29-yarder from Mitchell Leppke and Marion took a 6-0 lead with 3:19 left in the first quarter.

On the play Carlson sprinted straight through double-coverage, but got tangled up with a defender and fell just as he was about to break into the clear. Although lying in the end zone with the pass in flight, Carlson made the catch.

The six-point lead was all Marion needed from the offense, as the defense limited the Lions to 84 total yards.

Lyons appeared distracted from the start, committing multiple penalties on the following series. As a team, they committed 14 penalties for 100 yards against three Marion infractions for 20 yards.

On his team?s second possession, Dane Kepka gained Lyons? first yard of the night on first down. On second down, a holding call cost the Lions 10 yards and a false start moved them back to their own 13.

Lyons successfully snapped the ball on the next play only to have Nick Klenda intercept the first pass attempt of the night.

Such was the night for Lyons, as faulty execution, combined with a determined effort by the Warrior defense, led to three interceptions.

Meanwhile, Marion was playing a nearly flawless game, with tough runs by Leppke, Austin Hager and Sheldon Boone tilting the field position and time of possession battles in Marion?s favor.

But adding to the lead proved a tougher task.

Coming out of halftime with the score unchanged, Carlson came up with Marion?s second interception at the Warrior 45-yard line.

Hager and Boone combined for eight straight positive-yardage runs as Marion plowed its way to the Lyons 20. But Lyons got to Boone behind the line to stop a fourth-and-2 conversion try with 6:47 left in the third.

Three runs and three penalties later, Lyons was lining up to punt out of the end zone.

Taking over at the 34, Leppke spun out of a tackle and broke a 20-yard run. Three plays later, Boone plunged into the end zone from four yards out. Leppke connected with Justin Heidebrecht for a 2-point conversion, and Marion led 14-0 with 2:29 left in the third. With 4:22 left in the fourth, Leppke broke a 33-yard run, setting up the touchdown he scored on a quarterback sneak 2:37 later. Brian Fruechting tacked on the extra point, and Marion led 21-0.

Hager iced the game with a 35-yard interception return for a touchdown 27 seconds later, and Fruechting drilled his second extra point of the contest, making it 28-0 with 1:19 to go. 

Coming?Marion (4-2) opens district play against Hillsboro (3-3) at 7 p.m. Friday in Marion.

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