In the first half, Marion scored on every possession but one to build a comfortable 28-0 lead by halftime. But in the second half, all of Marion?s drives ended in turnovers, with the exception of the final possession.
Yet, with a strong defensive effort, the Warriors maintained the lead.
?We turned the ball over seven times tonight and still won,? coach Grant Thierolf said. ?That?s hard to do. We didn?t really force that many turnovers, but we were lucky enough to get up enough at halftime. We?ve got to find a way to finish games off, obviously.?
Marion wasted little time putting points on the board on their first possession. On second down, quarterback Jack Schneider found running room around the right side, beating the defense with a burst of speed for an 83-yard touchdown. Seth Snelling added the two-point conversion for an 8-0 Marion lead with 8:39 remaining in the opening period.
The Warriors? next drive lasted nearly five minutes, covering 84 yards in nine plays. A 30-yard strike from Schneider to Jacob Baldwin on fourth down gave Marion a fresh set of downs at the Remington 3-yard line, and Adam Janzen was in the end zone on the next play. The two-point conversion failed, putting Marion in front, 14-0, with less than a minute remaining in the first quarter.
On the first play of the second quarter, Janzen intercepted Bronco quarterback Blake Thunberg and ran the ball to the Remington 3-yard line. Janzen crossed the goal line on the next play. The two-point conversion failed, but Marion held a 20-0 lead.
An interception cut the next Warrior drive short, but Marion added a final score late in the first half. Three plays into Marion?s drive, the Warriors caught a break when a roughing the passer penalty negated a Bronco interception. Five plays after that, Janzen ran up the middle for a 5-yard score. Mason Pedersen made a diving catch in the end zone to complete the two-point conversion pass from Schneider, giving Marion a 28-0 lead that held to intermission.
Things went downhill for the Warriors from the start in the second half, as Marion coughed up the ball seven plays into the first drive of the third quarter. That proved to be the first of six second-half turnovers for Marion, including five fumbles and an interception.
Still, Marion kept the Broncos out of the end zone the duration of the third quarter. With 6:14 left in the game, Remington broke its scoring drought with a 5-yard touchdown run by Wyatt Lear. Thunberg?s two-point conversion pass to Chance Bowen made it 28-8.
The Broncos? final score of the night came late in the game when Remington defensive lineman Logan Scott recovered a loose ball and ran 71 yards for a score. Thunberg added the two-point conversion for the final, 28-16, margin. With three final snaps, Marion was able to run out the clock and preserve the win.
?Momentum just kind of went against us in the second half, but defensively, I thought we played well the whole half,? Thierolf said. ?I really did. We gave our defense some short fields, and I thought they played very respectably all game long.?
Marion gained 275 yards on the ground, led by Schneider with 11 carries for 147 yards and a touchdown. Janzen also surpassed the century-mark with 21 carries for 121 yards and three scores. Through the air, Schneider was 5-for-9 for 70 yards. Remington tallied 111 rushing yards and 14 passing yards.
Kyle Palic led the defense with 17 total tackles.
Moving forward, Thierolf said it will be important for his young team to establish consistency.
?(Young people) can do some of the greatest things, but they?re also not as consistent,? he said. ?Consistency comes over time, and with a lot of our kids, this is only the third game they?ve ever started, so that consistency will come as we get a little more mature.?
Coming?Marion (2-1) will travel to Ell-Saline (2-1) Friday. Kickoff is 7 p.m. The Cardinals come into the game after a 44-12 loss to Sedgwick.