In the second half Sterling repeatedly ripped big-gain runs through the Warrior defense, scheming to isolate running back Matt Foster against the Marion linebackers.
But for as many long runs as they mustered, the Black Bears could not muster a drive to snap the shutout.
Tylor Neil made what may have been the defensive play of the game on Sterling’s opening possession of the third quarter.
Sterling had marched from its own 20 yard line to the Warrior 6 before a no-gain run followed by an incomplete pass?a play broken up by Mitch Cady?set up a fourth-and-goal.
Neil then raided the Black Bear backfield, torquing quarterback Cody Riggs to the turf.
Riggs threw up a desperation lob into traffic, to no receiver in particular, denying Neil the sack but handing possession to the Warriors.
Marion rattled off a 24-play series that ended the third frame and shaved off all but 6:07 of the remaining clock.
Sterling regained control of the ball just inside its own 25-yard line and failed to produce a sustained drive despite Foster, who used three handoffs to gain 35 yards and two first downs during one momentary span.
After an exchange of possessions, Boone for all intents and purposes ended the game with an interception with 1:33 left in the contest, leaving it to Leppke to finish off on kneel downs.
Marion rushed for 256 yards and held Sterling to just 130. Marion ran 61 plays and dominated time of possession to an extent rarely seen in a football game played at any level.
Marion held the ball for 411⁄2 of the 48 minutes.
Boone and Foster both averaged roughly 6.3 yards per carry, but Boone totaled 166 yards to Foster?s 107. Marion?s Drew Maddox carried nine times for 49 yards, and Leppke ran 11 times for 30 yards.
Defensively, Cady was the Warriors standout, recording eight tackles?seven solo, one for loss?in addition to the passes he deflected. Brad Klenda and Eric Vogel each had six tackles; Vogel and Nick Klenda each recorded a tackle for loss and a sack.
Coming?Marion (2-0 league, 3-1 overall) visits Hoisington (1-0, 3-1) on Friday. Hoisington thumped Halstead 35-0 this week.