The Marion football team played with more effort and energy than a week ago, but it didn?t translate to points as defending league champion Sedgwick walked away with a 45-6 win Friday in Marion?s first home game.
?I thought the effort was better, but we have to play football with emotion, and we don?t play football with emotion right now,? coach Grant Thierolf said. ?It?s an emotional game, and if you can?t play with emotion, it makes it awfully hard to play well.?
Sedgwick received a stellar performance from senior running back Logan Thompson, who scored nearly every time he got his hands on the ball, recording five touchdowns from 198 combined yards on the ground and through the air.
?I don?t know that we had anybody that really wanted to hit him,? Thierolf said. ?He?s probably the best all-around athlete in the league. We had no answer for him. We couldn?t stop him, or their offense.?
The Cardinals got the jump on Marion from the start. Thompson capped Sedgwick?s first possession with a 55-yard touchdown reception from sophomore quarterback Brylie Ware. The extra point was no good, but the Cardinals led 6-0 just over a minute into the game.
The Marion offense went three-and-out, but forced Sedgwick deep into its own territory with a punt by sophomore Kyle Palic.
When Sedgwick?s drive fizzled near midfield, the Warriors had their turn at the ball but had no better success.
Thompson struck again on the Cardinals? third possession, running 55 yards for the touchdown for 12-0 lead after a failed extra point attempt with five minutes left in the first quarter.
The Warriors caught a break on Sedgwick?s next possession when Palic recovered a fumble on the Cardinal 45-yard line. But Marion couldn?t capitalize.
Junior defensive back James Jones snagged an interception for the Warriors with 23 seconds left in the quarter, giving Marion the ball on its own 17-yard line after a 10-yard penalty.
But once more, Marion could not take advantage of the turnover and punted.
Sedgwick drove downfield and into the red zone on its first possession of the second quarter, scoring on a seven-yard scramble by Dalton Brandt at the 7:31 mark. The two-point conversion fell short, leaving Sedgwick with an 18-0 lead.
Following another Marion three-and-out, Sedgwick strung together a drive from its own 35-yard line for another touchdown at 3:18. With the extra point the Cardinals led 25-0.
It looked like Marion might score before halftime as Palic pounded for a first down with a couple minutes remaining. But Marion fumbled the ball and Sedgwick returned it to Marion?s 46-yard line at 2:14.
The Cardinals moved the ball downfield before Ware completed a 35-yard pass to Thomp?son for another touchdown with a minute left. Sedgwick went into the locker room at halftime with a 32-0 lead.
The tune didn?t change much for Marion in the second half.
Palic and quarterback Taylor Heidebrecht joined forces to run the ball downfield, but a botched hand-off resulted in a fumble recovery by Sedgwick. Thomp?son scored at 9:14 on a 43-yard run. The point-after failed, resulting in a 38-0 Cardinal lead.
On Sedgwick?s next possession, Ware found wide receiver Dalyn Anderson far down field to put the Cardinals at the Warrior 31-yard line when Marion?s Brody Carroll made a touchdown-saving tackle. Sedgwick eventually gave up the ball on downs.
Brandt earned another chance to shine with just two minutes left in the third quarter, breaking free at his own 10-yard line and running through traffic until he was finally chased down by Jones at the Warrior 17.
Ware eventually ran in from five yards out to give Sedgwick its final touchdown of the game.
Marion made it on the board in the fourth quarter. With the ball at midfield, Heidebrecht pitched to junior Caleb Williams who ran to Sedgwick?s 29-yard line.
After Heidebrecht gained 10 yards and a first down, he connected with wide receiver Jacob Harper for a 10-yard touchdown pass at the three-minute mark for a final score of 45-6.
Sedgwick rolled up 19 first downs to Marion?s four. The Cardinals ran for 316 yards to the Warriors? 77, and added 219 yards through the air to Marion?s 15.
Palic led the Warriors in rushing with 64 yards, and Harper led the receiving core with two receptions for 15 yards and a touchdown.
?Kyle Palic ran the ball hard, but we just have to get faster and have more tempo in our offense,? Thierolf said.
He added that Nick Meyer, Isaac Baldwin and Morgan Wheeler played well defensively for Marion.
?We have got to play football with emotion and we?ve got to come together,? Thierolf said. ?If we can get to that point where everybody?s pulling the same direction, I think we can be pretty good still. But we?re obviously not there yet.?
Coming?The Warriors will bring an 0-2 record onto their home field Friday for a league contest with Bennington (1-1).