Warriors begin with win over Moundridge ?Cats

Aaron Riggs carries the ball during the second half of Marion?s season-opening game against Moundridge Friday. Riggs was the Warriors? leading rusher with 23 carries for 150 yards in Marion?s 24-14 win.
Aaron Riggs carries the ball during the second half of Marion?s season-opening game against Moundridge Friday. Riggs was the Warriors? leading rusher with 23 carries for 150 yards in Marion?s 24-14 win.

Although Marion head coach Grant Thierolf said much is still to be improved, the Warriors won their season opener victory over Moundridge Friday, 24-14.

?(It) was not pretty by any stretch of the imagination, but the kids persevered, did enough to win,? Thierolf said. ?We?ve just got to get better. We weren?t as physical as we need to be, and that?s our fault as coaches. ?

Much of those growing pains are a natural byproduct of a young team.

?We?re still playing a lot of young kids and a lot of first-time starters and guys who were starting the first time in certain situations and certain places,? Thier?olf said.

On the second play of the game, Aaron Riggs ran for 53 yards that put the War?riors on the Moundridge 6-yard line. Quarterback Jack Schneider was in the end zone on the next play, giving Marion the lead just 70 seconds into the game.

The 8-0 score held through the end of the first quarter.

Marion added to its lead on its first possession of the second quarter. Schneider connected with Peyton Heidebrecht for a 24-yard completion to start the drive. Six plays later, Schneider completed a 21-yard pass to Mason Pedersen in the end zone and added the two-point conversion to boost the Warriors? lead to 16-0. That score held through halftime.

Moundridge countered after intermission by piecing together a 10-play, 76-yard scoring drive, cutting Marion?s lead in half, 16-8, at the 7:02 mark.

Riggs moved the chains with some hard running on Marion?s ensuing drive, but the drive was cut short with a Moundridge interception on fourth down. The Warriors clung to a 16-8 lead heading into the final period.

With 6:38 to play, Riggs scored on a 2-yard touchdown run, capping a 12-play, 44-yard drive to give Marion a 24-8 lead.

Again, Moundridge answered, using a 40-yard pass completion on first down to advance to the Warrior 19-yard line. Five plays later, the Wildcats were in the end zone. The Wildcats? two-point conversion failed, making it 24-14 with 4:04 to go.

Marion went three-and-out after that, but Bryce Shults ended any chance of a Wildcat comeback with an interception, allowing Marion to run out the final 1:53.

In a penalty-laden game, Marion committed nine for 81 yards. Marion tallied 290 yards of offense, including 245 on the ground. Riggs rumbled his way to 150 yards on 23 carries. Through the air, Schneider was 2-for-8 for 45 yards and one score. Moundridge, meanwhile, had 258 total yards, including 190 rushing and 68 passing.

Coming?Marion (1-0) will travel to Hutchinson Trinity (0-1) Friday for a 7 p.m. kickoff. Trinity comes into the game after suffering a 40-18 defeat at the hands of Sedgwick last week.