With a little help from blocker Brian Fruechting, Marion running back Drew Maddox escapes the Nickerson defense. The MHS line paved the way for 285 rushing yards Friday.
The Marion High School football team hammered Nickerson in the second half of Friday?s contest, turning a 7-7 deadlock into a 28-7 rout that was not even as close as the final score might suggest.
The Warriors gave up a 56-yard run to Hector Rodriguez just 1:40 after Matt Sprowls connected a pass to Mitch Cady to give Marion an early 7-0 lead. But apart from Rodriguez?s one big run, the Warrior defense allowed Nickerson barely over 4 yards per play and nothing close to a second Panthers touchdown.
Nickerson?s next-best drive died at the Marion 32 in the second quarter, when Abe Eldridge recovered a fumble. The Marion offense punted from near midfield and Nickerson ran two plays: a Rodriguez run and a pass intercepted by Randy Carlson, which he returned to the Nickerson 30.
The Warriors advanced inside the 10-yard line before a Drew Maddox fumble sabotaged their chance to score.
Maddox was unstoppable in the second half, following his blockers and turning up-field to score on a 37-yard run at 6:31 of the third quarter. He would finish with 142 yards on 13 carries.
The Warriors forced a 3-and-out, and?after a Panthers injury timeout resulting from a massive collision between Marion return man Sheldon Boone and a Nickerson punt coverage ?gunner??Maddox ripped a 17-yard run through the heart of the Panthers defense. After a run and an incomplete pass set up third-and-13, Maddox broke a 26-yard run, prompting a Panthers timeout.
Timeouts were all that stopped the Warriors in the third quarter, as Boone blasted into the end zone on a 1-yard run with 2:13 left in the period.
The Marion defense forced another 3-and-out, and the fourth quarter began with Marion at the Nickerson 26 following Boone?s 21-yard return.
The Panthers stopped the Warriors on fourth down and advanced the ball 36 yards on four runs before fumbling.
Eric Vogel scooped the loose ball up and scored on a 63-yard return with 8:24 to go, and Brian Fruechting hit his fourth point-after kick of the night for a 28-7 lead.
The Warrior defense made certain the score would not change, forcing another 3-and-out and recording a literal takeaway when Lee Vogel grabbed the ball away from a Panthers back late in the quarter. The offense stalled on two more fourth downs, finishing 1-for-5 in that category for the game.
Coming?Marion (2-1) will host Sterling (1-2) for homecoming on Friday. The Black Bears sustained a 50-0 loss to Hoisington last week. Sterling?s win was a 44-14 win over Haven; their other loss was 32-13 against Ellinwood.