Bolstered by strong offensive line play, Marion literally and figuratively ran past a young Inman squad Friday in a 64-13 blowout victory.
All but eight of Marion’s 442 yards on offense came on the ground, as the Warriors’ front line asserted its dominance, improving assignment errors made last week, coach Grant Thierolf said.
That gave running backs Jack Schneider and Corbin Wheeler plenty of daylight to find the end zone.
The Warriors scored on every first-half possession but one, needing just 7:11 of game time to score eight touchdowns and build a 56-7 halftime lead.
“The offensive line asserted its dominance at the start of the game,” Thierolf said. “We’ve got four seniors and a junior up there. They should be ready to play. I was really pleased with how they ran and how they came off the ball.”
Marion averaged less than three plays per scoring drive in the first half, and used 1:59 of game time to score its first four touchdowns—rushes of 29 and 69 yards by Wheeler, and 38 and 46 yards by Schneider.
Jarret McLinden tackled Teuton quarterback Payton Froese in the end zone for a safety at the 6:58 mark.
Inman picked up its first first down midway through the opening quarter. The Teutons passed for 74 yards to sustain a scoring drive that culminated in a 14-yard touchdown strike, making it 28-7 with 3:27 left in the first period.
A 24-yard touchdown run by Wheeler made it 36-7 as time expired in the opening quarter.
Marion scored three more touchdowns in the second quarter: a 9-yard touchdown run by Chase Stringer on a drive set up by an Inman fumble at the Teuton 25-yard line; a 20-yard run by Schneider on the first play from scrimmage after a Teuton turnover on downs; and a 33-yard scamper by Schneider, who shook off tacklers on his way to the end zone.
The 56-7 score remained through halftime. Marion maintained possession of the ball for just 7:50 in the first half.
With a running clock to start the second half, Thierolf began sending in substitutions. Every Warrior who suited up got game time.
Noah Kukuk cut Inman’s first drive of the second half short with an interception, setting up an eight-play, 54-yard Warrior scoring drive. Evann Heidebrecht capped it with a 12-yard touchdown run.
Marion took a 64-7 lead into the final quarter. Inman scored its final touchdown—a 10-yard pass—as time expired, bringing it to the 64-13 final margin.
Thierolf praised Austin Neufeld’s performance on kickoffs, and said he’d like to see improvement in Marion’s pass defense and goal-line situations.
Schneider rolled up 167 yards on seven carries, averaging just under 24 yards per carry, while Wheeler totaled 157 yards on six carries (26.2 yards per carry).
“I think we understood that we were probably a better team than Inman going in,” Thierolf said. “We still played hard and did the things we needed to do all week long. We learned from certainly not playing as well as we wanted to last week.”
Coming—Marion (2-0) will host Sedgwick Friday.