The greatest danger the Inman Teutons encountered Friday wasn’t from stormy skies; it was lightning and thunder on the gridiron meted out by the Marion Warriors in a dominating 46-21 road win.
Quarterback Jack Schneider was lightning, shocking the Teutons with 193 yards rushing, 3 touchdowns, and striking for a 40-yard scoring pass to Mason Pedersen.
Fullback Aaron Riggs was thunder, rumbling and crashing through the Teutons defense for 181 yards and 1 touchdown. A Warriors penalty nullified another 64-yard Riggs scoring run.
No series better illustrated the duo’s impact than a 2-play, 89-yard drive early in the third quarter.
Working from the Warriors 11-yard line after a Brice Shults interception, Riggs bulled up the middle for 15 yards, 12 of them bowling over would-be tacklers.
“Aaron is a hard-nosed son of a gun,” coach Grant Thierolf said. “That’s just sheer determination. That’s nothing that’s coached, that’s just Aaron.”
On the next play, Schneider faked a handoff to Riggs in the middle, followed him through the hole, then cut to the sideline and sprinted 74 yards for a touchdown and a 30-8 lead.
“He sets me up on every play,” Schneider said of Riggs. “I set him up, he sets me up.”
Lightning then forced a stop in the action, with teams and fans scampering inside the school as the press box loudspeakers blared “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head.”
Inman struck back after the hour-long break with a 10-play, 68-yard scoring drive, relying heavily on the feet and arm of quarterback Keeton Case.
Confident they had found a solution to the Warriors’ defense, Case went back to the air on the Teutons’ next possession. Garrett Hoffner made him regret that decision, intercepting the ball at the Inman 26.
“That took the momentum away from them again,” Thierolf said. “Any time you can get a turnover on that part of the field, that’s a big deal.”
Three plays later, Riggs scored from 13 yards out, and Corbin Wheeler’s 2-point conversion made the score 46-15 with 9 minutes, 38 seconds remaining.
Case added a 68-yard touchdown run against Warriors reserves on the game’s final play to account for the final score.
Thierolf discounted the effects weather and delays on the outcome.
“Going into tonight everybody was aware of the potential for bad weather,” he said. “Their field was in great shape. The wind probably caused us as much of a problem as anything.”
Thierolf said defensive players are getting used to the 3-4 scheme that capitalizes on team speed.
“As they’re getting more comfortable in the front we’re running, they’re starting to make adjustments on the field themselves and seeing things,” he said. “The less we coach from the sidelines the better it is for the kids. They have to study a lot, they have to watch a lot of film to do that.”
Next up for the Warriors will be Sedgwick, 35-34 winners over Sterling and 2-0 on the season. Kickoff is 7 p.m. Friday at Sedgwick.