Bad second quarter sinks Warriors
If all goes well for the Marion Warriors from here out, the second quarter of Friday’s contest against Hutchinson Trinity Catholic will go down as the worst of their season.
The teams were even in three quarters, but a 24-0 second period gave Trinity all the advantage it needed to cruise to a 30-6 victory.
“They just beat us tonight,” Marion head coach Grant Thierolf said. “They were a little bit more physical than us right off the bat, and it’s a good learning experience for our young kids.”
It took Trinity running back Nathan Cardinas 10 seconds to run 57 yards on the first play of the second quarter. His touchdown scamper helped Trinity to a 13-6 lead, putting them ahead for good.
After forcing a Marion punt, Trinity ran the same play, and Cardinas gave them the same result, this time from 48 yards out.
Thierolf was disappointed that his players didn’t adjust better.
“We just gotta figure out a way to get a stop,” he said. “You’ve got to widen the technique, feel that the block’s coming here and fight through the block. Just adjust things.”
In two and a half minutes spanning two Trinity plays, the game went from a slugfest to a rout.
“Once things started going south, they went south pretty quick,” Thierolf said. “A young team sometimes doesn’t know how to respond to that.”
Aside from the second quarter, Marion played a Trinity team loaded with senior starters even.
A big touchdown run by David Tebow on Trinity’s opening drive seemed more an anomaly than a sign of things to come. Marion couldn’t respond immediately, but after forcing a Trinity punt, freshman quarterback Jack Schneider capped a Marion drive with a strike to senior Brad Stone.
“We threw the ball pretty well again tonight,” Thierolf said. “We’re moving the ball through the air better than we have in a long time.”
Peyton Heidebrecht later ended a Trinity drive by intercepting a third down pass in the end zone. Marion couldn’t capitalize on the turnover, however, and used two timeouts before a punt — one to assure they’d punt into the wind before the first quarter ended, and a second to avoid hiking the ball with 10 players on the field.
Then the second quarter happened. Aside from the big runs, Trinity had a long sustained drive to put in a third score, and managed a field goal as the clock expired. The teams went into the locker room not knowing the final score of 30-6 was already on the board.
“These games, games like this with good, solid football teams, they give you a great opportunity to see what your weaknesses are,” Thierolf said. “And obviously we had some things exposed tonight.”
After Thierolf at halftime sent his team a message to respond, he thought they played better.
“I don’t know that we responded great, but at least we came back fighting in the second half.”