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Maroon and gold prevails in Marion County matchup

Five turnovers contribute
to Marion’s 51-14 loss

Staff writer

Teams with very different goals met on a freezing Friday night in Hillsboro in a battle between the Trojans and the Warriors for supremacy in Marion County’s Class 1A football. 

While 4-2 Hillsboro was looking to keep rolling after putting up at least 30 points in its last two games. Marion was working to snap a three-game losing streak.

Hillsboro kept its momentum by grabbing a 51-14 victory, thanks, in part, to the Warriors’ struggling offense.

Warrior coach Shaun Craft made some changes to his lineup, in an effort to shake up an offensive line that’s been scoreless for two weeks in three of its last four games.

Craft placed Seth Lanning as quarterback and freed-up Will Alleven and Jaxton Tracy for options in the passing game. Calib Mallory and Braeden Mercer played in the backfield.

It worked, to an extent, as Marion scored 14 points, the second most of the season.

However the Warriors’ continued struggles with offense made coming from behind a tall order, especially when the Trojan’s defense limited them to a modest 155 total yards — the fourth game and second week Marion has been held to less than 200, and a mere nine first downs.

The Trojans, on the other hand, have at least three big play threats with the Potucek brothers, sophomore quarterback Matthew and senior tailback Caleb, and senior wideout Hunter Hein. 

The trio was pivotal in Friday night’s win with the brothers combining for all 227 yards rushing and two scores.

Caleb carried 15 times for a game high 137 yards, including a 77-yard touchdown as Hillsboro pounded out a season high 524 total yards. 

Matthew completed 11 of 16 passes for six touchdowns and 297 yards, with half of the six going to Hein, who had a game high 138 yards receiving on five catches. 

Two more touchdowns went to Frank Wichert, whose 19-yard catch was instrumental in Hillsboro opening a 20-0 lead within the first 22 minutes of the game.

Temperatures that plunged into the 30s made hanging on to the ball a chore, with the Warriors fumbling three of their first five drives. 

The Trojans have had their share of struggles with fumbles, too. They returned Friday, after going two straight weeks without turning the ball over, and this let Marion back in the game. 

Lanning broke up the shutout with 6:16 left in the first half with a 28-yard touchdown, then Mercer recovered a Hillsboro fumble to set up a 12-yard strike from Lanning to Tracy just two minutes later. 

Hillsboro’s Matthew Potucek then fueled a 31-point avalanche by going deep for back-to-back touchdowns, one a 66-yard bomb to brother Caleb, and a 53-yarder to Hein. With that, Hillsboro was firmly in the lead 32-14 at halftime.

It could have been worse for Marion, but Hillsboro’s subpar 3-for-8 PAT attempts prolonged a running clock until there was 6:00 left in the game and Marion was well out of striking distance. 

Marion will face second-ranked Olpe at 7 p.m. Friday at home, while Hillsboro will host Bluestem at the same time Friday in its stadium.

Last modified Oct. 17, 2019

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