Marion rallied from 13 points down in the second half Friday at Meade, but the Buffaloes got the final score and the win in a 36-39 Warriors loss.
Marion’s first lead of the game came at the beginning of the fourth quarter. Running back Adam Janzen capped a 51-yard drive with a 6-yard run for a touchdown. Quarterback Jacob Baldwin made the 2-point conversion that put the Warriors ahead 28-27.
Meade wasted little time responding, as two plays later running back Dylan Wondra broke through the Warriors defensive line at the Meade 39-yard line and raced downfield. Marion’s Mason Pederson caught up with him at near the goal line, but his leaping ankle-tackle attempt wasn’t enough to keep Wondra from scoring. The Warriors prevented the 2-point conversion, but the Buffaloes led 33-28 with 11 minutes remaining.
The Warriors weren’t finished, reclaiming the lead with 8:45 to go on a 39-yard touchdown pass from Baldwin to Pederson, the third time in the game the pair connected for scores. Baldwin again made the conversion, putting Marion up 36-33.
The Buffaloes chewed up ground and clock as they responded with a 7-minute 33-second drive that started at their own 33. Ryan Friesen scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 1-yard plunge with 1:12 remaining.
Trailing 36-39, Seth Snelling took the Buffaloes kickoff at the Marion 15 and returned it to the 40. Adam Janzen picked up 5 yards on first down, and Baldwin hit consecutive passes to give the Warriors a first down on the Meade 37. Baldwin was almost sacked on the next play, but pulled free and found Snelling at the 20. Baldwin took a shot at the end zone with his next pass, but it was intercepted at the 5, and the Buffaloes ran out the clock.
Marion picked up 193 yards through the air, with Baldwin completing 9 of 13 passes, with 3 touchdowns and 1 interception. Pederson caught 4 passes, including touchdown receptions of 39, 40, and 39 yards. Brad Stone had 2 catches for 21 yards, and Corbin Wheeler picked up 18 yards on 2 receptions.
Janzen was the Warriors’ leading rusher with 19 carries for 67 yards and 1 touchdown.
Stone picked up the Warriors’ other touchdown with an 88-yard kickoff return in the second quarter.
The Warriors return to district play Friday with a home game against Herington.