Turnovers spell doom for Warriors
For the second week in a row, the Warrior football team has shown signs of an explosive, balanced offense.
What else explains Marion steamrolling its way to 442 yards total, with 224 coming on the ground in its first road test Friday night at Douglass?
It was all moot with the Warriors, despite holding the Bulldogs to 379 yards, and having the ball nearly 11 minutes longer, dropping a tough 50-38 contest.
Chase Stringer had 363 yards total, throwing for a career-high 218 yards and rushing for a team-high 145 while having a hand in four touchdowns.
However, five giveaways will cripple any team as they did the Warriors with the ball being a chore to hang onto with a quartet of fumbles.
Making the loss even tougher was the Warriors going a season-best 7-for-10 on third downs and committing just 4 penalties for 20 yards.
Stringer got the first of his three touchdowns rushing with 6:13 left in the first quarter, taking it in from 18 before adding the two-point conversion for the 8-0 edge.
The Bulldogs wasted no time responding with Zach Dressler breaking lose for a 67-yard run on the ensuing drive to knot the game at 8-8 to start the second quarter.
Dressler was a one man wrecking crew, running rampant for a game-high 214 yards on 21 carries to pace the 272-yard attack.
The contest turned into a shootout the final three quarters after Marion doubled the Bulldogs up at 16-8 in the opening moments of the second quarter.
Keylan Jones pulled Douglass to within 16-14 at the 10:46 mark, hitting Kaleb Hurd for the 24-yard touchdown.
Kaden Pichler was another menace for the Warriors, even with just 58 yards.
His first of three touchdowns, this one for 7, gave the Bulldogs their first lead with 7:21 remaining before half, 22-16.
Stringer reclaimed the lead for the Warriors on the next drive, answering with a 7-yard run of his own and the two-point conversion for the 24-22 lead.
Douglass went into halftime with the 28-24 lead after the Jones-Hurd tandem hooked up again for the 10-yard score.
Stringer got 66 of his 218 yards passing barely 15 seconds into the second half, going long for Sam Zinn to regain the lead, 32-28, after Evann Heidebrecht converted on the two-point attempt.
Zinn finished with a career-game-high 161 yards from seven catches while Heidebrecht added 72 yards on 19 carries.
Turnovers bogged the Warriors down after that, and Pichler sparked three unanswered touchdowns, which left Marion looking at a 50-32 deficit with 5:58 left in the game.
Stringer’s 5-yard score at the 1:34 mark was too little, too late.
The Warriors face another road test with kickoff at 7 p.m. Friday at Inman.
Last modified Sept. 19, 2018