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Warriors run over Trojan defense

Staff writer

Marion High School runners averaged nearly 13 yards per carry, racking up video game-like numbers in a first-half blowout and second-half turnover battle Friday with Southeast of Saline.

Senior running back Corbin Wheeler scored four touchdowns with 341 yards on 14 attempts to lead the Warriors to a 64-36 win in Marion’s first district game.

Senior running back Jack Schneider had 12 carries for 183 yards and three scores. Senior quarterback Chase Stringer added a score and 91 yards on 18 carries, and junior running back Evann Heidebrecht scored once on five carries for 56 yards.

The team combined for 667 yards on 52 carries, an average of 12.8 yards per rush.

“Our offensive line was very good tonight, and when you have two running backs who run the ball as well as Jack and Corbin do, they hit the hole hard,” coach Grant Thierolf said. “The first three quarters especially, Chase was right on top of things. We were reading the option very, very well, we got the ball to the right person virtually every play.

The game started with both teams trading scores.

Marion forced a quick three-and-out to start the game, but a muffed punt return gave Southeast a short field to take an early 6-0 lead on a 33-yard touchdown pass.

The Warriors responded with a five-play, 71-yard drive capped by a Wheeler 51-yard touchdown to go up 8-6.

A nine-play, 80-yard drive put the Trojans back on top 14-8, but Southeast would not score again in the first half.

Marion responded with a two-play touchdown drive. Junior running back Evann Heidebrecht went 57 yards, setting up a second Wheeler touchdown from 10 yards out.

With the score tied at 14 at the end of the first quarter, the Warriors added four more touchdowns in the second quarter to take a 46-14 halftime lead. Marion converted for two points after five of its six first-half touchdowns.

Southeast’s final drive of the half gave a taste of what was to come in the second: fast out and screen passes mixed with quarterback scrambles. Trojan quarterback Hunter White threw for 257 yards and added another 189 on the ground in the game, scoring four touchdowns.

No other Trojan rushed for more than 12 yards.

The second half was a mix of trading scores and turnovers. Marion opened with a fumble that Southeast turned into a touchdown.

Marion responded with a touchdown, and Southeast threw and interception to senior defensive back Riley Hake. The Warriors turned the turnover into a touchdown.

The Trojans threw another interception to senior defensive back Zach Stuchlik on the next drive, and the Warriors threw an interception of their own.

Southeast scored a touchdown, the teams traded fumbles, and Marion punted before the Trojans and Warriors traded touchdowns.

A Southeast drive stalled on a failed fourth down conversion, but Marion fumbled. The Trojans threw another interception to let the Warriors run out the clock for the 64-36 win.

Thierolf said the quarterback made good reads, backs ran hard, offensive line blocked well, and wide receivers blocked down field.

“It was the best we’ve run the option this year, which is what we should be doing right now, the seventh game of the year,” he said.

Marion (6-1 overall, 1-0 in district) faces a struggling Hillsboro team in district play Friday.

Last modified Oct. 19, 2017

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