Marion couldn’t put together a sustained drive early in Friday’s homecoming game against Remington, but that was a good thing, as the Warriors scored four touchdowns in their first 10 plays on the way to a 48-0 win.
“The line blocked really well, our receivers blocked well, and there were some big holes where we were going,” said quarterback Jack Schneider, who ran for 142 yards and two touchdowns and passed for another.
Offensive tackle Cade Harms, who returned after a two-game hiatus, said communication along the line contributed to the Warriors’ success.
“We’re doing a better job at looking at the game, looking at what they’re doing, and adjusting,” he said. “It’s really cool seeing how much we’ve grown as a team just learning from our mistakes on our own.”
Schneider opened the Warriors’ first possession with a 35-yard run, and Aaron Riggs rumbled for 23 on the next play to set Marion up on the Remington 30. After an incomplete pass, Corbin Wheeler finished the drive with a breakaway 30-yard scamper, and Riggs scored the 2-point conversion to grab an 8-0 lead.
Taking over at their own 15 after stopping Remington on fourth down, the Warriors wasted little time scoring again. Wheeler ripped off a 33-yard run, and on the next play Schneider covered the remaining 52 yards to paydirt. Another Riggs PAT put Marion up 16-0 with 3 minutes, 35 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
The Warriors executed their version of a 2-minute drill for their next two scores.
Remington bobbled Austin Neufeld’s kickoff, putting them in a hole at the Broncos 14. Three plays netted 2 yards, and the Warriors set up for business at the Remington 33 after a short punt.
A pass from Schneider to Wheeler that came with a late hit penalty put the ball on the 4, and Riggs scored on the next play.
About 2 minutes later, it was Mason Pedersen’s turn to get in on the scoring, pulling down a Schneider pass at the Remington 12 and sprinting to the end zone for a 45-yard score.
With barely one quarter complete, four touchdowns and four successful 2-point conversions had Marion on top 32-0.
Schneider scored on a 28-yard run before the half, and the 40-0 bulge kicked in the running clock rule for the second half.
Marion’s varsity played just one series in the abbreviated half, with Wheeler notching the Warriors’ final score on a 7-yard run.
The Warriors were favored coming into the game, and coach Grant Thierolf was satisfied with how the offense took control.
“I was pleased with our offense by and large all night long,” he said. “They were a little young defensively, so it was just doing what we felt as coaches we should be doing.”
Thierolf echoed Schneider’s praise of the line.
“We’ve got some good kids there,” he said. “Our guards complement our tackles well. It was really nice having Cade Harms back. Anton (Vinduska) did a fantastic job for us the last two weeks, but Cade’s an all-state football player for a reason, he’s pretty good. He’s that mature, steady guy you know you’re going to get great effort from every play.”
Undefeated Sterling is up next for the 4-0 Warriors, and Thierolf welcomes a tough road test against a league foe.
“They’ve got good athletes, they look like they’re very well coached,” he said. “They’re an option-based team, but they throw more than we do. They’re a very physical football team. It’s going to be fun.”