Warrior offense stifled in 2nd-round loss

Staff writer

The Marion High School football team lost 35-0 in Sedgwick Saturday, but only trailed by seven at halftime. A 21-point Cardinal output in the third quarter all but ended the game.

The Warrior defense gave up the game’s only first-half points with more than five minutes left on a 28-yard touchdown run by Sedgwick running back Dalton Brandt.

“It was just one of those things where some days you got it and some days you don’t,” head coach Grant Thierolf said. “This was just one of those days that they made more plays than we did.”

Marion only gained 14 yards on 31 runs, relying on passing for most of its offensive output. Quarterback Taylor Heidebrecht had completed 4 of 11 passes for 71 yards, but was sidelined early in the second quarter after being hit during a pass that was intercepted. Zach Robson filled in as Heidebrecht’s backup.

Two plays later, Caleb Williams jumped a bubble screen, intercepting the pass at Sedgwick’s 18-yard line.

Two passes and a run netted the Warriors 2 yards, but Robson scrambled to the Cardinal 6 for a first down on fourth-and-8. Adam Janzen ran to the 2-yard line on the next play, looking to score.

Janzen was stopped at the line of scrimmage on second down, then Robson was stopped twice at the goal line, and the Warriors turned the ball over on downs. Robson jumped in front of a Sedgwick receiver on the next play though, intercepting a pass at the Sedgwick 24.

The Warriors again were held to fourth down, but Robson completed a pass to Williams for a first down, only for it to be called back on a holding penalty. Marion had no choice but to punt the ball, facing fourth-and-long.

“First half our defense was outstanding, we just never established anything offensively,” Thierolf said. “We had a chance in the second quarter to score, and to not get it in there probably took a little bit of grit out of us.”

Marion turned the ball over twice to begin the second half, and the Cardinals took advantage, throwing a 42-yard touchdown pass.

On fourth-and-8, Williams rolled out for a pass on a fake punt, and then tried to kick the ball as he was being sacked, the ball rolling to the Warrior 15 afterward. Brandt ran for a 20-yard touchdown on the next play.

Sedgwick scored two more touchdowns, winning 35-0. Despite the loss, Thierolf was proud of what his team accomplished, finishing second in school history for most wins.

“You can be disappointed, but you certainly can’t feel bad when you do something like that,” he said. “We had a very good season. It was just a game or two away from being a great season.”

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