MARION – A mist hung over the Marion Indians football team for two years.
No one could see it, few dared to discuss it. However, it followed them everywhere. To practice, to the locker room, and back out on the game field.
Friday night against Benton Community, the Indians vaporized that mist with a 45-22 over Benton Community. The victory was the first for the Indians since Aug. 29, 2014.
“I just feel so great for these kids,” said Marion head coach Tim Lovell. “The winning isn’t the cure-all. But the effort that gets to that win makes so many other things just go away.”
Marion wasted little time building their lead. The Indians Grant Meth hauled in a 23-yard touchdown pass from Issak Hahn and Chris Mohwinkle scrambled 37 yards for a score to give Marion a 12-0 lead after the first quarter.
“We just made big plays,” said Mohwinkle, who finished with three touchdowns. “The offensive line blocked really well and we made big special teams plays.”
The defense came up big for the Indians in the second quarter. Lined up at defensive end, Meth reached up and batted a ball down and caught it. The junior raced 65 yards to the end zone to give Marion an 18-0 lead at halftime.
The Indians continued to pile on after the half. Owen Carstensen plowed in from 1 yard out to give Marion a 24-0 advantage with 6:25 left in the third quarter. The senior finished with 153 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
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“Our mentality and the way we carried ourselves was just different in this game,” said Carstensen.
Defensively, Marion did just enough to contain the Bobcats. While Maurice Williams racked up 102 yards rushing in the first half, Marion kept Benton Community off the scoreboard. However, Luke Wiebel dashed in from 38 yards out to give Benton Community its first score.
Marion just wouldn’t give in. Mohwinkle took the ensuing kickoff 88 yards for a touchdown and Owen Carstensen added a 74-yard touchdown burst to seal the win.
“This is just a big monkey off our back,” said Lovell. “It’s an opportunity for our program to now step forward and take that 18 game streak off our back.”