MARION — Head coach Tim Lovell got doused with a bucket of water, and everyone whooped and hollered. Then it was time to burst into a version of the Hokey Pokey.
After that finished, there was some more whooping and hollering. Then assistant coach Ray Reasland led everyone in singing “Little Red Wagon.”
Winning is a lot more fun than losing.
“We had to get in the habit of winning,” Marion running back Chris Mohwinkle said, after his team shutout DeWitt Central, 7-0, Friday night at the mud bowl known as Thomas Park. “Now that we’ve finally won, we know what it’s like again.”
That’s two straight victories for Marion. There will be no more talk allowed about that preceding 18-game losing streak.
It ended last week against Benton Community.
“Last week really just fired everybody up,” said senior linebacker Nate Holub. “It gave us confidence, gave us the motivation and the belief in ourselves to trust each other. The faith in each other and the belief that we can win.”
They won by scoring 45 points last week and with a superb defensive effort here. Marion (2-1) completely shutdown DeWitt Central’s triple-option attack, holding it to four first downs and 75 total yards, all on the ground.
DeWitt got only as close as the Indians 28-yard line, and that was on the penultimate play of the first half.
“We challenged our team this week to play assignment football,” said Lovell, in his first season as a head coach after being an assistant at Linn-Mar. “We said no cowboys, that’s the term I got from my good friend Travis Bark when we played against it up there at Linn-Mar. We didn’t have cowboys tonight. The guys played assignment football, and Coach Reasland put together one heck of a defensive gameplan. Offensively, we knew it was going to rain, so we challenged our guys to move the football. We knew it was going to be like this. I told my quarterback ‘You’re not going to get many opportunities to throw the football.’”
Isaak Hahn didn’t, throwing only five passes and completing three. But one of those three came to tight end Grant Meth for 16 yards on 4th-and-10 at the Central 17 in the second quarter.
Hahn sneaked it over the goal line on the next play, and that was your scoring. Marion rushed 47 times for 191 yards, including 125 from Mohwinkle.
He and Owen Carstensen provide a nice 1-2 punch in the backfield.
“I got most of the glory, but I thank my offensive line a ton,” Mohwinkle said. “That was awesome.”
“He played great, was a real catalyst for our offense,” Lovell said. “That’s what I love about having two really good, strong backs. Chris is a testament to sitting behind Owen and learning and exploding when the opportunity arised. Our offensive line really loves having him run the ball behind them.”
So Marion is 1-0 in District 4, with a game at Dubuque Wahlert next week. DeWitt Central (1-2) is left trying to pick up the pieces.
“Tonight we were playing against the chains,” said DeWitt Coach Mike Miller. “We talk about getting four yards on first down and really putting ourself into position to have some choices offensively. Obviously when we face 2nd-and-10s or 3rd-and-8s, we’re not going to be effective. And we weren’t.”
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