MARION — Paul James doesn’t have a special place picked out for his commemorative football.
A fireplace mantle? A man-cave trophy case?
“It will probably go back in the bag,” he said.
Linn-Mar discovered an offense, racking up 380 yards — including 286 in the air from Marcus Orr — and pulled away from Cedar Rapids Jefferson, 33-14, in a non-district contest Friday night at Linn-Mar Stadium.
It was career win No. 100 for James, in his second year as Linn-Mar’s coach after a successful run at Cedar Rapids Washington.
“A team effort,” said Orr, who entered the game with a 44-percent completion rate but connected for 14 of 19 passes Friday. “When everybody does their job, it makes life a lot easier.”
Linn-Mar (1-2) managed just one touchdown in each of its first two games. But the Lions were far more productive Friday.
“Our offensive line is coming along,” James said. “The kids understand what they need to do, and they’re making plays.”
Jefferson (0-3) tied the game, 14-14, on Jacob Thompson’s 15-yard touchdown run with 4:38 left in the third quarter. But Linn-Mar answered quickly, driving 80 yards in nine plays to go back in front for good.
Alexander Hess capped the drive with a 7-yard TD run.
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Less than two minutes later, Orr hooked up with Trey Martin for a 44-yard touchdown to make it 26-14, then Hess concluded the scoring with a 9-yard TD run with 4:49 left in the game.
Hess accounted for three touchdowns, including a 33-yard touchdown on a center screen with 16 seconds left in the first half that put Linn-Mar in front, 14-7.
“We were just looking to move the ball,” Hess said. “The screen was wide open, and I was able to run it in.”
Jefferson was guilty of 18 penalties for 134 yards.
Linn-Mar spotted the J-Hawks an early 7-0 lead, then scored the next two touchdowns for a 14-7 halftime advantage.
Jefferson struck first on Ezeki Leggins’ 1-yard run moments after the J-Hawks recovered a fumble at the Linn-Mar 13. But the Lions responded immediately.
On the second play after the kickoff, Orr connected with Brandon Raus on a fly pattern down the right sideline. Raus caught the ball in stride and completed a 77-yard scoring play to knot the game at 7-7.
The J-Hawks’ featured back, Leggins was injured late in the first half and did not return.
Linn-Mar hosts Urbandale next week; Jefferson faces Cedar Rapids Washington at Kingston Stadium.
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