MARION — Marcus Orr is back.
That was good news for the Linn-Mar football team. Not so much for visiting Davenport North.
Orr, who missed the last two Lions games with a shoulder injury suffered in a Week 2 loss to Cedar Rapids Kennedy, was back as the starting quarterback Friday night. He completed 17 of 29 passes for 305 yards and three touchdowns as Linn-Mar rolled to a 30-7 win over North in the Class 4A District 4 opener for both teams at Linn-Mar Stadium.
With Orr on the sidelines, the Linn-Mar offense struggled to score points in a win over Cedar Rapids Jefferson and a last-second loss last week at Urbandale.
The 6-foot-1, 210-pounder limited his running attempts, carrying just four times. However, he was on target much of the night.
His first completion of the night was a beautiful 51-yard strike down the field to John Steffen midway through the first quarter.
After Bricen White carried the ball in from 14 yards out to start the second quarter, Orr found Will Zahradnik with a 2-yard scoring toss to put the Lions up 20-0. North answered with a 29-yard scoring pass from Jack West to Priest Sheedy only to see the Lions drive the ball down for a 30-yard field goal from Alex Cochrane on the final play of the half, giving the Lions a 23-7 lead at the break.
The Lions defense, led by linebacker Sam Starnes, was stingy all night against North’s spread offense. They held the Wildcats, who outscored their last two opponents by a combined 79-0, to just 64 yards on 23 carries and limited North to 137 yards passing on 37 attempts with three interceptions.
Linn-Mar got the only points of the second half when Orr connected with Zahradnik for a second time, this one from 29 yards away.
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Seven different Lions caught passes from Orr, including sophomore Andrew Knipper, who had three grabs for 62 yards. He stepped in for Orr at quarterback while he was out injured. Zahradnik finished with four catches for 80 yards.
White led the Lions on the ground, rushing for 65 yards on 25 carries against a tough Wildcat front seven.
Next Friday, Linn-Mar (3-2, 1-0) plays at Iowa City West while the Wildcats (3-2, 0-1) return home to host Iowa City High on Thursday night at Brady Street Stadium.