IOWA CITY — Nine points up, eight minutes to play.
Get conservative? Kill some clock?
No. And no.
“I looked over at the sideline and thought, ‘We’re going to try to run some clock here, aren’t we?’” Linn-Mar quarterback Marcus Orr said. “But I’m not going to turn down a touchdown.”
Two plays, two long completions. And one monster victory.
Linn-Mar spotted Iowa City West the first nine points, then stormed back for a 28-12 Class 4A District 4 football victory Friday night at Trojan Field.
“Man, it feels great,” said junior Chris Baker, who led a defensive effort that blanked the Trojans in the second half. “I was up in the stands last year, and we got dogged by West. We were sitting low last year.”
But not any more. Linn-Mar (4-2 overall, 2-0 district) moved into sole possession of the 4A-4 lead,
“Just awesome,” said Coach Paul James, who called this win “2 1/2 years in the making.
“The way the kids responded after getting down, you could tell this meant something to them.”
The Lions trailed 12-7 at halftime, then Orr went a little crazy after intermission, completing his first 10 passes for 196 yards. He finished the game with 243 yards, connecting of 15 of 19 throws, including a 49-yard scoring dagger to Will Zahradnik with 7:25 left.
West’s Owen Smith hit the right upright on a 25-yard field goal attempt that would have gotten the Trojans within 21-15. Instead of burning time, Orr connected with Trey Martin for 31 yards, then hit Zahradnik on a fly pattern down the left sideline.
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“There was too much time to run the clock out,” James said. “Marcus threw a couple of perfect passes.”
The Lions allowed 21 first downs, but very few big plays.
“Everybody was doing their job,” Baker said. “The defensive ends contained, and the tackles stayed inside.”
West’s defense made two big plays on Orr on its way to a 9-0 lead.
The first came on a sack that resulted in a safely.
The second came late in the first quarter, with Linn-Mar facing fourth-and-1 at its own 16-yard line. The Lions tried a quarterback sneak, but Orr was stopped for no gain.
West cashed in five plays later, when Marcus Morgan hooked up with Grahm Goering for a 3-yard touchdown.
Linn-Mar answered with a sharp seven-play, 74-yard drive. Orr passed for a pair of first downs, then Trey Martin got loose on a sweep to the right side for a 33-yard touchdown.
The Trojans ended the half with a 73-yard drive that ended in Owen Smith’s 24-yard field goal as time expired. West led at intermission, 12-7.
West hosts Davenport West next week; Linn-Mar hosts Muscatine.
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