MARION — One team brought back its really good quarterback and its leading receiver. The other team is trying to break in a brand new offense.
Guess which one won.
Yeah, it was that first team, Washington, that ran away in the second half to beat Marion, 27-6, in the season opener for both teams on a perfect Friday night, weather wise, at Thomas Park.
The Demons turned around last year’s opener, a 40-14 Marion win, thanks to three unanswered touchdowns in the third and fourth quarters. Luke Turner, that aforementioned fine returning QB, had two of those scores on runs of 3 and 55 yards.
The senior rushed for 64 yards and threw for 105, leading Washington’s spread attack deftly. Running back Wyatt Stout had the Demons’ other two TDs.
“In the first half, I felt like I was trying to force things,” Turner said. “But the offensive line did a great job of just grinding away. Wyatt ran really hard and finally we kind of opened the way. We were able to get the juices flowing again.”
Washington’s defense was able to totally nullify Marion’s new option offense. The Indians were limited to just 88 total yards, including 59 on the ground on 42 attempts.
The Indians also put the ball on the ground seven times, turning it over twice. Marion’s deepest penetration was to the Washington 41 in the first half.
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“I think our guys were thinking a little too much,” said Marion Coach Tim Lovell. “They brought basically nine in the box (defensively), six on the line with a couple of overhangs. Our kids were scrambling a little bit. When a team is big and physical and playing fast, your mind starts to go a little haywire. We’ll be able to fix some things. Sometimes this is the best thing that could happen for you. That’s what I told the team. A loss doesn’t feel good, but it helps you correct your direction.” Washington took a 7-0 halftime lead on Stout’s 7-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. Defensive back Connor Whalen got Marion’s lone touchdown early in the third by picking off Turner over the middle and running 50 yards for a score.
A two-point pass fell incomplete.
Washington immediately responded, with Stout breaking loose for 47 yards and a touchdown on the ensuing drive. Turner broke his long run on an option play three minutes later to make it 20-6.
A 3-yard Turner run on the first play of the fourth quarter completed the scoring.
“That’s a good football team,” Lovell said. “They played really hard, out-physicaled us. Our defense played for a half. I’m really proud of the defense, they hung in there. But we gave them too many opportunities.”
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