Saturday, October 27th, 2007
By Randy Bruns
Marion runs the table in the MAC
Flyers 10-0 for first time since 1971
MARIA STEIN - The Marion Local Flyers capped the school's first undefeated season in 36 years Friday night by blowing away the New Bremen Cardinals by a score of 40-0.
The win also gives the Flyers an unblemished 9-0 Midwest Athletic Conference mark, making it the first time since 1981 that they have the league title all to themselves. New Bremen finishes the season at 2-8 overall and 2-7 in the conference.
Marion will play its third straight game at Booster Field next Friday, as it appears it will host Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy in the first round of the playoffs.
The Flyers took control early against the Cardinals, as they took the opening kickoff and drove 65 yards to paydirt. Quarterback Chris Stucke completed three sizeable passes on the drive, the last of which was an 18-yard scoring strike to Marcus Moeller.
After forcing a New Bremen punt, the hosts went quickly back to work. Ben Schaeffer rambled for 43 yards on the first play of the drive, and two plays later Stucke sprinted into the end zone from 13 yards out on an option keeper. Dan Fortkamp's extra point made the score 14-0 before 10 minutes had run off the game clock.
The Flyer defense then forced a three-and-out, giving the offense the ball at their own 47-yard line. Stucke hit Tyler Obringer on a 32-yard pass to open the drive, but it was all on the ground after that, as Luke Homan bulled in from a yard out to give the Flyers a 20-0 lead at the halftime break.
The game was delayed by lightning for 40 minutes before the second half could resume, but when it did, the Flyers started right back where they left off. Schaeffer and Homan notched rushing touchdowns on the first two drives of the half, as the Flyers quickly built a 33-0 advantage. The reserves got plenty of time after that, with Dillon Kremer capping the scoring on a three-yard burst early in the fourth quarter.
"We'll have to look at the film, but I think we played pretty well tonight," said Marion coach Tim Goodwin. "We just have a lot of good athletes that can make plays, and even I can't screw that up."
The Cardinals were able to move the ball through the air on the vaunted Flyer defense, but turnovers and lack of a running game spelled doom. The visitors were held to just 130 yards of total offense, including a negative 32 on the ground.
"We knew it was going to be difficult against their defense but we still thought we should be able to get some hard yards," said New Bremen coach Rob Messick. "We just weren't able to do that tonight and that's a credit to what they did. They didn't do anything special to stop us except that their physical play was more than we could handle."
As Goodwin begins to prepare his team for its eighth playoff appearance in the last nine years, he knows that all the good things that have happened to this point don't mean much anymore.
"Right now we've got to forget about all that," said Goodwin. "Later on it will all mean something to these kids and the coaches to have been a part of this, but right now we've got to find out who we play and get ready. Our goal is the postseason every year, and even though we went 10-0 this year, everything's just starting now. That's the way we've got to look at it."
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