Saturday, September 11th, 2010
By Randy Bruns
Flyers pass their way past the Cardinals
NEW BREMEN - It's sometimes said that good teams take what their opponents give them, so the Marion Local Flyers took to the air to shoot down the New Bremen Cardinals by a score of 27-0 on Friday night at Cardinal Stadium.
The Cardinals' run-stuffing defense stacked the line and dared the Flyers to pass, which is something they hadn't done effectively in the first two games.
But on this night, Marion quarterback Ryan Mescher and his corps of receivers were up to the task and turned in stellar performances.
The Flyers' first completion was born out of necessity. After a pair of Niles Keller rushes brought the ball to the Cardinals' 32-yard line the hosts' defense stiffened and forced the Flyers into a fourth-and-eight situation. Mescher dropped back and calmly found Dylan Thobe over the middle, and from there the junior juked his way into the end zone to make the score 7-0.
After turnovers derailed long drives by both teams, the game turned into a yellow flag festival. Both squads got hit for massive amounts of penalty yardage.
Late in the half, the Flyers went into hurry-up mode and sent Mescher back into the pocket to do more damage through the air. The signal-caller's first strike went to Jake Heitkamp for 28 yards and Thobe later grabbed a pair of missiles to bring the ball to the Cardinals' five yard line. Mescher then rolled out and found Lee Pierron in the end zone to cap the 72-yard drive that took just 70 seconds to complete.
Marion came out in the third quarter and looked to add to its 14-point lead, as Keller galloped for 31 yards on a screen pass, but a big penalty once again put the kibosh on the drive and the visitors were forced to punt.
The Flyers' defense forced a quick three-and-out, and the resulting short punt gave them great field position at the Cardinals' 35-yard line. Senior tailback Alex Post wasted no time in going the distance, as he followed his blockers perfectly and zigged and zagged his way into the end zone to make the score 21-0.
Midway through the final frame, Mescher once again took to the air to put the final nail in the Cardinals' coffin. Two tosses to Thobe and a pitch to Pierron brought the ball to the one-yard line and Post powered his way in from there to provide the final points of the night.
"(New Bremen) played a 4-4 and they blitzed three of the four (linebackers) on every play, and I thought we were the only team that was supposed to do that," laughed Marion coach Tim Goodwin. "It was encouraging to see us pass like that tonight, particularly without (senior wideout) Greg Schwieterman available. Some of our junior receivers really made some plays for us, which we thought they could, but they hadn't done it yet."
New Bremen coach Rob Messick saw his squad move the ball well but get tripped up by crucial penalties.
"Our stats guy said we had two or three drives of 12 plays or more, but we just couldn't get it in," said Messick. "It was just hard to get anything going with the big penalties. Things that we've been doing for the past few years and that Marion has been doing suddenly turned into flags tonight, but that's not what lost the game for us. Obviously they're a great football team and they're very aggressive and we saw some things we thought we could take advantage of. For the most part we executed very well but for whatever reason we would just bog down when we got it close."
The laundry on the field was certainly substantial, as the Flyers were flagged 11 times for 143 yards while the Cardinals were clipped 10 times for 88 yards.
Mescher came into the game having completed 9-of-24 for just 72 yards in the first two contests, but he more than tripled that production by hitting on 16-of-21 for 226 yards on this night.
New Bremen, now 0-3 on the year, will take to the road next Friday when it travels to Fort Recovery to take on the 2-1 Indians. Marion, which moved to 3-0 with the win, will return home to face the 0-3 Minster Wildcats.
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Colder, snow showers
Colder, snow showers