Saturday, October 27th, 2012
Quick-strike Flyers shut out Cardinals
By Randy Bruns
New Bremen's Alex Speelman, left, tackles Marion Local's Jacy Goettemoeller duri. . .
NEW BREMEN - With the cold and rainy conditions at Cardinal Stadium, neither team was going to put on an offensive clinic, but the Marion Local Flyers were able to strike quickly when necessary.
The Flyers scored on a pair of one-play drives in the second quarter and their defense did the rest in a 26-0 whitewash over the New Bremen Cardinals on Friday night.
Marion Local ends the regular season at 8-2 overall and 6-2 in the Midwest Athletic Conference. The Flyers will likely host the Bradford Railroaders in the first round of the Division VI playoffs next Friday.
New Bremen finished its first season under coach Jason McGaharan at 2-8 overall (2-6 MAC).
The Flyers got some help from the Cardinals on their first score, which proved pivotal on a night where the sloppy field made moving the ball difficult.
After being forced to punt on their first possession, the Flyers got a reprieve when the Cardinals were called for roughing the punter. Jacy Goettemoeller then brought the ball inside the 10-yard line with a 25-yard carry, and four plays later Adam Bertke found Troy Homan alone in the end zone for a four-yard touchdown pass.
Both sides then bogged down on offense before the Flyers forced the Cardinals to punt from deep in their own territory. The resulting boot was downed at the Cardinals' 36-yard line and it took the visitors just one try to reach pay dirt. Goettemoeller took a hand off and darted up the middle while juking a pair of defenders on his way to the end zone.
The Flyers scored just as quickly on their next possession. This time Bertke went to the air and found Hunter Wilker wide open down the middle. The freshman caught the dart in stride and outsprinted his pursuers on his way to a 66-yard touchdown reception.
"We kind of anticipated that with their style of defense," said Marion's coach Tim Goodwin of his team's big-play ability. "They're a heavy-blitzing team so we knew we were going to look bad on a couple plays, but when you catch them you have to make them pay for it. Obviously, the field conditions were not ideal for either team, and I don't know if what just happened resembled football or not, but I know our kids had fun."
The only scoring in the second half came on Marion's initial drive when Bertke capped a 12-play drive with a 10-yard keeper for a touchdown.
"I think what (Marion) was able to do tonight was just exert their will against us," said McGaharan. "One of our themes throughout the year was that we felt like we had the ability and motivation. It's the attitude of our kids week in and week out where they have to believe they can beat a team like Marion. Marion played Marion-style football tonight and you can tell their kids truly believe in everything they do on the football field."
Goettemoeller carried the load for the Flyers with 104 yards on just 16 carries and Marion Local's varsity unit didn't commit a single fumble despite the muddy conditions.
"We all know that if we're going to do anything in the playoffs it all comes down to turnovers," summed up Goodwin. "We feel like we can beat any one, but we can also lose to any one if we don't take care of the ball. It's a matter of concentration and doing what we have to do to secure the ball."