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The Daily



10-25-03: Flyers head into playoffs with victory

Standard Correspondent

MARIA STEIN — The Marion Local Flyers secured their fifth straight playoff appearance Friday night with a hard-fought 21-7 win over the New Bremen Cardinals.
New Bremen finishes its season at 3-7 overall and 2-6 in the Midwest Athletic Conference, while Marion improves to 7-3 overall and 5-3 in the league. The Flyers will travel for a first-round playoff game next Saturday, likely to Covington to face the Buccaneers.
The hosts managed to put together the victory despite being outgained 267-to-206 by the visitors and gaining six fewer first downs. The difference was in the turnover department, as the Flyers gave the ball up just once while the Cardinals handed it over three times. Each of the three Cardinal miscues came at important times and either thwarted their drives or set up Flyer scoring marches.
“I think the teams were evenly matched tonight,” said Marion coach Tim Goodwin. “This is the type of game that we’ve got to play. We’ve got to find a way to make a play here or there offensively and play good defense. Obviously we wish we were a little better than we are, but we’re not. I think it’s a heck of an accomplishment for our team to go 7-3.”
Despite the loss, New Bremen coach Howard Overman was proud of how his team battled.
“We out-played them,” said Overman. “You have to give Marion credit because they took advantage of some things. Other than that, we took it at them. If you followed us this year, you know our kids could have cashed it in. We had some tough times, but these last three weeks these kids stuck it out and they got better.”
After holding New Bremen on its first possession, Marion got on the board quickly. On third down and ten, Cory Luebke hit Brian Wellman on a screen pass and the senior wideout sprinted 46 yards for the opening score. Doug Giere knocked the point-after through the uprights to give the hosts a 7-0 lead.
Both defenses took over for awhile, until the Flyers got their first break. A soaring 43-yard punt by Matt Prenger was muffed by the Cardinals’ deep man, and the Flyers recovered at the 22 yard line. After three running plays, Luebke again found Wellman, this time on an eight-yard slant for another score.
Marion dodged a bullet late in the half when Wellman stepped in front of an Alex Leugers pass and picked it off at the Marion one yard line.
The Cardinals came out running in the second half with tailback Troy Lammers. On the visitors’ first drive of the half the junior knocked off 29 yards on two runs and later bolted over left tackle for a 19-yard score.
The defenses again took control until midway through the fourth quarter. After a double handoff, Lammers busted untouched through the Flyer defense and was barely caught from behind by Tyler Speelman after a 38-yard gain to the Flyers’ 39. The Cardinals looked to be in good shape, but on the next play the Flyer defense got good penetration and forced Lammers to cough up the football, which was recovered by the hosts near midfield.
Marion then chewed up some clock with its running game, notching two first downs to get into New Bremen territory. Later, (Continued from page 6)
on a fourth-and-six play, Luebke lofted a pass that Russell Moeller ran under and took into the endzone to give the hosts some breathing room.
As it turned out, they would almost need the cushion, as Leugers directed a long drive that nearly hit paydirt. As it was, though, it was too little, too late for the Cardinals.
Goodwin now must prepare his team for the playoffs, where the Flyers have had an easy time of it in the first couple rounds over the last four years. The Flyer pilot doesn’t expect the same thing this year.
“Every playoff game that we play is going to be like (tonight’s game),” said Goodwin. “We just have to find a way to score when we have a shot and play good defense. If we’re going to win it’s going to be ugly. I would take a win like tonight’s for five more weeks.”


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