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HILLSVILLE –– Marion used consecutive one-play scoring drives in the third quarter to break open a tight ballgame, and the Scarlet Hurricane dominated the second half to take a 35-6 Southwest District win over Carroll County Friday at Tommy Thompson Field.
The Cavaliers (1-8 overall, 0-4 district) were playing their final SWD game before closing out the season with a nondistrict meeting with Patrick County this week. Carroll will move to the River Ridge District in 2013. The Cavaliers were in position to leave the SWD on a high note, trailing just 7-6 in the third period, before the Scarlet Hurricane (4-4, 2-1) took control with a pair of quick-strike possessions.
A tipped Conner Lundy pass was picked off by Marion’s Trey Cook and returned eight yards to the Carroll 18, and Ethan Richardson scored from there on the next play, a sweep around the left side. Isaac Glass added the PAT for a 14-6 Marion lead with 7:01 left in the third period.
Carroll County drove as far as the Marion 17 on the ensuing possession before turning the ball over on downs at the 22. Marion again needed but one play to take advantage of a defensive stop as Richardson took an option pitch to the right, staying just inside the sideline before darting back toward the middle of the field. He then outran the pursuit to complete the 78-yard scoring run for a 21-6 lead at 1:08 of the third.
Richardson capped a five-play, 50-yard drive with a 1-yard plunge early in the fourth quarter, and the Scarlet Hurricane capped the scoring with its second offense as backup quarterback Hunter Lefler scored on a 29-yard run with 5:19 to play.
Richardson entered the game averaging 165 yards per game but was held in check for most of the first half by the Carroll County defense. The speedy Marion senior had 47 yards on 12 attempts before intermission, all but five of those yards coming on two carries.
The Cavaliers hauled Richardson down in the backfield on six of his eight carries before the two third quarter touchdowns. Richardson finished with 162 yards and four touchdowns on 19 rushing attempts as Marion outgained the Cavaliers 365-193.
Marion’s first possession covered 90 yards but ended a yard short of a TD as the Cavaliers’ Chris Smoot recovered a Hurricane fumble in his own end zone. Marion forced a Cavalier punt and scored three plays after regaining possession as Richardson rambled in from 17 yards out for a 7-0 lead after the first quarter.
Carroll County drove 70 yards in six plays midway through the second quarter to pull to within a point. Kody Alley broke free for a 40-yard gain to the Marion 19, and Lundy pushed over from a yard away three plays later. The PAT attempt was blocked and neither team threatened the rest of the half as Marion took a 7-6 lead into the half.
Fullback Austin Smith carried 18 times for 90 yards to lead the Cavaliers, who rushed for 172 yards on the night. Cook completed 11-of-13 passes for 96 yards and ran for 49 yards for Marion.
Marion 35, Carroll County 6
Marion.................7 0 14 14––35
Carroll County......0 6 0 0–– 6
M–Richardson 17 run (Glass kick) 0:04
CC–Lundy 1 run (kick blocked) 5:06
M–Richardson 18 run (Glass kick) 7:01
M–Richardson 78 run (Glass kick) 1:08
M–Richardson 1 run (Glass kick) 8:52
M–Lefler 29 run (Glass kick) 5:19
First downs 17 11
Rushes-yards 32-269 33-172
Yards passing 96 20
Comp-Att-Int 11-13-0 4-17-1
Return yards 23 88
Punts-average 2-41.0 5-39.6
Fumbles-lost 1-1 1-1
Penalties-yards 4-43 8-69
RUSHING—Marion, Richardson 19-162, Crook 8-49, Lefler 1-29, Glass 3-28, Wagner 1-1. Carroll County, Smith 18-90, Alley 5-49, Davis 4-14, E.Underwood 3-9, Lundy 3-0, team 1-(-1).
PASSING–Marion, Crook 11-13-0-96. Carroll County, Lundy 4-17-1-20.
RECEIVING–Marion, Rivero 5-35, Lincoln 3-39, Hayden 3-12, Blevins 1-10. Carroll County, Smoot 2-21, Alley 1-0, E.Underwood 1-(-1).