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MARION –– Carroll County had no trouble getting itself into scoring position, but finishing the job was another matter.
Even if the Cavaliers had been able to convert, it may not have been enough to overcome the monster night by Ethan Richardson.
Richardson rushed for 268 yards and three touchdowns as Marion surprised Carroll County 30-8 on a miserable, rainy night at Hurricane Stadium.
Richardson had six carries of 20 or more yards, including touchdown runs of 57 and 51 yards. Carroll County moved the ball at will between the 20s, picking up 21 first downs and managing 314 yards of total offense, but the Cavaliers just couldn’t find the end zone.
Carroll County dropped to 2-7 overall, 2-2 in Southwest District play, while the Scarlet Hurricanes upped their record to 3-6 (2-1).
The Cavaliers were stopped on downs three times inside the Marion 20 and had another drive stall at the 30.
Carroll County kicker Matt Hawks recovered his own onside kick at the Marion 49 to open the game but the Cavaliers couldn’t convert a fourth-and-3, turning the ball over on downs at the Marion 18.
The Scarlet Hurricanes were in front to stay just two plays later. Richardson picked up 20 yards on his first touch of the night and scored on a 57-yard scamper on the next snap, starting a long night of frustration for the Cavaliers in trying to defend Marion’s zone option.
Marion recovered a fumble at is 40 to end Carroll’s next possession and drove 60 yards in 11 plays. Hurricane quarterback Marshall Wagner kept it on a read to the right side, cut outside of a Cavalier defender and lunged over the goal line while being tackled to complete a 22-yard scoring run. The pass for two failed and Marion led 12-0 with a minute left in the opening period.
Carroll County, which dominated time of possession, strung together a 16-play scoring drive, beginning at its own 28. The Cavaliers converted on third down twice and picked up a first down at the Marion 20 on Duncan Reece’s 14-yard catch of a Connor Lundy pass on fourth-and-8.
Patrick Davis finished the drive with an 11-yard run, spinning out of a tackle at the five and diving over the goal line with 6:29 left in the half. Josh Underwood’s run cut the margin to 12-8, but the momentum lasted all of one play as Richardson scored on a 51-yard run on Marion’s first play following the Cavalier score.
Carroll County then advanced as far as the Marion 10 before running out of clock, and trailed 18-8 at the half.
Richardson and Wagner took turns with the ball on a five-play scoring drive early in the third. Richardson got his third TD of the night from 6 yards out for a 24-8 lead at 6:22 of the period.
Carroll County again found itself sniffing the Marion goal line. Jacob Mollett carried five times for 35 yards, including a 10-yard gain for a first down at the 9, but the Cavs were thrown for a 5-yard loss from the 2 on fourth down.
Marion polished off the Cavaliers with a 93-yard scoring drive, sparked by gains of 27 and 22 yards by Richardson. Wagner hit John Cullop on an 8-yard touchdown pass for the final 30-8 margin with 8:59 to play.
Logan Hodges led Carroll County with 100 yards on 15 rushes and Mollett ran 19 times for 97 yards. Lundy was 7-of-18 for 77 yards, hitting Reece three times for 39 yards.
The loss, coupled with Pulaski County’s win over Blacksburg, most likely knocked the Cavaliers out of the Region IV Division 4 playoffs. Carroll County will wrap up its season Friday at winless Patrick County.
Carroll County......0 8 0 0–– 8
Marion.................12 6 6 6––30
M–Richardson 57 run (kick blocked) 6:51
M–Wagner 22 run (pass failed) 1:00
CC–Davis 11 run (Underwood run) 6:29
M–Richardson 51 run (kick blocked) 6:09
M–Richardson 6 run (pass failed) 6:22
M–Cullop 8 pass from Wagner (kick failed) 8:59
First downs 21 13
Rushes-yards 62-237 33-328
Yards passing 77 22
Comp-Att-Int 7-18-0 2-3-0
Return yards 38 17
Punts-average 0-0 0-0
Fumbles-lost 6-1 1-0
Penalties-yards 6-44 7-41
RUSHING—Carroll County, Hodges 15-100, Mollett 19-97, Davis 9-43, Hash 9-15, Marshall 1-2, Lundy 9-(-20). Marion, Richardson 19-268, Wagner 10-55, Atwell 4-5.
PASSING–Carroll County, Lundy 7-18-0-77. Marion, Wagner 2-3-0-22.
RECEIVING–Carroll County, Reece 3-39, Hash 1-16, Marshall 1-14, Hodges 1-6, Mollett 1-2. Marion, Karriker 1-14, Cullop 1-8.