The battle of #8 Union vs #4 Marion turned out lopsided with Marion winning 37-9 at La Porte City. The game featured two of the top scoring offenses and also two of the top defenses in class 3A.
To start the game the Union defense stuffed the run game of Marion and the Knight offense drove down the field and scored with a 36 yard field goal by Steven McGarvey to give the Knights a 3-0 lead. The lead was short however as Marion scored twice in the second quarter including a fake PAT to lead at the half 15-3. Union's offense sparked a long drive to score on a TD run by Wesley Burnside but the PAT was wide left, 15-9. Marion scored a TD in the third quarter and a two point conversion followed by two more TD's in the fourth quarter after Union's offense stalled out. The final score was Marion 37-9. Offensively Union had 13 first downs compared to 23 for Marion and also lost the total yardage with 215 for the Knights and 419 for the Indians. Leading rusher Wesley Burnside finished with 95 yards rushing in 18 attempts and one TD. Steven McGarvey passed for 116 yards, while being 13 of 28 with two interceptions. Austin Bunz (4 catches for 40 yards) and Jared Wauters (4 catches for 52 yards) led the receiving department.
Defensively, the Knights were led by senior Josh Dunkelberger (15T, 7UT, 8AT) and Jared Wauters (12 T, 5UT, 7AT). Blake Clark also provided double digit tackles (12T, 6UT, 6AT). The Union defense forced two key turnovers to stop the high scoring Marion offense twice in the red zone. Damon Powell and Bradly Siebel each had an interception.
A 49 yard kickoff return by Zach Purdy helped field position to start the third quarter. The special teams effort was also hi-lighted by the punt team and kickoff team coverage.
Players of the Week:
Defensive Linebacker: Bob Mangrich, 5 tackles, grade efficiency 78%, playing every play.
Defensive Secondary: Jared Wauters, 85% grade efficiency and second leading tackler with 12
Offensive Line: Matt Gross, 96% grade efficiency, highest grade of year for offensive line play
Offensive Back: Wes Burnside, turned out 95 yards in 18 carries and one TD.
The Knights travel to DeWitt this Friday night. Sophomore game starts at 5:15pm and the varsity kicks off at 7:30pm.