When it was all over Marion got the Midwest Athletic Conference victory 42-10, but Ft. Recovery got something too, a confirmation that their program is moving in the right direction. Even though the score may look lopsided, the game was pretty even with the exception of about three minutes in the second quarter.
“We could feel the momentum change there in the second quarter,” Ft. Recovery coach Brent Niekamp said. “We were just a few plays away from keeping this thing close.”
With the game 14-10, the Flyers hit for 21 points in the last three minutes of the first half, turning the tight contest into a 35-10 half time advantage.
It was a typical game for the Flyers who are becoming victims of their own success. With each dominating win, the bar is being raised and minor miscues look like game changing mistakes. The fact is Marion is undefeated at 7-0 and well on its way to another playoff appearance.
“It is a totally different season for us because if we don’t play perfectly people are wondering what is wrong with us, but we are still high school kids,” Flyers coach Tim Goodwin said.
Facing the spread offense of the Indians, Marion was aware that it would surrender yardage, but points win games and that is where the Flyers excelled. They managed to keep the Indians out of the end zone except for one time.
“We told the kids we would have to really bare down inside the red zone,” Goodwin said. “Ft. Recovery did a nice job and has some nice athletes.”
Offensively, Marion turned to its two seniors, quarterback Chris Stucke and tailback Ben Schaefer and once again the duo delivered. Schaefer bowled his way to three scores 17, 14, and 3 yards. Stucke ran for a 14-yard score and threw for two.
The game started pretty well for the Indians, who were able to slow down the Flyer attack. After punting, they forced Marion to follow suit. The problem was on the kick Fort Recovery was flagged for roughing the punter and the Marion offense came back on the field.
As they have done all season, the Flyers made the Indians pay for the mistake. Schaefer rolled his way to a 17-yard score and the extra point made it 7-0.
However, on the very next possession, Ft. Recovery let it be known they were not going away. Using a no huddle, pass heavy offense the Indians stormed down the field behind the arm of Greg Kahlig. The sophomore was able get rid of the ball quickly and find the open receiver. The 78 yard drive was capped when Kahlig found Toby Metzger on a 3-yard pass and the extra point tied things at 7-7.
It didn’t stay that way long as Marion again turned to Schaefer. The bruising tailback tallied 91 yards in the first half, and was the weapon of the choice. Getting a short field, Marion only had 51 yards to go for another score and Schaefer finished the job this time from 14-yards.
Now 14-7, Ft. Recovery went back on the offensive and visions of a shootout were running rampant. However, unlike the last drive this one stalled out and the Indians were forced to settle for three points on a Mark Mattraw 23-yard field goal, making it 14-10 Marion.
That was when the wheels fell off the Recovery wagon and the Flyers blew open the game. Answering the Indian drive again, Marion stormed down the field demonstrating they are more than Schaefer and the ground game. Stucke, who was 5 for 6 in the first half for 85 yards, started slicing up the Indians defensive back field. But as they approached the red zone, the Flyers stuffed the ball in the arms of a Schaefer and he powered his way for six points.
Down 21-10 and time ticking away on the half Ft. Recovery committed two fatal mistakes. The first was a punt that traveled about 15 yards, letting Marion set up shop at Recovery’s 20-yard line. A few plays later Stucke darted in from 14 yards and it was 28-10.
Eight seconds later, the Indians fumbled and Marion scored again. This time Stucke found Alex Moeller wide open in the end zone. With the extra point it was 35-10 Marion. It was a flurry that Ft. Recovery would never recover from as Marion cruised to the 42-10 victory.