It was a game of runs for Marion and Sylvan Hills on Friday at Bill Blackwood Field in Sherwood, but the last run belonged to Marion in a 24-20 victory.
The Patriots (2-3, 1-1 6A-East) went up 10-0 in the first quarter, only to see the Bears (1-4, 0-2) come back in the second quarter with 17 points for a 17-10 halftime lead.
Each team scored in the third, but the Bears managed only a field goal while Marion put up a touchdown, giving Sylvan Hills a 20-17 lead going into the final quarter.
Marion added another touchdown at the 10:41 mark of the final quarter to take a 24-20 lead, but the game was far from over.
"Our defense did a pretty good job tonight," Marion Coach Keith Houston said. "We were in the right spots for their offense, but a couple of times it just didn't work. We know we were in a fight tonight, and that's just the way we play."
The Bears drove deep in Marion territory twice in the final quarter.
In the first drive, Jessie Watson picked up a first down with a 22-yard run, then quarterback Corey Washington passed to Emil McCoy, picking up 12 yards and another first down.
A couple of runs from DeAngelo Smith accounted for another first down, but he lost 2 of those yards on his next carry. Taevion Cunningham picked up 5 yards, then Smith ran for 4, setting up a fourth and 3 from the Marion 9. Smith lost another yard on fourth down.
The Patriots couldn't move the ball and a punt put Sylvan Hills back in business at its 47 with 2:26 remaining.
The Bears opted to stay on the ground, picking up a first down on a 9-yard run by Smith. He added another 9-yard run, then Washington rushed for 7 yards and a first down at the Marion 30.
With 50 seconds left, Washington went to the air, connecting with Domonic Samuel for 25 yards and a first down at the 5.
Smith got 2 yards on first down, but lost 2 yards on second down.
Sylvan Hills Coach Jim Withrow called his final timeout with 12 seconds left. A Washington pass to Shajuan Esteen was incomplete on third down, leaving the Bears with a fourth and goal at the 5 with four seconds left. Again the ball went to Smith, but he was stopped for no gain and the Patriots celebrated on the field.
"That's what they've been doing all night," Houston said of the Bears' final play. "We figured they were going to run the ball, and I just told my guys we just needed to play our defense."
Marion's Daedrick Cail passed for two touchdowns but also threw three interceptions. He ended the game 15-of-24 passing for 194 yards.
Sports on 10/05/2019