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Marion gets a kick out of beating Wynne

by CHUCK LIVINGSTON SPECIAL TO THE DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE | August 28, 2021 at 2:37 a.m.

MARION -- Marion senior kicker Dylan Pieri kicked a 40-yard field goal with no time remaining in regulation to boot the Patriots past Wynne 24-21 last night at Premier Bank Stadium.

Pieri's kick capped Marion's 11-play, 62-yard drive, which featured a fourth-down conversion and bled the final 4:38 from the game clock.

"It was the best feeling of my entire life so far," Pieri said. "I thought I was going to make it the entire time."

Pieri, who also boomed four touchbacks against Wynne, extended an earlier drive when he ran 27 yards on a fake punt to convert a fourth and 12. Marion senior tailback Cam Anderson ran 9 yards to the end zone three play later to stake the Patriots to a 21-14 lead.

"We've run that fake punt a few times in practice, but I never thought we'd run it in a game," Pieri said. "We called it, and I said, 'I guess we're doing this' and our guys executed it."

Marion, which beat Wynne for the first time since 2018, scored first when Anderson bolted 36 yards for a score with 4:28 left in the second quarter.

Wynne responded on its first play of its ensuing drive when quarterback John Watson connected with Tre Holmes for a 62-yard touchdown toss, but the Yellowjackets missed the extra point and trailed 7-6.

Marion embarked on a nine-play, 65-yard drive on its final possession of the first half. Anderson covered the final 8 yards on his second scoring sprint of the night, and the Patriots led 14-6 at halftime. Anderson ran 20 times for 119 yards and two scores.

Wynne linebacker Timmy Watson intercepted a pass early in the third period to set the Yellowjackets up on first and 10 on the Marion 21. Two plays later, Alonzo Holmes scored from 20 yards out to pull Wynne within 14-12. Fullback Kobey Davis notched the two-point conversion to tie the game at 14-14.

Marion led 21-14 after three quarters before Wynne took advantage of a pair of Marion penalties and converted a pair of fourth downs to tie the game on Watson's 1-yard TD plunge with 4:38 in regulation. Brayden Mattox's extra point tied the contest at 21-21.

Marion faced a fourth and 2 from its own 41 with less than three minutes left in the fourth quarter when senior QB Ben Gerrard connected with classmate Kaleb Catt for 18 yards to move the sticks. A 21-yard sprint by sophomore Gabe Milon moved Marion inside the Wynne 20-yard line to set up Pieri's clutch kick.

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Print Headline: Marion gets a kick out of beating Wynne

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