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Marion, Anderson run past Jonesboro again

by CHUCK LIVINGSTON SPECIAL TO THE DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE | November 5, 2021 at 2:40 a.m.

MARION -- The Marion Patriots rushed for more than 300 yards Thursday night for the third straight week to beat 6A-East co-champion Jonesboro 50-43 at Premier Bank Stadium.

It was Marion's (4-6, 4-3) fourth victory in five meetings with Jonesboro (7-3, 6-1).

Marion tailback Cam Anderson rushed 38 times for 319 yards and 4 touchdowns to push the Pats to the No. 4 seed from the 6A-East entering the state playoffs.

Marion will host Russellville next Friday night.

"Hats off to our offensive line and Cam Anderson for setting the tone and getting it done tonight," said Marion Coach Lance Clark. "We're blocking it really well up front and Cam is reading it exceptionally well."

Marion scored 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to pull away.

Trailing 36-29, the Marion defense forced a punt that the Patriot offense turned into points immediately when senior quarterback Ben Gerrard completed a pass to Kaleb Catt who hit the jets and outran the Jonesboro secondary to the end zone to get Marion to within a point with 7:57 left in regulation. Dylan Pieri's extra point tied the game at 36-36.

Marion's Jeremiah Nichols recovered a Jonesboro fumble on the ensuing kickoff at the Golden Hurricane 30-yard line. The Pats saddled up Anderson, who carried six times for 25 times, including a 1-yard TD for a 43-36 Marion advantage.

Jonesboro's ensuing drive ended when Marion safety Donavan Brewer intercepted a Rykar Acebo pass at the Patriot 35-yard line with 5:06 left in the game. Anderson's sixth carry of a six-play, 77-yard drive covered the last 59 yards to give Marion a 50-36 lead.

Jonesboro responded quickly, sparked by a Marquavious Pickett catch-and-run for 79 yards to give the Golden Hurricane first-and-goal at the Marion 10. Acebo connected with Kavon Pointer on the following play to get Jonesboro within 50-43.

Marion recovered Jonesboro's onside kick and knelt three times to close out the win.

"To me, it's a story of resiliency, with this senior group and our coaches and everyone," said Clark. "I couldn't be more proud of the guys in here with us because some things this past week didn't go our way, but we responded. I'm just exceptionally proud of our team tonight."

Acebo completed 26 of 44 passes for 355 yards and 5 touchdowns. Acebo's top target was Kavon Pointer, who caught 12 passes for 191 yards and 4 scores.

Print Headline: Marion, Anderson run past Jonesboro again

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