Eagles score 62 in first half, crush Crossroads, 76-0

September 7, 2017

By Ben Murphy
Sports Writer

In week one of the high school 8-man football season, the Marion offense was caged up in a 30-6 loss to Onekama. The Eagles broke out of their cage in a big way in week two, as they flew to touchdown after touchdown, throttling host Big Rapids Crossroads 76-0 in both teams West Michigan 8-man Football Conference opener.

“I thought we played well, we did what we needed to do and took care of business early,” head coach Chad Jenema said of Thursday’s win. “We didn’t want to let them make a game out of it by playing down to their level. We just wanted to play a nice steady game and keep some pressure on them.”

Marion got off to a 20-0 lead after the first quarter and then ran wild in the second frame to build a 62-0 lead at the half.
“We executed well, the offensive line blocked real well and Erick Carey was running the ball hard, even though he had a limited amount of carries,” Jenema said. “Chuck Ankey ran real hard as well and Ryder Hall was explosive. They dominated the game and we also got some guys to score some touchdowns that don’t normally get to.”

With a running clock in the second half, the Eagles slowed down some, scoring just two more touchdowns the rest of the way.
Marion’s defense allowed just one first down all night and 55 yards of total offense. The Eagles rushed for 382 yards on the ground.

Billy Jenema led the Eagles on defense. Here he chases down a running back.

Billy Jenema led the Eagles on defense. Here he chases down a running back.

Carey averaged over 10 yards a carry, finishing with 183 yards and two touchdowns on eight attempts, Ankney ran five times for 62 yards and four touchdowns and he also had a 60-yard punt return for a touchdown. Hall also returned a punt 60-yards for a touchdown and added 104 yards and two scores on the ground. Tyler Neuman scored his first career touchdown and rushed the ball eight times.

The defense was led by Billy Jenema with 11 tackles, five for a loss, Carey had 11 tackles and two interception and Chris Wengert had nine tackles.

Marion (1-1 overall, 1-0 West Michigan) heads to Brethren (1-1,1-0) tonight (Friday). The Bobcats are coming off a win in their conference opener as well, as they topped Manistee Catholic Central 54-22.

“They run a spread style offense, so they will throw the ball a lot,” Jenema said. “Their quarterback is their best player. They’ve scored a lot of points last week so it will be a challenge for our defense.”

The two teams actually met twice last season, with Marion winning both contests, 64-42 and 46-14. While it’s only the third week of the regular season, Jenema admits the game could be a launching pad for either team.

“It will be an upgrade in competition for us this week, we played them last year and had a couple decent games with them so we expect it to be a good game,” he said. “I know it’s early, but we’re both undefeated in the conference so someone is going to have a loss after this. One of our goals this year was to win the conference so for that to happen we are going to have to win some of these tough games on the road. This will be a big game for us.”

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