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Tri-Valley breezes past Colts

It’s been a tough three-game stretch for Marian.

The Colts’ last three opponents entered Friday night’s action with just one loss between them.

The stretch has produced results that haven’t been pretty, but they haven’t been surprising either for a Marian team loaded with youth and inexperience.

Last night, Tri-Valley handed Marian a 47-7 setback - the third straight mercy rule defeat for the Colts.

“Tri-Valley is a very good football team,” said Marian head coach Stan Dakosty. “You can’t makes mistakes against that type of quality opponent and be competitive - and once again tonight we made a lot of mistakes.

“We’re trying to take baby steps. It can be frustrating, because sometimes its hard to see the improvement when you’re playing against really good football teams like we have been the last few weeks. But our kids are doing the best they can. The mistakes aren’t coming from a lack effort.”

After Tri-Valley opened the game with a 14-play, 80-yard touchdown drive that took eight minutes off the clock, Marian made one of the errors Dakosty was talking about when it muffed a short kickoff and the Bulldogs recovered.

Chase Herb, who carried 10 times on the opening drive before scoring on a one-yard run, went 16-yards for another TD on the first play following the turnover. It was part of an 18-carry, 210-yard rushing performance for Herb.

The score gave the Vikings a 14-0 lead before Marian had run an offensive play.

“Herb is a great player and their line did a nice job of opening holes for him,” said Dakosty. “They controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball and that’s the name of the game at every level of football.”

Tri-Valley (3-0) built its lead to 27-0 at halftime as Herb added a 20-yard TD with 4:27 left in the second quarter, and then rambled 78 yards to the Colt one-yard line when the Bulldogs appeared like they were content to run out the clock near the end of the half. The Colts’ Jacob Fenstermaker made a diving touchdown-saving tackle just short of the goal line with :04 left in the quarter. But after a Tri-Valley time out, Jacob Scheib scored on the final play of the half.

The game went to mercy-rule after two Bulldog touchdowns in the third quarter made it 41-0.

Marian (1-5) scored its first points since its Week 3 victory over Shenandoah when Xavier Ocasio sprung loose for a 15-yard touchdown run with 4:57 left in the game.

“I liked the way our kids battled and punched in the late score,” said Dakosty. “I am seeing things we can build on. But the bottom line is we are a young team that needs to get bigger and stronger.

“I knew when I came back this year that it wasn’t going to be an instant fix. We’re in it for the long haul. We’re going to get back on the field Monday and keep working to turn things around.”

OWNING THE TRENCHES ... Tri-Valley’s line not only cleared the way for both Herb and backup Kameron Wetzel to rush for over 100 yards, but it also made life miserable for Marian’s skill players. The Bulldogs’ defense seemed to be in the Colts’ backfield all game, as 16 of the 26 Marian rushing attempts went for either no yards or negative yardage.

BIG NUMBERS ... Tri-Valley, which had a delayed start to this season because of the school district’s COVID-19 policy, has outscored it opponents, 144-14.

BRIGHT SPOTS ... Among the notable performers for Marian were sophomore defensive lineman Rawlin Melendez, who made several stops in the Tri-Valley backfield, including a sack of quarterback Jonas McGrath for a 13-yard loss; kicker Mike Baloga, who was perfect on his conversion, had a touchback on a kickoff, and had three punts over 40 yards; and Fenstermaker, who made a great effort and hustle play to chase down and tackle Herb at the goal line before the half.