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Tri-Valley cruises to win over Marian

HEGINS – The beat continues to go on for the Marian football team.

But it’s not a happy tune.

Six games into the 2021 season, and the Colts are still searching to find a way to score touchdowns, let alone win a game.

Facing a Tri-Valley (4-1, 1-0) team that has high aspirations and lofty goals, the Colts had no answers.

These Bulldogs can be down-right-nasty. Try taking the bone away from them and they even get tougher.

Scoring what seemed to be at will, the Dawgs clawed their way to an impressive 53-0 victory Friday evening.

The win was the first in the Schuylkill/Colonial Blue Division, which is currently headed by Nativity (4-2, 2-0) who survived a resurgent Shenandoah Valley team last night.

“We had to clean some things up at halftime after that I thought we played better in the second half,” said Tri Valley head coach Jeff Sampson, who wasn’t very happy with a flood of first-half penalties (7-for 53 yards). “I thought we came out and played a clean second half.”

Tri-Valley’s speed just hung all over the Marian defense. It scored in a New York City heartbeat early in the game gushing out to a 14-0 lead with less than five minutes off the first-quarter clock.

First it was Bulldog Jacob Scheib bolting 25 yards for a touchdown. Marian had turned the ball over on an interception on its first offensive series thanks to Kameron Wetzel’s pick.

On Tri-Valley’s second chance, it needed just two offensive plays to juice the score to 14-0.

With the ball at the Marian 40, Scheib ripped off 20 yards before Jolten Flory and quarterback Jonas McGrath played pitch and catch for a 20-yard touchdown.

“That’s a quality football team,” said Marian head coach Stan Dakosty. “They’re good, very well coached, and they’re going to make an impact come the playoffs.”

Marian has stuttered all season with the ball. It did so again with four lost fumbles and the interception.

“Our margin for error, obviously is very slim,” Dakosty mentioned when thinking back to the turnovers - an Achilles Heel all season. “We put ourselves in a deep hole and could never come out of it.”

Indeed, that was the case to open the second quarter. Tri-Valley’s Levi Murray gobbled up a fumble and he never broke stride racing 26 yards to pay dirt for a 21-0 lead.

Tri-Valley went airborne to take a 27-0 lead with 9:11 before the half. This time McGrath found Murray in the flat uncovered, resulting in a 26-yard touchdown.

The Bulldogs put another score on the board with 7:16 remaining in the half with Wetzel slipping through the Marian defense to go 19 yards for a 33-0 lead.

When the Dawgs put their paws on the second-half kick off, Wetzel just flew by the entire coverage team unscathed for a 77-yard touchdown.

Adding more salt to the wound, Tri-Valley’s Jeramiah Umbenhauer blocked a punt, Jaydon Kroh picked up the pigskin and hit the end zone for another six, before the Dawgs closed out the scoring with a Kash Tobin three-yard run.

OOPS… Marian’s inability to hold on to the ball has been the tale of the tape all season. It was no different last evening; four lost fumbles and an interception says it all.

GO FIGURE … Tri-Valley didn’t pump up the yardage, but its defense was the bottom-line last evening. The Dawgs only had 297 yards of total offense while putting up 53 points.

SPEED KILLS … The Bulldogs can run the ball. They also have quick feet. Scheib is a fantastic wrestler and at 5-11, 210 is a load to bring down. “They say wrestlers make good football players,” Sampson said.

MATTY, MATTY, MATTY … Marian’s Matt Martin is one heck of a football player. The Marian senior continues to lead in all phases for the Colts.

BOUNCE BACK ... Tri-Valley (1A) suffered its first loss of the season last week to Class 4A Hamburg, 35-18, on the road.