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Pirates drop heartbreaker to Marion
A Pirate runner is taken down by a pack of Bulldogs during Poth’s single-point loss to Marion.
POTH -- In a true back-and-forth battle that lasted four full quarters in Poth, the visiting Marion Bulldogs upset the Pirates in a 29-28 decision last Friday night.
The Bulldogs struck first in the game, scoring their first of four touchdowns on a 20-yard running play with 4:44 left on the clock. The point-after kick was good, and Marion led 7-0.
The Pirates wasted little time responding, though, and quickly scored their first touchdown of the night as Spencer Flieller connected with Jerrek Hosek for 40 yards and a touchdown. The point-after attempt was no good, but things were tight at 7-6.
Most of the second quarter ticked by without a score, but Marion changed that at the 2:37 mark with a 10-yard passing touchdown. The Bulldogs then ran in a 2-point conversion, and held a 15-6 lead over Poth. The Pirates came right back once again, though, and Thomas Krawietz capped off a rapid Poth drive with a 15-yard run from scrimmage across the goal line. The Pirates tried to narrow the gap further with a 2-point play, but the pass fell incomplete, leaving the halftime score 15-12 in favor of Marion.
The Bulldogs went back to work early in the third quarter, this time scoring on the ground, as quarterback Jourden Stanley ran in from 6 yards out. The 2-point play was no good, but the Bulldog lead was extended to 21-12.
With just under five minutes left to play in the third, Krawietz scored his second of two rushing touchdowns, once again carrying the ball over the goal line from 15 yards out. He then connected with Koby Pruski for the 2-point conversion, and the score was 21-20 in favor of Marion.
The battle continued into the fourth quarter, and the home crowd at Jack Lane Stadium finally got to celebrate Poth’s first lead with 7:35 left to play in the game. Pruski took the ball from the 8-yard line and powered past the Bulldog defense for his first touchdown of the season. Pruski then ran in the 2-point conversion, and Poth was on top, 28-21.
The Pirate defense needed to hold Marion at bay, but the balanced Bulldog attack moved down the field, and eventually scored on a 4-yard keeper by Stanley. Trailing by a point with just 3:05 left to play in the game, the Bulldogs had a big decision to make. They could attempt to kick the extra point to tie, or go for 2 in hopes of hanging on for the win. Marion went for 2 and Stanley successfully found his receiver for a 29-28 lead. The Pirates tried their best to score on one final possession, but came up a bit short, and ended the night with a narrow 1-point loss.
The Bulldog passing game certainly hurt the Pirates, as the Marion quarterback connected on 15 of 20 passes for 173 yards and a touchdown. Few schools Poth will face this season will be able to duplicate those numbers. Against the run, the Pirates matched up much better, holding the Bulldogs to 152 yards on 34 attempts. They also helped force three Marion fumbles, though they were unable to make any recoveries.
Offensively, the Poth offense ran well, earning 235 yards on 44 attempts. Krawietz carried most of the load to pick up 154 yards and two touchdowns on 23 runs, while Pruski ran eight times for 43 paces and a touchdown. Flieller ran twice for 19 yards, while Dylan Sefcik, Sean Clancy, Rhett Kelley, and Dayne Spivey also carried the ball.
The Pirates will have another big challenge this Friday, Sept. 6, as Poth travels down the road to face rival Falls City. The Beavers are coming off a game-one win over Jourdanton, and will look to keep the momentum going against the Pirates. Stats tend to mean little in big rivalry games, and it’s sure to be a packed house at Beaver Stadium. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.
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