Football Preparation | Set records for Marion, Cahokia | College football


There are certain things in life that can be guaranteed to happen.

Politicians will lie. The pretty blonde taking the puppy down the street will always turn heads. And Marion and Cahokia will produce a football game that will run until the last play.

“It’s just crazy and that’s what you get,” said Wildcats coach Kerry Martin. “It’s a fight before the final game and I feel like if we’re going to win it will be a tough and physical game. You’re going to have to get down to beat them.

What makes things more difficult for Marion (3-0), who enters their first South Seven Conference game as a team ranked No.4 in Class 5A, is that they face a really desperate opponent on Friday night in the eastern metro. The Comanches are 0-3, which means they’ll need to win five of the last six games to advance to the playoffs.

Followers of Bill Parcells’ theory that a team is what their record says they are might want to rethink that notion when it comes to Cahokia. His losses include a 30-28 heartbreak to Cardinal Ritter in St. Louis, a 21-6 decision over class 8A powerhouse Homewood-Flossmoor and a 42-36 overtime punch on Saturday at Johnson Central, KY .

Martin says the Comanches are the best team his team has seen.

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“They have faced three very good programs and are only a few points away from being 2-1 or 3-0,” he said. “They played in all three games. “

So don’t be shocked if the Wildcats and Cahokia are locked in another barn burner like the ones for the past three years. In 2018, the Comanches returned an interception down the pitch to secure a 24-14 victory for Marion.

In 2019, the Wildcats avenged that result with a spectacular late practice and a final 10-second touchdown. And in late March, Hunter Simmons threw the winning touchdown pass to Walker Fox with 2.1 seconds left to stifle Cahokia 22-21, Marion’s tightest 6-0 spring season game.

According to Martin, these teams had acquired a card for close games long before the last three years.

“We were rebuilding my first year (at Marion’s) and they beat us in the last two minutes,” he said. “My second year, we had an extra point in overtime for the win and we missed it. They beat us in double overtime.

“Go back to 2015, 16, 17, we beat them late in every game. You can throw away the discs.

What you can’t dismiss is what the Wildcats did in the first three games, which is a lot. Their offense averages 50.7 points per game, while the defense does enough to keep matches from turning into shootouts.

Junior quarterback Evan Noelle replaced Simmons without a dropout. In the Highland rout, Noelle completed 20 of 28 passes for 310 yards and three touchdowns. Noelle has made more than 75 percent of her shots in three games.

Then there’s senior running back Lukas Shrum, who notched Highland for 248 yards on just 18 carries. None of this would be possible without a great offensive line that creates creases in the ground play and gives Noelle time to find Fox, Venson Newsom, and Jake Bruce downline.

“We win up front, don’t return the ball and don’t commit a lot of penalties,” said Martin. “You can give yourself a chance in every game by doing these things.”

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