Cedar Rapids, Iowa News, Sports, and Weather
MARION, Iowa Trev Biery said the right things, crediting his offensive line.
But those last 10 yards, with defenders climbing in vain on his back ... that was all him.
Biery scored the go-ahead touchdown on a bruising 19-yard run with 7:16 remaining, then tacked on an interception for the clinching score as Marion rallied past Maquoketa, 25-14, in a Class 3A District 6 football game Friday night at Thomas Park Field.
"I've got to give credit to the line, and I was able to find the hole," Biery said. "But I like to run people over, and I wanted to get to the end zone, so I kept my legs moving."
The Indians (4-1 overall, 2-0 district) moved into a first-place tie with Solon atop the 3A-6 standings. They did so after spotting the Cardinals (3-2, 1-2) a 14-0 lead.
It was 14-8 when Biery got loose. He popped through a hole, met contact and kept going. Multiple Cardinals joined in the fray, trying to wrestle him down, but couldn't until he was in the end zone.
"His yards after contact in the second half were amazing," said Marion Coach Tony Perkins, who picked up his 150th career win in 25 seasons 14 at Marion. "He's got great big legs, and he willed himself to continue the run."
Ben Kroemer's PAT kick put the Indians in front, 15-14.
After the teams traded punts, the Cardinals got the ball back at their own 15 with 1:56 to play.
Quarterback Blaise Waller, thrust into the role because regular Trent Bollman was out with illness, tried to make a play under pressure. But Biery stepped in front of the pass and returned the interception 27 yards for the score.
"The defensive line was amazing," Biery said. "I saw the quarterback was about to get sacked, and I made a read on the ball."
Biery added a two-point conversion, then the Indians tacked on a safety and won going away.
Marion allowed just 29 yards in the second half.
"Our defense has kept us in a lot of ball games," Perkins said. "After the Decorah loss (in Week 2), our defense has really started to fly to the ball.
"As a team, we matured a lot tonight."
The game was a defensive grind early, then Joshua Kirk scored a pair of touchdowns in less than a minute.
Kirk capped a 50-yard, 12-play drive with a 14-yard TD on an option play. The run came on the heels of a 13-yard sack by the Indians on second-and-goal from the 1.
On their next play from scrimmage, the Indians botched a handoff, and Maquoketa recovered the fumble at the Indians 10.
Kirk scored again on an 8-yard run to give the Cardinals a 14-0 lead.
Marion responded with a long touchdown drive, its only successful march of the first half. A couple of pass completions opened it up, then Biery reached the end zone on a 16-yard run and added the two-point conversion to bring the Indians within 14-8.
Biery finished with 153 rushing yards on 23 carries, and as Perkins said, many of those were after contact.
Marion is at Benton Community next week. Maquoketa hosts West Delaware in a non-district game.