MARION — In the middle of a jubilant postgame huddle, Tony Perkins leaned over and made a plea: “Would somebody … PLEASE … take the monkey off my back?!?”
Fourth-ranked Marion earned its first postseason victory in 13 years — and the first of the Perkins administration — walloping West Delaware, 42-0, in a Class 3A substate football game last night at Thomas Park Field.
It was a stark contrast to last year, when the Hawks ousted the Indians, 35-2.
Perkins, who improved to 1-4 in postseason games at Marion, reminded his team of that shellacking a bit since the pairings were released Friday.
“A lot,” he corrected. “We had a very good football team last year, but we didn’t come into the (substate) game with a passion to win the game. “Tonight, we did.”
Marion (10-0) will face Decorah in a first-round playoff game Monday. The Vikings (8-2) beat Maquoketa, 24-0.
The Indians outgained West Delaware (7-3) by a 346-92 margin and intercepted quarterback Brett Yonkovic four times.
Ryan Hubbell sacked Yonkovic three times.
“We had a lot of desire coming into the game,” Hubbell said. “Last year, we got embarrassed. We wanted to come back, pay them back and get ours.”
Logan Pickering scored three touchdowns, running his season total to 30. Pickering rushed for 132 yards on 13 carries, Mitchell Osborn tacked on 108 yards on 14 attempts.
“We went back to old-time Marion football tonight,” Perkins said.
Which is … “POWER football,” he emphasized.
Osborn said, “We wanted to establish the running game early, and we got a great line effort.”
Marion turned the ball over on its first possession, but still held a 28-0 advantage by halftime.
Dalton Combs connected with Ben Holub for a 17-yard touchdown pass, Osborn scored on runs of 39 and 15 yards, and Pickering added a 1-yard dive.
Pickering scored on runs of 3 and 48 yards in the second half.
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