MARION — Marion asserted itself on both sides of the ball last night in a 41-0 romp past Benton Community at Thomas Park.
The Indians’ defense dominated all night, holding the Bobcats (2-4) to three first downs, 51 yards rushing and three completions.
Marion’s offense was equally impressive, sparked by the running back trio of John Carstensen, Logan Fuller and Kory Walsh.
“I think our rushing success started with the offensive line tonight,” said Marion Coach Tony Perkins. “They blew open some big holes for our backs this week.”
Carstensen got the scoring started with a 3-yard touchdown run to complete a 59-yard drive late in the first quarter to give Marion (3-3) a 7-0 lead.
It was then Fuller’s turn to shine as the senior scampered in from 27 yards out to put the Indians up 14-0 early in the second. Fuller’s score capped an 88-yard drive following a big stop by the Marion defense.
The Indians’ defense held again on Benton’s next possession, giving Marion great field position. From there it didn’t take long for the Indians to strike with quarterback Trevor Hardman finding Fuller from 29 yards out.
Hardman had an efficient game, completing 11 of 16 passes for 97 yards and the TD.
Following a key fourth down conversion by Fuller, Carstensen scampered in for a 15-yard TD to give Marion a comfortable 28-0 going into half.
Carstensen rushed for 64 yards and a TD and Fuller finished with 74 yards rushing and 66 yards receiving with two scores.
Marion’s Kory Walsh also got into the scoring action. The bruising sophomore running back dashed in from three yards out early in the third quarter to put the Indian’s up 35-0.
Austin Brown added a 24-yard TD run to give the Indian’s their final score.
“Our defense ran to the ball better this week,” Perkins said. “I’m very impressed with the way we came together as a squad.”