MARION — The Marion Wildcats will be headed to the playoffs for the 16th straight season under head coach Kerry Martin. The Wildcats clinched their spot in the postseason with a 37-6 win over Centralia.
The Orphans couldn’t overcome a couple of early turnovers as Marion took care of business Friday night at Wildcat stadium. Brody Larson got the scoring started with a two-yard touchdown run for a 7-0 Marion lead. Larson’s TD was the start of a wild 30 seconds.
The Orphans’ Amir Johnson immediately returned the kickoff 93 yards for a score, but a blocked extra point kept the Marion lead 7-6. On the ensuing kickoff, Marion’s Mason Gooch did the exact same thing–returned it 93 yards for a score. The Wildcats added the two-point conversion to lead 15-6.
Lukas Shrum found the end zone for a two-yard touchdown early in the second quarter, as Marion led 22-6 at the half. The Wildcats tacked on a couple of second half scores to wrap up the win.
The win not only guarantees Marion a 16th straight playoff appearance, the Wildcats still have a chance at a share of the South Seven conference title when they travel to Carbondale next week. The Orphans fall to 3-4 (1-3) will likely need to win their final two games for any chance at a playoff berth.
Centralia will close out the conference season by hosting rival Mt.Vernon next Friday for Senior night.