Alliance, OH – The Marlington Dukes entered Friday’s game against the Northwest Indians looking to move to improve to 2-0 to start their 2021 season. The Indians however came into the game hungry for their first win of the season (Northwest lost to Norton 21-7 in week one) and managed to hold off a late comeback by the Dukes to secure a 20-13 win.
Marlington got the scoring started when quarterback Connor Evanich zipped a pass right between a pair of Indians to thread the needle to Cooper Scarlott for a 45-yard touchdown to put the Dukes up 6-0 (the PAT was no good) with 9:18 left in the first quarter. That would be the last time that Marlington would lead in the game as Northwest began to flip the switch after that point. In the second quarter, the Northwest offense got going with a pair of touchdowns: a 5-yard rushing touchdown by quarterback Braden Mick (PAT was no good) and a 1-yard touchdown run by running back Jason Greenfield (PAT was good). This would be the last scoring for the half and the Indians would go to the locker room holding onto a 13-6 lead.
In the second half, both offenses began to slow down. Northwest extended their lead and capped off a twenty-point run with a 35-yard touchdown pass from Mick to Carter Magyarics (PAT was good) with 1:19 left in the third quarter. Evanich and the Dukes quickly responded with a 42-yard touchdown pass to Beau Himmelheber (PAT was good) with 12 seconds left in the third quarter. The two teams went to the fourth quarter with Northwest holding onto a 20-13 lead over Marlington. Neither offense was able to find the endzone in the final quarter but, Marlington got a massive break when Northwest quarter back Braden Mick was dinged up on a play in the middle of the fourth as the Indians’ offense ground to a halt without him. Finally, Evanich managed to come up big on a 4th and long in his own territory when he threaded the needle to a receiver up the sideline for a huge gain that pumped new life into the Marlington sideline. It would all be for nothing as a few plays later, with the clock winding down, Evanich underthrew a pass intended for Rome Sims which was intercepted by Northwest’s Ethan Nickey to put the game on ice for the Indians. The win was not only the first of the season for Northwest but, also extended the team’s road winning streak to five games (dating all the way back to a week nine win at Fairless in 2019). Northwest quarterback Braden Mick received WRMU Player of the Game honors as he was a key part Northwest’s offensive attack all night long.
With the loss, Marlington fell to 1-1 on the season and sits in a tie for 17th in their region (according to Joe Eitel). Northwest improved to 1-1 and improved to 11th in their region (per Joe Eitel). Both teams will be back in action in week three, Marlington will begin a three-game road trip by traveling to Ridgewood and Northwest will host Canton South.