Fans wouldn’t guess it by the final score, but Jonathan Alder’s football team absolutely dominated Marion Harding Friday evening.
Sure, the Pioneers’ 35-21 victory doesn’t look all that impressive on paper.
The final score, however, doesn’t take into account that the Presidents’ reserve players tallied all three of their touchdowns during the fourth quarter against the Pioneer youngsters.
Harding could not generate much in the way of offense throughout the first three quarters, while Alder (2-0) pretty much had its way with the visitors from Marion County.
The Pioneers tallied 14 points in each of the first and second quarters and were fully in command by a 35-0 count as action moved into the final stanza.
“For the first three quarters, we did what we wanted,” said Alder head coach Brett Glass. “Our offensive line blocked well, JT (quarterback Keith) was right on the money with the ball and our receivers made some big plays.”
The ground game has been Alder’s bread-and-butter for a number of years and Friday’s game wasn’t much different.
The Pioneers rushed for 202 yards, led by Garrett Proxmire’s 141 on 25 carries.
The Presidents became so concerned about their inability to stop the Pioneers’ infantry that they forgot about the air force.
Harding focused all of its energy in looking for Proxmire on nearly every play, it ignored Alder receivers such as Dawson Detwiler and Jacob Fenik.
Keith capped JA’s first possession of the night with an 11-yard scoring strike to Fenik.
Dylan Moore’s extra point gave Alder a 7-0 lead.
JA forced Marion into its second punt of the night and then went right back to work.
This time, Keith and Detwiler teamed for a 56-yard touchdown pass against a soft Harding secondary.
Moore, who didn’t miss an extra point all night, helped carry the Pioneers into the second period with a 14-0 lead.
The Presidents had very little success against Alder’s front line defense, surrendering the ball on punts or an interception.
An eight-yard pass from Keith to Crew Wheeler and Moore’s PAT expanded Alder’s lead to 21-0.
JA’s halftime lead stood at 28-0 when Proxmire capped a series with a 12-yard run and Moore booted the PAT.
Alder took the opening kickoff of the third quarter and wiped more than five minutes off the clock with its running attack.
Proxmire scored his second touchdown on a three-yard run.
The extra point gave JA a 35-0 lead and started the running clock rule.
The clock continued to move as both teams put in substitute players.
Many JA freshmen got their first taste of the Friday night lights, but Harding was able to score three touchdowns to make the score more respectable.
That fact was not lost on Glass, whose team will travel to Bloom Carroll on Friday.
“It was good our freshmen got to play on a Friday,” he said. “They were a little nervous, but that’s not an excuse.
“We’ve got a standard of play here and it was frustrating that we couldn’t finish the shutout.”
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