Marauders win Homecoming game 27-23

The Marauders defeated the Irving Nimitz Vikings in a close game home. Despite a slow start, the red and silver came back in the second half, with the defense stepping up to secure the victory in the last minute of the game. This win makes the record 4-1 for the Marauders, who are tied for first place in the 6-6A district with Coppell.

The first quarter was scoreless for the Marauders, while the Vikings scored in the last few minutes putting the Marauders down 7-0. In the second, the Vikings scored another touchdown in the final two minutes, which was soon answered by a Marauder touchdown thrown five yards by sophomore quarterback Garrett Nussmeier to junior wide receiver Jaden Robinson, bringing the score to 14-7 at the end of the half.

Head coach Kevin Atkinson agrees that his team struggled in the first half, but is proud of the way they played the second half.

“It was, overall, a good team win,” Atkinson said. “It was our vision for our special teams to provide the winning edge and that’s what we did.”

In the third, junior running back Ty’son Edwards ran the ball in for another seven points, followed by the first Marauder field goal of the season, a forty-yarder kicked by senior kicker Matt Heffernan.

However, the Vikings retaliated with a touchdown and field goal of their own, putting the Vikings up 23-17 at the end of the third. While the Vikings were scoreless in the fourth, the Marauders scored their final touchdown of the night with a five yard run by senior running back Justin Dinka. A 25-yard field goal by Heffernan marked his second and final field goal of the night.

Offensively, the Marauders got off to an uneventful start, going almost the entire first half without scoring. However, they turned the tables on the Vikings in the second half, with Dinka totaling 151 rushing yards in the game, and the overall running game averaging about six yards per carry. The passing game totaled 81 yards, 78 of which were thrown by Nussmeier, while the top receiver for the game, senior Grant Hutcherson, totaled 30 receiving yards.      

The Marauder defense held up under the constant pressure of the Vikings’ offense. The Vikings rushed for 234 yards and passed for 225 yards, but couldn’t complete their drives thanks to the physicality and awareness of the Marauder defense. The red and silver defense recovered two Vikings fumbles and was able to hold the Vikings at 23 points in the last minute of the game to ensure a Marauder victory.  

“I was really pleased with the way we played defensively,” Atkinson said. “I can’t say enough about the two turnovers our defense got in the second half.”

This homecoming victory set the stage for the Marauders’ first field goal of the season. Both attempts were good by Heffernan, which gave the team a total of six points, allowing them to overtake the Vikings’ early lead.

The Marauders will play Hebron at an away game next Friday at 7:00 p.m.