Sep. 10—RACHEL — The Huskies returned to their native turf Friday, giving their fans at Woodcutters Stadium a show of two-way dominance in a 49-0 victory over the Oak Glen Golden Bears.
North Marion (3-0) scored in all different manners Friday — four rushing touchdowns, two passing touchdowns, a pick six and a safety for good measure against the Golden Bears (0-3).
Quarterback Casey Minor finished with 169 passing yards on 8/11 passing, and his top target Landon Frey ended the day with four catches for 120 yards and two touchdowns. Parker Kincell caught four balls for 44 yards.
On the ground, North's Gavan Lemley finished with 97 yards on 8.8 yards per carry, Kincell finished with 58 yards and a touchdown on a similarly excellent 11.6 yards per carry. Aaron Hoffman finished with 29 yards and a score, and Minor finished with 14 on the ground too.
North Marion head coach Daran Hays was pleased with his team after the well-rounded outing.
"I thought this was our most consistent execution of the season," Hays said. "[...] Overall I thought we did a great job of icing the game by running it, I thought Landon played lights out — people better start shifting their coverage to that dude, and that gives us Brock [Martin], people are going to find out he's pretty darn good too.
"I thought Parker was consistent tonight, did good things with the football in the passing and running game. I thought Lemley saw it better than he has since last season. I thought Hoffman ran it well, we were able to limit Casey's carries and that was 100% intentional, just trying to get him 100% back to health for these next three."
Defensively, North put together their first shutout of the year, limiting Oak Glen's ground game to 40 net yards, and getting pressure in the face of the QB on the rare occasions the Golden Bears dropped back to throw. North pressured all four of Oak Glen's pass attempts in the first half, and did not allow a completion all game on seven tries. Seven different players on North's defense registered a tackle for loss.
Cody Clevenger ended with a 30-yard pick-six and a tackle for loss, and Harley Sickles ended with two QB hits, a tackle for loss, and a forced safety.
North Marion got the game started by forcing a fumble on Oak Glen's opening drive, which Isaiah Sigley recovered on the Golden Bears' 22 yard-line. Aaron Hoffman dove into the end zone from eight yards out a couple plays later to put North's first points on the board.
Later in the first, Frey and Minor hooked up for a 16-yard touchdown on a corner route after Minor faked a handoff.
Frey also hauled in a 45-yard touchdown reception, and a 46-yard reception as the junior has started the season strong, currently standing at six touchdowns after three games.
"Landon Frey's good," Casey Minor said after the game. "Nobody can guard him 1-on-1. He's a freak."
The score stood 13-0 with two minutes to play in the first quarter after the touchdown, and by the 1:00 minute mark, Cody Clevenger made it 19-0 after taking an interception to the house. Landon Boone hit the quarterback before the throw, allowing it within Clevenger's reach.
"I saw he was scrambling, I knew he was just trying to get that ball out of there," Clevenger said. "And it looked like it was going to come out deeper at first, but as soon as Boone got that hit, it made it a little bit shorter, and I just read it from the tip."
Minor scored on a one-yard QB sneak, Harley Sickles forced a safety after a rare North Marion punt started Oak Glen at their own two yard-line, and Landon Frey caught his second touchdown of the game to make the score 34-0 at halftime.
North ran the ball the rest of the way, scoring on their first drive of the second half on a 23-yard Parker Kincell wildcat carry, which was set up by a 41-yard rush by Lemley.
Oak Glen's Burt Anthony made a great return on the ensuing kickoff, taking it all the way to North's 26 yard-line, but the Golden Bears would turn it over on downs shortly after.
By the fourth quarter, the Huskies were sending in a new batch of players, and Trevor Mullett, Landon Stemple, Quinton Harbert and Cyrus Collins all helped move the ball forward on a touchdown drive for North with 3:21 to play, as Collins finished the drive off with a 10-yard touchdown run.
North Marion treated their home crowd to a win for the first time this season, but Hays hopes it is far from the last time his Huskies do so.
"At the end of the day, we've already got playoff T-shirts, I'm not really interested in just making the playoffs anymore and I don't think they are either," Hays said. "This senior class, if we're able to keep pushing forward, they have an opportunity to be the first senior class that's played in state playoff games in four years.
"That's an expectation now. We want to stress being the best football team we can be in November. I thought we peaked about a week or two early last year, we want to really be hitting our stride as we roll into October, November where we can make some noise."
Reach Nick Henthorn at 304-367-2548, on Twitter @nfhenthorn_135 or by email at email@example.com.