Updated Sun, Oct 13, 2013 11:06 am
The Marietta Pioneers’ struggles against nationally-ranked opponents continued Saturday as they faced the 21st-ranked John Carroll Blue Streaks. After losing consecutive games against No. 1 Mount Union and No.10 Heidelberg, the Pioneers lost handsomely 62-7 to a dominant John Carroll team.
In this 60-minute football game, each team had the ball on offense for 30 minutes. However, it was what they did with those 30 minutes that made the difference in this Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) matchup.
Although Marietta had 69 plays compared to John Carroll’s 64, the Blue Streaks compiled 231 more total yards than the Pioneers and had three passing touchdowns compared to zero by Marietta.
John Carroll threw for three scores, but the Pioneers and Blue Streaks relied on the run game to move the chains with 39 and 38 rushing attempts, respectively. John Carroll’s running game however proved to be much more lethal than the Pioneers. The Blue Streaks were led by running back duo DaQuan Grodsmith and Tommy Michals who combined for 352 yards, four touchdowns and averaged more than nine yards a carry.
A big reason for John Carroll’s success on offense was due to the lack of steady defense by Marietta. Pioneers coach Andy Waddle said earlier in the week that his defense needed to “execute at a higher level” and his team did not step up to the challenge. The Pios allowed over 60 points for the third game in a row while the defensive unit for John Carroll proved itself superior once again.
The Blue Streaks nearly recorded their fourth shutout of the season until it gave up its only touchdown of the game with 1:40 remaining in the fourth quarter. Linebackers Jimmy King and Paul Okeyo led the defense with 25 tackles combined.
Despite its 0-5 record, Marietta showed some signs of improvement on offense as running back Roger Bush ran for 93 yards and quarterback Tom Fulton completed 13 of 27 passes for 127 yards. Both players were unable to find the end zone, which has been a problem all season long.
The Pioneers hope to resolve this issue as they travel to Ada, Ohio, next week to face off against the Ohio Northern Polar Bears. Ohio Northern lost to Baldwin Wallace earlier Saturday and fell to 2-3 on the year and 1-3 in OAC play. Despite their losing record, the Polar Bears’ offense is very explosive, which could be detrimental to a struggling Marietta defense. This game is part of Ohio Northern’s homecoming weekend and the Polar Bears will be hungry to get back to .500 on the year.
The Pioneers and Polar Bears kickoff from Ada is set for 1:30 p.m. next Saturday while John Carroll hopes to remain undefeated as it returns home to take on Muskingum.