Updated Sun, Oct 27, 2013 4:54 pm
After 17 consecutive games of defeat and anguish, the Marietta Pioneers (1-6) can finally celebrate. The Pioneers defeated the Wilmington Quakers (0-7), 50-22, at home Saturday, snapping their 17-game losing streak that dated back to their last game of the 2011 season.
This win gives Marietta head coach Andy Waddle his first career coaching victory. It also marks the first time that the Pioneers have scored 50 or more points since beating Capital University, 52-21, in the 2000 season.
In last year’s matchup, the Quakers defeated Marietta, 13-12, on a last second field goal, which ended Wilmington’s 32-game losing streak. This year, Marietta returned the favor and crushed the Quakers by using an effective offensive attack that scored 22 unanswered points in the fourth quarter.
The Pioneers’ ground game recorded a season-high 231 yards and was led by Tim Conner, Roger Bush and Patrick Lewis. This three-headed monster combined for 217 yards rushing and, more importantly, three touchdowns. In last week’s 45-0 loss to Ohio Northern, the Pioneers had 219 yards on the ground but zero touchdowns. The Pios solved their scoring problems this week thanks in part to the successful rushing attack.
Marietta’s passing game was even more explosive, as quarterback Tom Fulton threw for 245 yards and three touchdowns. After two weeks of not throwing a single touchdown, Fulton stepped up in a major way against the Quakers. Fulton’s big game was due in part to wide receiver Kirby Harris who had 10 catches for 119 yards and a touchdown.
Wilmington also had an excellent game through the air, with quarterback Brandon Arehart leading the charge. Arehart completed 21 of his 41 passes for 317 yards and two touchdowns, showing why he is the leading passer in the Ohio Athletic Conference. His go-to receiver, Jeremy Duncan, had eight catches on the day for 126 yards and had his fourth game of 100-plus receiving yards.
Despite 427 yards of total offense for the Quakers, Marietta’s defense kept Wilmington out of the end zone for the entire fourth quarter. The Pioneers’ defense came up big in the fourth quarter when defensive back Cody Rice picked off Arehart. Rice returned the interception 15 yards for a touchdown with 5:34 remaining in the game, sealing the victory for Marietta.
The Pioneers will look to pick up their second win on the season next Saturday against Baldwin Wallace. Kickoff for this Senior Day game at Don Drumm Stadium is set for 1:30 p.m.