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Marshall ready for home opener against Fairmont

Independent file photo Marshall’s DeMario Gaines runs off the field after making a play during their game against Jordan on Oct. 26, 2019. Marshall will face Fairmont today.

MARSHALL — The Marshall football team continued its strong start to the season with a 35-0 victory against St. Peter last week. Marshall recorded 446 yards of total offense, including 302 yards on the ground while holding the Saints to just 94 yards of total offense, all rushing.

Brevin Runia led the offense by completing six of his 11 pass attempts for 142 yards and two touchdowns. Chidi Nwakama led in rushing with 64 yards while DeMario Gaines added 48 yards and two scores, Runia had 41 yards, Thomas Thordson had 40 yards and Jacob Hughes had 36 yards and a score. Bryce Lance led in receiving with 87 yards and a touchdown and set a record by becoming Marshall’s all-time leader in receiving yards. Jack Bly added 50 yards on two catches and a touchdown.

Defensively, Grant Louwagie led with 6.5 total tackles while Caden Fenger added five tackles and Bryant Paulsen had 4.5 tackles.

Marshall coach Terry Bahlmann said he felt they made a lot of improvements between Weeks 1 and 2, especially on the defensive end.

“I thought we made a lot of improvements, especially on the defensive side of the ball from Week 1 to Week 2,” Bahlmann said. “Obviously we haven’t had a lot of practice time, but I thought the kids improved a lot and played a lot harder on defense and it showed up with a shutout. Offensively, we were able to move the football again, had a stumble on the first drive and made a few mistakes but then we were able to move the football most of the night.”

This week, Marshall will return to Mattke Field to square off against Fairmont tonight in its home opener. For the second week in a row, Marshall will face a team that is beginning their season after having previous games canceled. The Cardinals will be led by Zach Jorgenson, Noah Nelson, Hudson Artz and Gavin Rodning.

“It seems like every week we don’t have film on anybody and we’re guessing from week-to-week. Last week St. Peter had a brand new offense that we hadn’t prepared for at all and the kids adjusted on the fly and did a nice job,” Bahlmann said. “This week, Coach (Mat) Mahoney’s been there a long time so we’re expecting things they’ve done in the past. I got their roster, it looks like they’ve got a lot of size up front and Jorgenson their quarterback is returning and he’s really good with the football.”

Offensively, Bahlmann said they’ve been focused on just cleaning up a few things and strengthening their cohesiveness as a group.

“Just cleaning up some things,” Bahlmann said. “We’re still trying to make up for the time lost in the summer and those first few days of camp, so it’s just about getting our offensive line a little more cohesive.”

Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. Going into their home opener, Bahlmann said he’s looking forward to finally having the chance to play at home in the shortened season.

“We’re playing at home, we’ve been waiting to play here and it’s exciting for the kids,” Bahlmann said. “Hopefully the weather cooperates a little bit, this week we’ve been out in snow practicing and we’ve never done that with this much snow this early in the year. It’s a year of firsts and it’s our first home game and we’re excited to have it.”

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