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Marauders overpowered in 45-6 loss to Maryvale

Dunkirk’s Quanteer Neallard looks for room to run behind teammate Mike Hanlon during Friday’s Class B2 game against Maryvale at Karl Hoeppner Field. OBSERVER Photo by Scott Reagle

Through the first three weeks of the regular season, the Dunkirk Marauders lost all three contests by one possession.

In Week 4, the result was much more definitive — and not in the direction Dunkirk would have liked.

From the opening kickoff until the final whistle, Maryvale was in complete control of Friday’s Class B2 football game at Karl Hoeppner Field.

The visiting Flyers defeated the Marauders by a final score of 45-6.

Maryvale (4-0, 2-0 Class B2) forced and recovered a fumble on the opening kickoff. Then, three plays later, Justus Hill broke free down the Maryvale sideline for a 29-yard touchdown run. The Flyers led 6-0 in the blink of an eye and never looked back.

Dunkirk’s Noah Sikes pressures Maryvale quarterback William Schiller during Friday’s Class B2 game at Karl Hoeppner Field. OBSERVER Photo by Scott Reagle

Even after the opening kickoff turnover, Dunkirk (0-4, 0-3 Class B2) fumbled again, threw an interception, had a punt blocked, snapped the ball over the punter’s head for a safety, and then had another punt blocked all before scoring in the contest.

“Too many mistakes early,” said Dunkirk head coach Mark Benton. “The wheels kind of fell off tonight. … I thought we were going to give these guys a much better game tonight.”

Hill punched in a 7-yard touchdown run after Maryvale got the ball back from a strip sack of Dunkirk quarterback Noah Sikes. Hill also converted the 2-point conversion after he appeared to be stopped short, but refused to go down and fought until he crossed the goal line. After a 27-yard touchdown pass from William Schiller to Hunter Murphy, Hill added another 2-point conversion to make the lead 22-0 with 1:14 left in the first quarter.

From the opening series until he was pulled while up 45-0 in the second half, Hill overpowered the Marauders defense. On multiple occasions, he ran straight through a Dunkirk defender, then helped them up off the ground after the whistle. Hill even ran over to help up a Marauders defender a teammate threw to the ground.

“Physically we were a little outmatched tonight, and it was pretty obvious from the get-go,” said Benton.

Dunkirk’s only sign of getting up off the mat on its own was a 65-yard touchdown run down the Dunkirk sideline by Quanteer Neallard. That touchdown represented the only points on Friday by the Marauders, who trailed 45-0 in the third quarter at the time of the run. Neallard finished with 87 rushing yards and left the game with lower-body cramping.

To make matters worse for the Marauders, one of the team’s leaders, Mike Hanlon, left the game with an ankle injury. It was uncertain after the game just how much time he might miss. “Hopefully it’s not serious. He’s one of the main cogs of this team. If we lose him, it’s going to be a big loss,” said Benton.

Dunkirk is at Albion next week at 7 p.m. Friday, still in search of the first Marauders victory of the season. Albion started the year 0-2 and has since won back-to-back games.

“We’ve got to regroup and go after Albion next week. It’s going to be another tough game,” said Benton.

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