Updated Sun, Sep 22, 2013 11:11 am
With a win on Saturday night, coach Andy Waddle of Marietta or Craig Candeto of Capital would secure their first win at the helm of their respective programs. The Pioneers jumped ahead in the first half, but the Crusaders put on an offensive clinic in the second half to sprint away with a 42-13 win.
Waddle expressed the strong possibility of using a dual-quarterback system in this game, but ultimately decided that fifth-year senior Tom Fulton should hold the reigns for the entire game. Fulton led the Pioneer offense down the field on their first possession, finishing it off by hitting Josh Llaneza for a 5-yard touchdown.
The Pioneers surrendered a six-play 72-yard touchdown drive in the second quarter, but tacked on a 35-yard field goal by Garrett Butler to give Marietta the 10-7 halftime lead.
Once the second half commenced, Capital went on a crusade, scoring five touchdowns and only surrendering a 25-yard Marietta field goal.
Despite his opening drive success, Fulton couldn’t find the end zone for the remainder of the game, finishing with 142 yards on 19 completions and an efficiency rating of 82.6. Wide receiver Kirby Harris hauled in eight passes for 57 yards while Josh Llaneza recorded five catches for 34 yards and a touchdown. Freshman Axten Franzoy did not enter the game.
While Fulton struggled, the Pioneers seemed to find a legitimate option at running back for the first time this season. Junior Tim Conner gained 114 yards on 20 carries and freshman Patrick Lewis compiled 69 yards on only nine carries.
The Marietta running game impressed many after what fans have seen from the Pioneers, but it could not begin to rival the rushing successes of the Capital backs. The Crusaders totaled 429 rushing yards, spearheaded by freshman Brent Walton’s 131 yards on only eight carries. Capital quarterback Chase Longwell also accumulated 107 rushing yards on 21 rushes.
Longwell also added an efficient passing performance, hitting on 7-of-12 passes for 150 yards and two touchdowns and igniting the second half charge to storm away from the Pioneers.
On the defensive side of the ball, senior Marietta linebacker Jake Hammer continued his remarkable play by accumulating 20 total tackles. His total eclipsed the Capital leading tackler by eight total tackles.
With this win, the Crusaders extend their all-time record over Marietta to 53-28-2 and record the first win of the Candeto era. The Crusaders continue Ohio Athletic Conference play next Saturday for a homecoming scrum with Ohio Northern.
The Pioneers fall to 0-2 on the season, averaging a 25-point loss. Marietta now enters its toughest two-game stretch of the season as the Pioneers face Mount Union and Heidelberg, the OAC preseason No. 1 and No. 2 teams. The Pioneers will play their third consecutive game under the lights, as the kickoff against Mount Union is scheduled for 7 p.m.