Updated Fri, Nov 1, 2013 9:16 am
With their 50-22 win against the Wilmington Quakers last week, the Marietta Pioneers (1-6) are looking for back-to-back wins for the first time since September 2009. The Pioneers hope to capture their second consecutive win at home this Saturday against the Baldwin Wallace Yellow Jackets (5-2) at 1:30 p.m.
On its Senior Day game, Marietta needs to find a way to stop an effective Baldwin Wallace rushing attack, as well as continue the success it had on offense last week against Wilmington.
For the fourth- and fifth-year seniors, this game is the last time they get to play at home in Don Drumm Stadium.
“The seniors put a lot of effort and time in over the years,” Marietta head coach Andy Waddle said. “I know their families will be at the game, and the seniors will put everything they have into this one and hopefully we perform well enough to get a win.”
While the seniors come into this matchup with extra emotion, the Pioneers’ defense also faces a challenge. They played a Wilmington offense last week that relied heavily on the pass game. This week, however, the Pios square off against a Baldwin Wallace squad that runs the ball early and often. Last week, Baldwin Wallace defeated the Capital Crusaders 28-12. The Yellow Jackets had 53 rushing attempts compared to only 10 pass plays, and ran for a total of 328 yards. So far this season, the Yellow Jackets have more than twice as many rushing yards than passing – 1,704 compared to just 831 – and have 200 more rushing attempts than passes thrown.
Nolan Sordyl, who had 23 rushes for 193 yards and a touchdown in last week’s win, leads the rushing attack for Baldwin Wallace. While Sordyl is the go-to running back for the Yellow Jackets, wide receiver Josiah Holt also plays a big part in the run game. Although Holt is a wide receiver, he is averaging 79 yards rushing per game. Marietta shut out Wilmington in the fourth quarter of last week’s win, and it looks to ride that momentum by shutting down Sordyl and Holt on Saturday.
Marietta’s offense will also be put to the test against a Baldwin Wallace defense that is only allowing 17 points a game. Although it allowed Capital to gain 312 yards of total offense, Baldwin Wallace shut out the Crusaders in the second half. Led by senior linebacker David Flegal, the Yellow Jackets hope to continue their stingy defense against a Pioneers team that scored 50 points last week for the first time since the 2000 season.
“The offense looked great and we had success again in the run game,” Waddle said. “Only time will tell how we respond to the win last week.”
Marietta was able to snap its 17-game losing streak with a balanced offense including a passing game that finally found its rhythm. Quarterback Tom Fulton threw for 245 yards and three touchdowns while the running game had 231 yards, which were both season highs for the Pioneers
By continuing its offensive success and stopping Baldwin Wallace’s ground game, Marietta has a chance of upsetting this Ohio Athletic Conference foe. Seniors on this Pioneers team have a lot to play for in their last home game, and look to end the Yellow Jackets three-game winning streak.