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by Charles Casey
(September 5) RACHEL -- Defending Class AAA champion North Marion rebounded from an opening-game loss by using its defense for a 28-7 victory over crosstown rival Fairmont Senior.
The Huskies' defense forced four turnovers, with two of them leading to easy scores in the third quarter of Friday night's NCAC game at Husky Field.
North Marion (1-1) led 8-7 when it took advantage of the miscues, fumbles deep in Fairmont Senior territory.
Nathan Earl recovered the first fumble at the Polar Bears' 24. The Huskies scored two plays later on Jason Hendershot's 18-yard run with 6:02 remaining.
On Fairmont Senior's next play from scrimmage, Thomas Evans recovered a fumble at Fairmont Senior's 20. The Huskies scored five plays later on Hendershot's 2-yard run for a 21-7 lead with 3:40 remaining.
"Our defense gave up one play and came up with several big plays in getting our offense going," said North Marion coach Gerry White.
"This is a brand new team this year, with nine different starters. But I thought this win will give them the much-needed confidence the rest of the season."
Fairmont Senior (1-1) scored first on Chad Merchant's 92-yard run through the middle of the Huskies' defense. That gave the Polar Bears a 7-0 lead with 16 seconds left in the first quarter.
The lead didn't last long.
On the ensuing kickoff, Evans went 80 yards for a touchdown. Justin Darrah threw to Seth Barker for the 2-point conversion, giving the Huskies the lead for good.
Hendershot led North Marion with 92 yards on 14 carries.
Merchant led all rushers with 111 yards on nine carries.
· VALLEY WETZEL 34, Frontier, Ohio 14: Valley Wetzel amassed 376 yards rushing to win at Frontier, Ohio.
John Loy led the Lumberjacks (2-0) with 180 yards rushing and three touchdowns. Davey McDiffitt rushed for 86 yards and two scores, while Daniel LeMaster added 95 yards rushing.
Todd Taylor led Frontier with 99 yards rushing.
· UNIVERSITY 27, East Fairmont 0: Jon Barnett scored two touchdowns and University's defense continued its dominant play as the Hawks rolled past East Fairmont.
Barnett scored on a 53-yard fumble return in the first period and tacked on a 50-yard score in the final period as the Hawks improved to 2-0. East Fairmont fell to 0-2.
University quarterback Cody Phillips was impressive, completing 12 of 16 passes for 115 yards and one score. Adam Cantoni finished with 96 yards on 18 carries, while Barnett had 70 yards on 7 carries.