By LARRY HYPES
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
MARION, Va. — Same song, second verse. Ethan Richardson scored three touchdowns and gained 189 yards to lead Marion to a 42-6 playoff win over visiting Tazewell, Friday.
The Scarlet Hurricane will play at Tunstall in Region IV, Division 3 semifinal Virginia High School League playoff action this coming Friday. The victory was the second in a month for the Hurricane over the Bulldogs.
Tazewell’s John Wayne Absher scored the Bulldog points on a 42-yard fourth quarter touchdown run with 3:13 to play. That was the highlight for Tazewell, which won two of its final three regular season games and made the VHSL playoffs for the first time in four seasons. New coach Shane Allen sparked the resurgent Bulldogs to make a positive change in his first year.
Marion scored two touchdowns in each of the first three quarters and they played standout defense. The Hurricane picked up 398 total yards and held the Bulldogs to 149. Marion rushed for 300 and passed for 98 more.
Trey Crook scored the first Hurricane touchdown on a three-yard run with 4:54 to go in the opening quarter to cap a two-play, 47-yard drive. A Tazewell turnover helped the Hurricane to get started and Isaac Glass kicked the point after.
Richardson bolted in with half a minute to go in the opening stanza, racing for the touchdown on a 40-yard scamper as he picked up 107 yards in the first quarter alone.
Richardson scored again on a 20-yard run in the second quarter and Crook fired a 15-yard scoring strike to a wide open Sam Lincoln in the final minute before halftime.
Marion opened the second half by recovering an onside kick. Colin Gullion raced 48 yards on the first play of the third period for the score and glass kicked the PAT to make it 35-0. Richardson added a 35-yard score on the next series and Glass’ extra point put the Hurricane ahead by 42 with 7:31 left in the third stanza.
Cody McCann completed seven passes for 56 yards and Jacob McReynolds gained 47 yards on the ground for the Bulldogs. Absher was the top ground gainer with 50 yards on two carries.
For Marion, Crook finished with 98 yards passing.
Tazewell...............................0 0 0 6 — 6
Marion................................14 14 14 0 — 42
M - Crook 3 run (Gullion kick), 4:54
M - Richardson 40 run (Gullion kick), 0:33
M - Richardson 20 run (Glass kick), 5:57
M - Crook 15 pass to Lincoln (Gullion kick), 0:45
M - Gullion 48 run (Glass kick), 11:51
M - Richardson 35 run (Glass kick), 7:31
T - Absher 42 run (kick failed), 3:13