Big Second Half From Orr Leads Linn-Mar Past West High


Ryan Murken

Your Prep Sports

IOWA CITY – For two quarters West High was able to keep Marcus Orr and the high-powered Linn-Mar passing attack contained.

In the final two quarters Orr and the Lions got loose.

Linn-Mar scored on three consecutive possessions to open the second half while erasing a 12-7 halftime deficit on its way to a 28-12 win over West High on Friday at Trojan Field in Iowa City.

Orr completed 10-of-11 passes in the second half and 196 of his 244 passing yards came after halftime as Linn-Mar (4-2) moved to 2-0 in district play taking over the drivers’ seat in the Class 4A, District 4 race.

“Some teams would have folded their tents at halftime when they were down and things weren’t going the greatest but we felt like our passing game was ready to explode,” Linn-Mar coach Paul James said. “We were able to get things going and they responded to the challenge.”

West High (1-5, 1-1) limited Orr to 5-of-8 passing in the first half and sacked the Linn-Mar quarterback twice including one for a safety that gave the Trojans an early 2-0 lead.

After halftime the 6-foot, 195-pound Orr was nearly perfect.

Orr completed his first 10 second-half passes while leading touchdown drives of 68, 56 and 80 drives.

His 49-yard touchdown pass to Will Zahradnik was the dagger, putting the Lions up 28-12 with 7:52 left.

“They executed,” West High coach Garrett Hartwig said. “It’s hard for me to analyze it without seeing the film but they have some very skilled receivers and a quarterback that threw it in there. We got beat tonight there’s not much we can say.”

West High took a 2-0 lead when it sacked Orr for a safety with 6:33 left in the opening quarter.

The Trojans defense came up big again on the following drive stuffing Orr on a quarterback sneak on a fourth-and-one play from the Lions’ own 17 yard line.

Five plays later Marcus Morgan hit Grahm Goering for a 3-yard touchdown pass that put West High up 9-0.

Linn-Mar cut the lead to 9-7 on a 33-yard touchdown run by Trey Martin with 10:44 left in the first half.

West High had a couple of chances to extend the lead but failed on a fake punt at midfield at settled for a 24 yard field goal on the final play of the half after having first and goal at the Lion 6.

“We had opportunities when we were up 9-0 to really change the tenor of the game and we didn’t execute,” Hartwig said. “At the end of the half and took a field goal instead of a touchdown and we came out to start the second half and went three-and-out and you can’t do that against good teams. Hats off to them they beat us.”
West High still led 12-9 to start the opening half but went 3-and-out on its opening possession and Linn-Mar responded with an 11-play, 68-yard drive that ended with the first of two 1-yard touchdown plunges by Orr.

Linn-Mar struck again less than five minutes later, going 56-yard in seven plays after Evan Behrens recovered a West High fumble at the 44 yard line.

The second rushing touchdown of the game by Orr made it 21-12 with 1:52 left in the quarter.


“He started getting going the second quarter,” James said of Orr. “They came out in a defense we thought they might but for what we were trying to do it didn’t work the greatest and we found some little openings in our passing game and just started exploiting that.”

West High missed an opportunity to cut into the lead on its ensuing possession when a 25 yard field goal glanced off the right upright.

Linn-Mar took over at the 20 and went straight for the knockout punch.

Orr hit Martin for a 31-yard gain on the first play of the drive and found Zahradnik streaking down the sideline for a 49-yard touchdown on the next play to take a 28-12 lead.

“The first one we are throwing a six-yard hitch but our other players run a seam route and he just read that they were all over the hitch and he threw the seam,” James said. “We give him reads and he is really progressed over the year.”

While the Linn-Mar offense heated up its defense kept Morgan and the West High offense in check for most of the second half.

Morgan finished 16-of-27 passing for 138 yards and the junior quarterback rushed for 47 more yards but was under constant pressure from an aggressive Lion front seven.

“We worked all week on having our defensive lineman take proper rush lanes, contain and try not to get out of position because we know how good Marcus is,” James said. “You have to try to contain him and he is so elusive so that is the big thing just don’t get out of your lanes and stay with what you are supposed to do.”

West High returns to action next week when it hosts Davenport North (4-2) in a district contest while Linn-Mar, the lone unbeaten team in District 4, hosts Muscatine.

“We just made mistakes but credit Linn-Mar they played sound, they were able to move the ball and move the ball and they got some stops,” Hartwig said. “We have to learn to find that winning edge and that’s something we are trying to teach and we will get back to the drawing board with it.”

                                                ICW                L-M

First Downs                           19                      17

Rushes-yards                       41-149             25-102

Comp-Att-Int                         16-27-0             15-19-0

Passing yards                        138                  244

Total yards                              287                  346

Punts-avg.                            3-44.7               2-39.5

Fumbles-lost                          1-1                     0-0

Penalties-yards                      7-45                 10-89

Linn-Mar        0  7  14  7  –  28

West High      9  3   0   0  –  12

ICW – Safety Marcus Orr sacked in endzone

ICW – Grahm Goering 3 pass from Marcus Morgan (Owen Smith kick)

L-M – Trey Martin 33 run (Alex Cochrane kick)

ICW – Smith 24 field goal

L-M – Orr 1 run (Cochrane kick)

L-M – Orr 1 run (Cochrane kick)

L-M – Will Zahradnik 49 pass from Orr (Cochrane kick)

Individual Statistics

RUSHING – ICW: Tyuss Bell 20-102, Marcus Morgan 15-47, Marchaun Hoover 3-6, Will Hoeft 1-0, Grant Henderson 1-(-1), Team 1-(-5). LM: Bricen White 12-50, Trey Marin 6-36, Brandon Raus 1-15, Marcus Orr 6-1.

PASSING – ICW: Marcus Morgan 16-25-0 138. LM: Marcus Orr 15-19-0 244.

RECEIVING – ICW: Tate Crane 7-58, Ian McAreavy 4-39, Grahm Goering 2-19, Mikey Crutcher 2-10, Tyuss Bell 1-12. LM: Trey Martin 6-82, Brandon Raus 5-56, Will Zahradnik 2-60, John Steffen 2-46

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