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Red Raiders blanked in their season opener

Red Raiders blanked in their season opener Red Raiders blanked in their season opener

Mike Hahn doesn’t know what the future holds for the Marathon Red Raiders. He doesn’t know how many more games he will get to enjoy, doesn’t know how many more nights he and his teammates will have in a Red Raiders uniform. But he’s making the most of the opportunities before him.

“It’s great to actually get a football game in,” Hahn says. “We’re just really excited to compete. We came up short, but we’re going to take it to Abbotsford.”

If Friday’s game is any indication, the Falcons had better be prepared to fight because even though Marathon was playing in their first game of the season, the Red Raiders gave Colby’s high octane offense its biggest test of the season and looked as well seasoned as any team in Wisconsin.

The Hornets came into their home game with Marathon with an unblemished 3-0 record and were averaging over 40 points a game. But with Hahn and Company patrolling the field yards and touchdowns were few and far between.

The Red Raiders put the clamps on Colby in the first half, with the big and burly 6’2”, 215 pound Hahn darting all over the field to make big tackles and plays behind the line of scrimmage.

“We came out mad and we wanted to prove something. We wanted to bring it to them,” Hahn said about Marathon’s defensive intensity. “We had two first time varsity starters in and we came off the ball hard and we brought it to them.”

The Red Raiders succeeded in holding Colby scoreless through the first quarter, but the Hornets returned the favor. Hard hits and harder yards continued to follow in the second half until Colby’s ground game began to get going.

Colby’s Brent Jeske drew first blood, scoring from one yard out, part of a night where Colby’s signal caller gashed Marathon for over 130 rushing yards. Jeske was aided by Ross Elmhorst, who added another 90 yards on the ground.

It was still anyone’s game, with the score sitting at just 7-0 after the end of the first half. Marathon struggled on offense, but quarterback Ben Robbins found Griffin Treankler twice for 45 yards in the game, the biggest reception coming in the first half that gave Robbins some much needed confidence, who was making his first career start at quarterback.

“I was definitely nervous coming in, and I am sure how the whole team was nervous since this was our first game and Colby’s fourth. After tonight, I am feeling a lot better.”

Robbins threw for almost one hundred yards, not bad considering he had all of two pass attempts last year. But three interceptions on the night proved costly, with the majority coming in the second half after Colby successfully bottled much of the Red Raiders run game.

“We had a lot of good short passes, but Colby has a great front four, and their linebackers are fast and coming right through,” Robbins said. “In the future, hopefully we can throw it deep, short and really open the playbook.”

That’s when Colby’s offense got going. The Hornets made it a two score game in the third quarter when Jeske scored from five yards out on a QB keeper, and in the fourth the Hornets pulled away for good with a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter, one for Elmhorst with 11: 26 left in the contest, and the final nail in the coffin came with 2:31 to play in the game when Jeske weaved his way through traffic to score from 39-yards out. Colby made the PAT and made it 28-0.

Marathon’s offense finished with 100 yards, with Matt Annis leading the way with 19 yards on three carries. Robbins had 91 yards on nine completions. Jaden Koeller had four of those receptions for 39 yards.

Marathon is slated for another road game this Friday when they take on the Abbotsford Falcons at 7 p.m. The two teams have played their share of memorable contests, and with their defense proving up to the task, Hahn and his teammates are looking at the season with one simple mission “The goal from here is pretty simple go undefeated,” Hann said. “We always want to win, and I think we proved that we have a good team here, so why sell ourselves short? Anything can happen when you play under Friday Night Lights.”

STOPPING HIM COLD IN HIS TRACKS- Jared Sweno (#26) takes an angle and tackle’s Colby’s Joe Hawthorne as Noah Gage (#21) comes in to help. The Red Raiders held Colby’s vaunted offense in check through the first half.STAFF PHOTO/ROSS PATTERMANN