By George Bremer
The Herald Bulletin
ANDERSON, Ind. —
A healthy Anderson football team is a happy Anderson football team.
The Indians got the majority of its expected lineup back for the first time this season and racked up 522 yards of total offense in a 61-13 pasting of Marion on homecoming Friday.
Anderson's point total is believed to be the highest since at least 1986, and the win gave the Tribe (3-4, 2-2 North Central Conference) consecutive victories for the first time this season.
The Indians took the lead from the start, running 4:10 off the clock to start the first quarter and scoring on a 4-yard run by Jerian Beard. The senior star finished with a team-high 135 yards and three touchdowns on 18 carries, leading a rushing offense that racked up 367 yards overall.
"That first drive was one of the better drives we've had this year," Anderson coach Randy Albano said. "We mixed it up well, we executed well, we did everything you're supposed to do. Our kids have played a lot better the last two weeks, and a lot of that is being healthy."
That health allowed the Indians to again pair Beard in the backfield with junior standout Tyler Welch. After scoring five touchdowns against New Castle last week, Welch added 116 yards and two scores against the Giants (1-6, 0-5 NCC).
Anderson led 21-0 after the first quarter, with Welch scoring on a 17-yard run and Robby Peal catching a 47-yard touchdown pass from Gaven Owens.
Owens finished 4-of-6 for 155 yards and two touchdowns. He added a 72-yard scoring strike to senior Brandan Chapman late in the first half, and the Indians led 35-0 at intermission.
The defense also got into the act, intercepting three passes and adding a 75-yard touchdown on Bryant White's fumble return. White simply ripped the football away from a Marion running back and sprinted untouched in the opposite direction for the first score of the second half.
"Our kids have shown we do have a lot of speed," Albano said. "And one of the things we've really improved on this year is defensive football."
Anderson's interceptions came from Chapman, Logan Throesch and Kevin Jackson. The Indians also recorded three sacks and held the Giants to just 80 rushing yards.
Anderson led 41-0 after White's fumble return. Beard and Welch added touchdown runs of 22 and 18 yards respectively at the end of the third quarter and start of the fourth quarter, and Nakosh Chamberlain capped the Tribe's scoring with a 77-yard run with 6:12 to play.
Marion's touchdowns came on a 43-yard passes from Lorenzo Trevino to Darick Jones and from Niko Trevino to Jermaine Smith.
Anderson travels to Muncie Central next week with a chance to move above .500 in NCC play.