JO WHEAT - In a salute to former North Marion kicker Andy Pine, who died in a vehicle crash earlier in the week, the Huskies lined up for the opening kickoff of Fridays game against Gladstone without a kicker and took a knee. Coaches, cheerleaders and members of the opposing team also got down on one knee to remember Pine, a much loved North Marion student who graduated in 2014.
The North Marion football team lost 21-17 Friday night to the visiting Gladstone Gladiators, who scored a touchdown in the final seconds of a game that was emotional for reasons off the field.
Prior to the game, the Huskies (1-2) paid tribute to fallen 2014 graduate Andy Pine, who died earlier in the week after sustaining injuries in a motor vehicle crash near Aurora. Pine was a kicker for the football team in his time at North Marion, and in honor of his passing, the team lined up for the opening kickoff with just 10 players on the field and no kicker.
The Huskies and Gladiators took a knee on the play, until the referees called a delay of game penalty, which Gladstone declined to accept.
Fans of both teams also recognized Pine by wearing red to the game, symbolic of Pine’s signature hair color, and took a moment of silence before the playing of the National Anthem.
Once the game was underway, the Huskies took a 10-0 lead in the third quarter on a 20-yard field goal from Tanner Scanlan in the first half, followed by a 13-yard pass from Hunter Martin to Bryce Lemon in the third quarter.
The Gladiators rallied to take a 14-10 lead on a pair of touchdown runs by Quinn Carl, but the Huskies regained the advantage on a nine-yard touchdown pass from Martin to Scanlan with 6:27 to play in the game to make it 17-14.
But Carl scored one last touchdown on a one-yard dive with 18 seconds remaining to lift the Gladiators (1-2) to their first victory of the season.
Offensively, Scanlan led the team with six catches for 79 yards and a touchdown. Ammon Suchanski added 58 yards on two catches and 17 more yards on the ground on seven carries.
Sam Garcia led the team in rushing with 33 yards on 12 carries.
Martin went 10-of-24 for 158 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions.
The Huskies open their league schedule this week with a road game at Newport (0-3) on Friday.