It didn't take long for Boyle (6-2, 2-0 district) to work Marion (1-7, 0-3) over in the first of three straight games in which the Rebels will be overwhelming favorites.
Boyle scored 19 points in a span of 4 minutes, 53 seconds, with three offensive drives that used a total of only seven plays. It was 40-0 at halftime, and the clock ran continuously after the Rebels scored on their first possession of the second half.
"I think we showed signs of improvement in this game," sen-ior lineman Jacob Arnold said.
Quinn Givhan scored the Rebels' first touchdown on a 35-yard run, and he scored again in the second quarter and rushed for a game-high 103 yards, all in the first half.
Brandon Smith completed eight of 11 passes for 126 yards and threw touchdown passes of 29 yards to Greg Peck, 26 yards to Evan Teague and 2 yards to Josh Miller. Smith also had a rushing touchdown, Seth Tam-me returned a punt 72 yards for a score and Adam Dickinson capped the scoring with a 33-yard field goal late in the third quarter.
Smith looking for line development
One of the things Chuck Smith said he hoped the tape would reveal is the continued development of Boyle's offensive and defensive lines, which have been subjected to several personnel changes both before and during the season.
"We're looking to see whether individual players get better at their positions," Smith said. "We've been working really hard on a couple of offensive linemen and defensive linemen, getting them to come along, and hopefully that's what we got done tonight."
Arnold, one of the leaders of the Rebels' lines, said it's up to the older linemen to make sure those units improve and point the way for the newer players, just as former players like Lance Mertz, Brodie Overstreet and Brad Scholtz did for him when he started seeing playing time as a sophomore.
"They showed me how to be a leader," Arnold said. "We've got to set a good example. The biggest thing is showing them we have to work hard."
Arnold said things are looking up on the offensive line, which has been retooled more than once.
"We've had a lot of injuries this year on the offensive line, and we've had two or three different offensive lineups. Now we're just starting to get in the groove where we're working together real well," Arnold said.
Boyle's running plays often went to the left, and Arnold said that was for the benefit of the less experienced players on that side, linemen Josh Bertram and Jed Roth and tight end Peck.
Boyle's total of 273 offensive yards was 170 below its season average, in large part because the offense ran only 31 plays and almost always started with excellent field position.
Marion finishes with 32 yards
Marion's offense ran 49 plays but finished with only 32 yards, and the Knights' net total through three quarters was just one yard. Many of Marion's plays were running plays into the line, and they were stopped for no gain or negative yardage on 20 of their 40 rushing attempts.
"We shut down the run, and we've done a good job of that the last two or three weeks," Arnold said. "That's something we've got to do to be a state championship team."
The Boyle coach said he thinks Marion was trying to control the ball and the clock.
"They just came right at us," Chuck Smith said. "They've got a young team, and they probably wanted to get the clock running and make it a short game. They just couldn't get anything going."
Arnold said the Rebels weren't about to let that happen as long as the Knights kept coming up the middle.
"I guess they were going to play their game," Arnold said. "They went into the game knowing they weren't going to win, and they did what they wanted to do and weren't expecting it to succeed.
"They came out in the second half and (the linemen) weren't even coming out of their stance."