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The first big clash in the South Seven pits two teams coming off big wins after starting the season with two losses.

Last year Cahokia came in 0-3 and Marion was 2-1 before the Comanches upset the Wildcats, 28-21.

"The first conference weekend is key to winning the conference championship," said Cahokia coach Antwyne Galliday. "A conference champion always gets a playoff berth and we want to start off with a win."

Last week Marion (1-2) beat Harrisburg at home, 42-0. Defensively, the Wildcats held the Bulldogs to 97 total yards, all on the ground, while forcing five fumbles and recovering two.

"This win was good for morale and confidence and something we could build on," said Marion coach Kerry Martin. "It was good to see our defense bounce back. A shutout is hard to come by in this league. It was a good physical game on both sides of the ball."

Offensively, Marion gained 157 yards through the air while grinding out 105 yards on the ground. Quarterback Izak Baker completed 8-of-11 passes for 148 yards and two touchdown passes -- 37 yards to Mike Bradshaw and 39 yards to Brandon Osborne in the second quarter.

"We didn't have the ball very long, maybe 15 minutes in time of possession, because we had a lot of short fields," Martin said. "The kids did a lot with those opportunities. Izak threw the ball well to a lot of different people."

On the ground, running back Braden Ziegler scored three touchdowns while gaining 75 yards on 13 carries. The junior scored from 18 yards out in the first quarter and added 11- and 12-yard scores late in the second and early in the third quarters.

"It's good to be home again," Martin said. "Cahokia's record is a little deceiving. They've played good competition and are primed and ready for the conference."

Cahokia (1-2) also had a breakout game, beating St. Louis Northwest Academy of Law, 46-0. The score could have been much larger, with three touchdowns called back on penalties.

"While Northwest was no O'Fallon or Alton, we consider this win a confidence builder," Galliday said. "The first couple weeks we've been having six or seven turnovers a game, but last week we cut them down to three and hope to get better."

The Comanches' special teams were especially special scoring two touchdowns on a punt return and a kickoff return.

Defensively, the Comanches forced four turnovers and scored a safety while posting its first shutout since an October 19, 2012 game against Hales Franciscan.

"We pretty much did what we wanted to do at will," Galliday said. "The offense clicked and the defense clicked, giving us good field position."

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