Tony Perkins has been a football coach for more than three decades and he's never seen a rugged schedule like the one Marion has this season.
"From top to bottom, I've never seen anything like it in 31 years," Marion's head coach said last week. "It's a nightmare schedule, and you're going to have to be ready for every game or you're going to get blown off the field."
The schedule got tougher this season when the Xavier Saints moved from Class 4A to 3A and were put in the same district with the Indians after playing for the Class 4A title.
Marion has a non-district game with the Washington Demons, who finished second in the Class 3A playoffs last year with a 12-2 record. And they have a district contest with Solon, which reached the Class 3A semifinals and finished 11-2.
Marion also will face Class 3A playoff teams in its own district with DeWitt Central, Western Dubuque and Maquoketa. There's also a district game against Dubuque Wahlert, which dropped from Class 4A to 3A this year, and non-district dates with Mount Vernon and Cascade.