Thursday, August 24, 2006
MA focuses on Tunica; first game away Friday
By BARRY BURLESON
Coach Wade Griffin got a look at his own team one night and then he saw his week one opponent the next.
The Marshall Academy Patriots played in a jamboree at Marianna, Ark., Thursday. Friday evening, Tunica was in a jamboree at Desoto, Ark. MA kicks off the season this Friday night, Aug. 25, on the road against the Blue Devils.
The Patriots tied Lee, Ark., 6-6 and lost 6-0 to Delta in their jamboree.
“We ran the ball well against Lee and I was pleased with that,” said Griffin, entering his third season as head coach at Marshall. “We also did some good things defensively.”
He particularly praised the running of sophomore Taylor Dempsey.
“He did a tremendous job,” Griffin said.
Quarterback Brent Adams scored the lone touchdown for the Patriots.
Then in the second 20-minute contest, Griffin wasn’t as pleased.
“We did not look the same against Delta – too many mental mistakes,” he said. “We started flat. We seemed out of gas.
“Delta is a good team, and I told our guys after that second scrimmage, that we didn’t bring an attitude to the line of scrimmage. We have to play with intensity and we didn’t do that in the second scrimmage.”
MA played without the services of two starters in the backfield, Tyler Sanders and Chase Samples. Both were sidelined earlier in the week due to the heat-related injuries. He expects Sanders to play in the season-opener this week, but he is not sure if Samples will be ready.
The Patriots, 2-9 a year ago, look to turn that around this season. And they hope a win at Tunica in game one will be a big step in the right direction.
“We have to prepare well this week,” Griffin said. “Tunica ran the ball most of the night (in its jamboree) but that could change.
“I hope our kids realize that we’re a nudge away from being good.
“If MA cross its Ts and dots its Is, it’s a game we should win.
“We really need this ball game.”
Griffin announced that the Patriots have filled an open date on their schedule.
They will host Calhoun Academy on September 29, giving MA an 11-game schedule.
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