Thursday, September 14, 2006
Patriots lose district opener to Delta
Marshall Academy Head Football Coach Wade Griffin said he didn’t recognize the Patriot team on the field Friday night against Delta.
“The fire just wasn’t there,” he said, “and I was disappointed with that. We were not overmatched. We shot ourselves in the foot and didn’t get it done. They’re aware of their lack of effort.”
MA dropped a 33-13 decision at home to Delta in the district opener for both schools. The Patriots fell to 1-2 overall, while the Raiders improved to 3-0.
Miscues played a key role in the loss, including several fumbled exchanges before plays ever got started and offside penalties.
“We have to execute – very simple,” Griffin said. “There’s no excuse for that with the number of weeks we’ve been practicing. Plus we had some busted assignments up front offensively.”
The Marshall offense went three and out on its first two series. Then things started tilting downhill.
Delta’s Matt Tedford took a toss from his quarterback and traveled 78 yards for a touchdown. The extra point try failed at the 5:01 mark of the first quarter.
The sweep hurt the Patriots several times during the night.
“There’s no excuse,” Griffin said. “We were late getting there and not running to it. Our week’s preparation was thorough.” MA again went three and out on its next possession, and this time the snap sailed over the head of punter Tyler Sanders. Jordan Campbell of the Raiders recovered the ball in the end zone for a touchdown. Taylor Bailey kicked the extra point and at the 3:12 mark of the first, it was 14-0 in favor of the visitors.
Early in the second quarter the Raiders returned the favor. Their high snap sailed over the punter’s head and Patriots Justin Gray and Taylor Dempsey tackled the punter at the Delta 4-yard line. On second down, Dempsey scored the six points on a 2-yard run. Justin Elliott kicked the extra point.
Delta swung the momentum back in its direction with a timeeating touchdown drive that concluded with 1:00 to go in the first half. Trent Sinquefield threw 23 yards to Colton White for the score. Bailey’s successful kick made the margin 20-7 at the half. The Raiders upped their advantage on their first possession of the second half. It was Tedford again on the toss sweep, this time going 69 yards for the touchdown. The score came after Marshall had jumped offsides on a third and five. Bailey’s extra-point kick was good at the 10:01 mark of the third quarter.
MA fumbled the ball away on its first possession of the second half. Delta got into field-goal range, but its try for three was no good.
Punts dominated until midway through the fourth quarter.
That’s when the Patriots converted a fourth down play for six points. Brent Adams threw to Wesley Harris for the 15-yard score. A try-for-two failed, and MA was down 27-13 with 6:21 remaining.
Marshall’s onside kick was unsuccessful, and Tedford continued to do the damage for Delta. He got loose up the middle this time for a 22-yard gain to the MA 1-yard line. Justin Haynes tallied the touchdown from there. The extrapoint try failed, and with 3:12 to go the final score was on the board.
“I thought we just got whipped,” Griffin said. “I thought what I saw Friday night was behind us, but apparently we’re not there yet. This week we will back up some and focus on basics and redirect.” Dempsey carried 14 times for 60 yards. Adams was five of 13 passing for 48 yards and two interceptions. Harris had all five catches.
Leading tacklers were Adams and Spenser Autry with nine each and Dempsey and Hunter Bolden with eight each.
Another district game awaits this week. The Patriots host Lee (Marianna, Ark.), coached by a former MA assistant John Holcombe. The Cougars are 0-3 after a 36-7 district loss to Lee (Clarksdale) last Friday night.
“They stretch you all over the field with four or five wide,” Griffin said. “They operate from the shotgun a lot.
“All it takes is a win, and we’re redirected. We will see what we’re made of this week.”
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