Thursday, October 5, 2006
Patriots ease by Calhoun 52-0
By BARRY BURLESON
Eight touchdowns on offense and a shutout by the defense added up to a fine night Friday for the Marshall Academy Patriots.
MA put it on cruise control and defeated Calhoun Academy 52-0 at Patriot Field.
“We needed this,” said coach Wade Griffin, whose squad was coming off a 53-6 loss at Magnolia Heights the week before. “The win came at a good time and now we’re back at .500 (3-3). The guys were in good spirits when they left the field house Friday night.”
Taylor Dempsey and Tyler Sanders accounted for half of Marshall’s touchdowns (two each). Brent Adams threw for two, one to Hunter Bolden and another to Chase Samples. Justin Gray and Jake Howell ran for the other two touchdowns.
Dempsey got MA on the scoreboard early in the first quarter with a 20-yard run. Colby Curtis kicked the extra point.
The Patriot defense held the Cougars on their first series, and then Sanders hauled in the punt and returned it 57 yards to the end zone for six ponts. Another kick by Curtis upped MA’s lead to 14-0.
The Patriots reached the Calhoun 2-yard line on its next possession but fumbled the ball away.
Adams intercepted a Cougar pass on the first play of the second quarter, giving the Marshall offense the ball at the Calhoun 33, but the drive stalled when MA failed to convert on a fourth and 11.
Then another Patriot interception, the first of two on the night by Wesley Harris, put the home team in business again. Harris returned it 33 yards to the Calhoun 22-yard line.
Dempsey plunged into the end zone from 2 yards out with 8:53 to go in the second quarter. Curtis added the kick for a 21-0 advantage.
Marshall scored twice more before the half. Adams connected with Bolden for a 32-yard touchdown at the 5:09 mark, and with just 59 seconds to go in the second quarter Adams threw to Samples for a 7-yard score. Both extra point attempts failed, and the lead was 33-0.
Childers’ second punt return for six points came with 9:24 left in the third quarter. This one covered 80 yards. Justin Elliott kicked the extra point.
A fumble recovery by Adams on the ensuing kickoff led to another score for MA. Gray did the ground work on the drive, including a 32-yard run for the touchdown with 5:49 left in the third. The point-after try failed.
Harris picked off his second Calhoun pass of the night and returned it 26 yards to the Calhoun 6-yard line. Howell scored on a 4-yard run on fourth and goal. The extra point kick was unsuccessful, and the 52-0 final was on the board with 4:59 to go in the game.
Dempsey rushed for 85 yards on the night and Gray 54. MA had 176 yards on the ground.
“We ran the ball well and on defense we ran to the ball,” Coach Griffin said. “I like what I see from our guys up front. I was pleased with our line play on both sides of the ball. We didn’t get knocked off the ball Friday night, and Calhoun was pretty big up front.”
Samples led the defense with nine tackles and two sacks. Bolden and Paylor had six tackles each.
He said Curtis and Elliott are getting better as the team’s kickers.
“They just need more reps,” Griffin said.
He said he was displeased with parts of the special teams play, and he plans to double the repetition on those areas this week.
It’s homecoming this Friday night at Patriot Field when Marshall hosts North Sunflower.
“Distractions during homecoming week come with the territory,” Griffin said. “It always worries me. We will see how we handle the distractions.”
The Rebels come to Holly Springs with 0-6 record. They lost 34-7 to Greenville Christian last Friday night.
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