Thursday, October 12, 2006
The football team did its part Friday night to make it a happy homecoming at Marshall Academy.
The Class 2A Patriots had no trouble disposing of winless, Class A foe North Sunflower. They led 32-0 at the half and added a field goal and safety with the clock running non-stop in the second half. MA improved to 4-3 on the season with the easy 37-0 win.
“I told our players during the week that you can’t take anybody for granted,” said Marshall head coach Wade Griffin. “I think each week we’re showing some improvement.
“I liked a lot of things our offensive line did, and the defensive line is predominantly the same people. They did well there, too.
“Defensively, I like the way we’re hitting people, and our coverage was better on special teams.”
Tyler Sanders started the homecoming fireworks with a 63-yard kickoff return to the North Sunflower 27. MA scored in two plays, 21- and 6-yard carries by Taylor Dempsey. The extra-point was unsuccessful. Only 42 seconds had run off the first quarter clock.
Dempsey, who ran for 185 yards on 12 carries and all in the first half, did the damage on the next MA possession, too. He had a big 34-yard carry to the Rebel 10 and then reached the end zone from there on the next play. A try-for-two was no good.
The Patriots’ next points came with 9:23 to go in the second quarter. Sanders returned a punt 60 yards for six points. Dempsey carried for the two-point conversion and a 20-0 advantage.
Dempsey’s third touchdown of the night and his longest came just a couple of minutes later. He darted 73 yards untouched for the score. The pass attempt for the two points fell incomplete.
Chase Samples and Josh Sharp sacked the North Sunflower quarterback on the visitors’ next series, and Sharp recovered the fumbled ball at the Rebel 25.
Quarterback Brent Adams later looked to pass, but instead he tucked the ball away and ran 18 yards for the touchdown. A try-for-two was unsuccessful. It was 32-0 with 6:17 to go in the first half.
Will Thomas stopped North Sunflower’s best drive of the night. He intercepted a pass at the MA 10.
Harris Gholson lit the second half fireworks. After the MA defense forced a Rebel punt, he returned the ball 30 yards to the North Sunflower 45. Justin Gray reeled off a big 34-yard run, and then on second down, Colby Curtis kicked a 31-yard field goal for the Patriots.
Midway through the fourth period, Sanders tackled a North Sunflower ball-carrier in the end zone for the safety, and the 37-0 final was on the homecoming scoreboard.
“North Sunflower was short on numbers,” Griffin said. “I told our guys at the half we were going to run the continuous clock, but I wanted them to finish and do it the right way,” Griffin said. “I thought we did that.
“Everyone got several minutes of playing time in the game. It was a good night.”
MA rushed for 302 yards against the Rebels.
The Marshall defense held North Sunflower to minus six yards rushing. Samples led the defense with six tackles and two sacks. Jonathan Allen had five tackles.
It’s get much tougher this week for the Patriots as they host non-district opponent Kirk Academy, which beat Bayou 34-14 last Friday to improve to 4-3 on the season.
“Kirk has a good football team,” Griffin said.
The Raiders also beat North Delta 28-0 earlier in the year. Two of their losses were to 3A schools Pillow and Oak Hill.
“We have to keep working this week,” Griffin said. “This is an important game Friday night.”
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