Thursday, Oct. 18, 2007
Junior high Patriots finish 6-1
By BARRY BURLESON
The Marshall Academy junior high football team fell one win short of an unbeaten record and district championship, but the season can be still be summed up in one word – successful.
“Hey, a 6-1 record, we definitely can’t complain,” said head coach Webb Lewis. “I’m as proud as I can be of this group of guys. They gave everything they had on every play, which is what we’ve been talking about since day one (of preseason practice).
The Patriots, in a battle of district unbeatens, fell 24-6 to Indianola Academy last Thursday night at home.
“They (the Colonels) were as good as we thought,” Lewis said. “I expected them to be tough. We didn’t execute as well as we would have liked. But our players played four quarters as hard as they could, and they’ve been doing that all year.”
Marshall squandered a couple of good scoring chances in the first quarter. A 32-yard completion from Hank Owens to Taylor Maurey moved the ball to the Indianola 33 on the first drive of the game. But MA was stopped a few plays later on a fourth and seven try.
Then Matt Dalton recovered an Indianola fumble at the Colonel 37-yard line.
The Marshall offense reached the Indianola 4, but fumbled the ball to the opposition.
The teams swapped punts before the Colonels scored on a 59-yard run with 6:42 to go in the first half. They added the two-point conversion.
The Patriots almost produced points in the closing minutes of the first half. Owens returned a punt 35 yards to the Indianola 35. Later he was pressured in the pocket and advanced the ball to the 15. A pass attempt into the end zone from the 7-yard line on the last play of the first half was unsuccessful.
The Colonels padded their lead coming out of the locker room for the second half. They drove 63 yards, culminating with a 15-yard touchdown run. They tacked on the two points for a 16-0 advantage at the 4:17 mark of the third quarter.
The Patriots didn’t quit. They bounced back with a long drive that started at their own 20 and reached the Indianola 14. But the Colonels stopped them on a fourth and three play.
MA got its only points of the night when Chase Ferrell scooped up an Indianola fumble and returned it 16 yards for a score. The try-for-two failed. MA trailed 16-6 with 3:39 to go in the game.
An onside kick attempt was unsuccessful.
Indianola put the victory on ice with a 46-yard touchdown run. The Colonels threw for the two-point conversion and the 24-6 final score.
“We have a lot of seventh and eighth graders back next year, and we should have another good junior high team,” Lewis said.
“Our ninth graders will now move up and dress with the high school, and I expect some to maybe step in and play a key role on the high school team.”
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