Thursday, October 25, 2007
A first: MA versus Byhalia
By BARRY BURLESON
Marshall Academy and Byhalia Middle School broke new ground Thursday night.
The Patriots and the Indians played each other in seventh and eighth grade football, believed to be the first private versus public school football matchup in Marshall County ever.
Head coaches C.B. McClatchy of Byhalia and Webb Lewis of Marshall agreed, “This is good.”
“I hope we can do it every year,” said McClatchy, himself a former coach at MA.
“It’s good for the community and these young people,” Lewis said.
The game itself was action-packed and close. The Patriots rallied from a 20-8 third quarter deficit to win 24-20.
The Indians scored first on a 56-yard run by big running back Jarret Rayford. The try-for-two, with 1:16 to go in the first quarter, was denied.
The Indians answered with 6:40 left in the second quarter. Trey Johnson scored on a 7-yard run. Neil Murphy carried for the two-point conversion. MA led 8-6.
Byhalia grabbed a 12-8 halftime advantage with 4:01 left in the second period when DeAngelo Watkins darted 65 yards for six points. The try-for-two was stopped short of the goal-line by Marshall’s Dustin Allen.
Then the Indians opened the second half with a bang. Rayford returned the kickoff 70 yards for a touchdown. Watkins ran for the two points. They were on top 20-8.
Marshall Academy battled back and got to within four when Chase Ferrell threw to Tyler Cook for a 9-yard touchdown and Murphy added the two-point conversion. There was 3:41 remaining in the third quarter.
The Patriots’ defense produced what proved to be the winning points. Murphy forced a fumble, which Ferrell scooped up and returned 50 yards for the score. Johnson carried for the two points after the touchdown.
The Indians threatened a couple of more times in the game but the MA defense stood tall.
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