Thursday, October 25, 2007
Patriots coast past Raiders
By BARRY BURLESON
The Marshall Academy Patriots simply took care of business Friday night.
Marshall had no trouble disposing of Delta Academy 36-14. It was their second straight easy win on the road over a non-district foe before wrapping up the regular season this week at home versus district opponent Carroll Academy.
“We came out and played well, and that can be attributed to our leadership,” head coach Keith Wicker said. “We have some good leaders on this team.”
The Patriots are 8-1 overall and 3-1 in district. A win over the winless Rebels (0-9) this Friday gives Marshall the district championship and a first round playoff game at home on Friday, Nov. 9. The Patriots have an open date on Friday, Nov. 2.
Marshall put points on the board on each of its first-half possessions - going ahead 30-0 at the intermission.
The Patriots opened the game with an impressive 80-yard, 10-play drive. Taylor Dempsey, who rushed for 137 yards on the night, did most of the work on the first march. He gained first downs on runs of 15, 27 and 7 yards. Brent Adams scored the touchdown on a 1-yard quarterback sneak. Adams added the extra-point kick with 8:30 to go in the first quarter.
Delta drove to midfield on its first possession. On a fourth and three, MA’s Wesley Harris intercepted an errant throw.
Adams then threw to Harris for 23 yards. Dempsey ran for 16. The drive later bogged down, thanks to a delay of game flag, and Adams kicked a 31-yard field goal. It was 10-0 with 11:11 left in the second period.
Two plays after the ensuing kickoff, Landen Fennell forced a fumble, which teammate Josh Sharp recovered.
Marshall’s offense scored in one play. Dempsey ran 15 yards for the six points. Adams’ kick made it 17-0.
The defense limited the Raiders to three plays and out. The offense kept clicking - going 66 yards in seven plays for more points. The big play was a 35-yard pass from Adams to Tyler Sanders, who made a spectacular catch despite being well-covered at the Delta 20-yard line. Dempsey carried for 13 yards to the 7, and three plays later he walked into the end zone from 1 yard out. Adams’ kick put the visitors up 24-0.
Delta, turning to the pass, put together a nice drive just before the half which reached the Marshall 9. Then on third down, Harris picked off a pass and returned it 102 yards along the sideline for a touchdown. The extra-point kick was blocked, giving the Patriots a 30-0 lead with just 52 ticks to go in the second quarter.
Dempsey had 108 yards rushing at the break.
Delta Academy coaches, due to the lopsided score, requested a non-stop clock in the second half.
MA’s starters saw their last action on the Patriots’ first possession of the second half. It was a two-play scoring drive - thanks to Dempsey’s 29-yard run and Tyler Childers’ 28-yard dash to the end zone. A bad snap foiled the extra-point try.
The Raiders avoided the shutout with two second-half touchdowns - one on Trent Sinquefield’s 5-yard run and another on Robert Carson’s 43-yard run. Taylor Bailey kicked the two extra points for the 36-14 final.
Leading the MA defense were John Tomlinson and Taylor Dempsey with six tackles each. Fennell had two tackles and a sack, Sharp two tackles and the fumble recovery, Paylor two tackles and a pass knockdown, and Harris the two interceptions.
It will be “Senior Night” this Friday, Oct. 26, when the Patriots host Carroll at 7:30 p.m. to wrap up the regular season.
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