Thursday, November 1, 2007
MA 9-1, district champs
By BARRY BURLESON
A four-year playoff drought is history.
Marshall Academy’s easy 35-7 win at home Friday night over winless Carroll Academy wrapped up the District 1-AA championship and a first round playoff game at home on Friday, Nov. 9.
The Patriots last played in the post-season in 2002, also the last year they won a conference crown.
MA, which has an open date this week, is 9-1 overall and 4-1 in district.
“I’m proud of this group,” said head coach Keith Wicker, in his first season at the helm. “We’re where we want to be. We have opportunities in front of us, and we want to take advantage.”
The Patriots rolled up 447 yards of total offense last Friday, a large chunk of that coming when they built a commanding 28-0 lead in the first quarter.
The Rebels received the opening kickoff and fumbled on their first play. MA’s Josh Sharp recovered.
Wesley Harris got Marshall on the scoreboard just two minutes into the game with a 20-yard run. Brent Adams added the extra-point kick.
Other touchdowns in the first quarter came on two passes from Adams to Tyler Sanders, one for 19 yards and the other for 22. Taylor Dempsey added a 2-yard scoring plunge in between the other two touchdowns. Adams kicked all three extra points.
Marshall upped its lead to 35-0 and concluded its scoring for the night with 4:31 to go in the second quarter. Tyler Childers raced 25 yards to the end zone, and Adams tacked on the kick.
Coach Wicker got his starters out of the game the rest of the way. The clock ran non-stop in the second half.
“I’m not going to run the score up on anybody,” he said.
Carroll’s points came at the 9:40 mark of the fourth quarter on Justin Jones’ 23-yard carry. He also kicked the extra point.
Adams was eight of 13 passing for 171 yards. Sanders caught four for 87 yards.
MA rushed for 276 yards. Dempsey led the ground attack with 60 yards on seven carries. Hank Owens kept the ball four times for 43 yards.
The Patriot defense limited the Rebels to just 126 yards of total offense, all on the ground.
Will Patton and Sharp had fumble recoveries. Joey Brock, Landen Fennell and Will Thomas had four tackles each.
The Patriots will not know who they will meet in the opening round of the Mississippi Private School Association playoffs until after the regular season concludes this week. They will be in the north half of the bracket and face wild card team #4, which will be determined by the MPSA’s power point ratings.
“I knew (going into the season) we had plenty of talent on this team,” Wicker said. “We’re excited about being in the playoffs and we believe we have just as good of team as anybody. And of course, you need a little luck along the way, too.”
He said the Patriots will focus on offense during its open week. Then, when they find out their next opponent, they will go to work on preparing for that team defensively.
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