Thursday, October 2, 2008
MA falls 15-3 at Heritage
By BARRY BURLESON
Marshall Academy’s bus broke down en route to Columbus Friday night. The game started 15 minutes late, and much like the bus, the MA offense sputtered.
The Class AA Patriots had just 91 yards rushing on 30 carries and lost 15-3 to Class AAA Heritage Academy.
Almost 60 of those yards came on Marshall’s first possession of the game when it put together an 11-play drive that ended with Chase Carpenter nailing a 25-yard field goal. It came with 5:04 to go in the first quarter and would be MA’s only points.
“They just whipped us,” head coach Keith Wicker said. “We didn’t block - some did and some didn’t.”
Heritage’s best play proved to be drawing the Patriots offsides. Marshall jumped six times on the night, amounting to 30 “free” yards for the opposition.
“Those penalties either gave them short yardage or gave them first downs,” Coach Wicker said.
Marshall actually had eight penalties for 50 yards. Heritage was flagged once for 15 yards.
And if the Patriots needed another sign that it just wasn’t their night, Heritage fumbled five times but recovered them all - four in the first half and two of those on a drive that led to the home team knotting the score at 3 early in the second quarter.
“Defensively, we played pretty well,” Coach Wicker said, “except for that one play.”
He was referring to a 23-yard halfback pass from Mac Thatcher to Hunter Brown that gave Heritage a 9-3 lead. It came on a fourth and seven with 4:29 to go in the first half. The extra point, a 35-yarder after an upsportsmanlike conduct penalty, was no good.
That score held until the 5:33 mark of the fourth quarter. On a fourth and goal from the 1-yard line, Will Swedenburg kept the ball and looked to be stopped but instead pitched to Thatcher, who fell into the end zone. Patrick Witty kicked the extra point.
Marshall tried to rally by taking to the air. But the comeback try ended with Heritage’s second interception of the night.
MA was six of 15 through the air for 69 yards. John Tomlinson had two catches for 34 yards. Hunter Bolden had 70 yards rushing on 12 carries.
Carpenter punted four times in the game - averaging 31 yards per kick. He had two 33-yard punts.
Heritage ran the ball 45 times for 165 yards and was three of 10 passing for 41 yards.
This week the Patriots (3-3 overall and 2-1 in the district) travel to Lee (Clarksdale) for a crucial district contest. The Colts are 3-2 overall and 3-0 in the district. They’re coming off a 42-0 win over Lee (Ark.).
A win likely puts Marshall in the playoffs. A loss will probably leave a post-season berth up to power points in the Mississippi Private School Association playoff system.
“They (the Colts) are a good football team,” Coach Wicker said. “Our boys have to step up and play hard. I know this, we’re going to have to move the football better than we did last Friday.”
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