Thursday, October 9, 2008
Mistakes costly for MA in district loss
By BARRY BURLESON
Less than four minutes into the game Friday night at Clarksdale, things looked good for Marshall Academy.
They had shocked Lee with 13 quick points. But the home team would rally to score 28 unanswered and take a huge 28-13 district win.
The Colts (5-2 overall, 4-0 in the district) secured a playoff spot. The Patriots (3-4, 2-2) have two non-district and one district game remaining and their post-season hopes rest on the Mississippi Private School Association’s power point system.
“It was a tough one to lose,” coach Keith Wicker said. “That put our playoff chances in a mess. We have to win out and see how it falls.”
Marshall gained the early momentum last Friday when Hank Owens stopped Lee ball-carrier Blake Edwards short on a fourth-and-two play at the MA 35-yard line.
The Patriots took over, and Tyler Childers immediately found a hole in the Colts’ defense and raced 65 yards for the touchdown. The extra-point kick failed.
Childers had 13 carries on the evening for 133 yards.
Momentum stayed in Marshall’s favor on Lee’s next series. John Tomlinson hit Colt quarterback Taylor Tidwell and forced a fumble which Will Thomas recovered at the Lee 32.
On first down, Coach Wicker called for the reverse pass and it worked to perfection. Hunter Bolden found an all-alone Josh Vanderburg for the 32-yard score. Chase Carpenter added the kick for a 13-0 advantage with 8:26 remaining in the first quarter.
Lee countered with a long drive that reached the MA 4. There the Colts faced a fourth and goal, and their pass try fell incomplete.
Then disaster struck for the Patriots as they fumbled the ball back to the Colts at the 6.
“The first half was looking good until then,” Coach Wicker said. “We were up 13-0 and held them, and then we fumbled that snap.”
Tidwell scored on the 1-yard QB sneak with 2:33 to go in the first. Rod Freeman’s kick cut the deficit to 13-7.
MA experienced the start of some “turnover-itis” on its next drive. The Patriots finished with seven turnovers on the night - throwing five interceptions and losing two fumbles.
“Mistakes, mistakes, mistakes,” Wicker said. “We never punted.”
The Patriots missed a 43-yard field goal try with 7:03 to go in the second quarter.
The Colts tied the game with 5:40 left before the break. Tidwell hooked up with Trey Goode and Chase Crumpton on passes of 30 and 24 yards, then he darted 21 yards up the middle for the touchdown. Lee’s kick missed the mark.
The teams swapped turnovers twice, and with time winding down in the first half, Bolden threw to Owens for a 35-yard strike to the Lee 22. Marshall’s 39-yard field goal attempt was no good as the second period ended.
Lee took the lead on its first possession of the last half. The Colts drove 65 yards in seven plays. Tidwell got the score on a 1-yard keeper. Freeman’s kick gave the home team the lead at 20-13.
That score held until early in the fourth when the Colts tackled Bolden in his own end zone for a safety.
Lee padded its advantage with about a minute to go in the game, scoring on Tidwell’s 20-yard toss to a leaping Douglas Smith. A try-for-two failed.
The Patriots had 341 yards total offense - 213 rushing and eight of 21 passing for 128 yards. They had 15 first downs but were also penalized eight times for 60 yards.
The Colts had 340 yards total offense - 188 rushing and nine of 22 passing for 152 yards. They gained 14 first downs and had four flags for 35 yards. Lee committed three turnovers - with fumbles recovered by Thomas and Will Patton and an interception by Childers.
Marshall hosts non-district foe West Memphis Christian this Friday at 7:30 p.m. in the homecoming game. The Knights are coming off a 16-12 win last week over Tunica. A home game versus non-district opponent Delta and a road game at district competitor Carroll follow to wrap up MA’s regular season.
“We have to move forward after the tough loss Friday night and play some good football,” Coach Wicker said. “If one of those teams steps up and beats us, there is no way we can go to the playoffs.”
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