Thursday, October 23, 2008
Marshall eases by Raiders
By BARRY BURLESON
Scoring proved to be simple for Marshall Academy Friday night.
The Patriots reached the end zone on their first four possessions, led 26-0 at the half and went on to beat out-manned Delta Academy 39-20 on “Senior Night.”
“We went into the game wanting to run the ball with success, and we did it,” said head coach Keith Wicker, whose Patriots improved to 5-4 with the non-district victory. “We’re learning how to block better.”
Tyler Childers started the offensive outburst on MA’s first play from scrimmage by racing 82 yards for the touchdown. The extra-point kick was no good.
The Patriots scored two more times in the opening quarter.
Hunter Bolden wrapped up a four-play, 80-yard drive by breaking a couple of tackles and going 67 yards for the score. Chase Carpenter’s kick upped the lead to 13-0 with 4:01 left.
The Marshall defense, largely due to a quarterback sack by Childers and Spenser Autry, forced Delta into a fourth and 21 from its own 10. The squibbed punt went just 10 yards, where Will Thomas picked up the ball and returned it 7 yards to the Raiders’ 13-yard line.
It took one play for the Patriots to score from there, with Taylor Dempsey doing the honors. Carpenter’s extra-point kick made it 20-0.
MA’s next scoring drive, to start the second quarter, traveled 56 yards in nine plays. Bolden had two runs for first downs, one being for 21 yards. Hank Owens scored the touchdown on a 1-yard quarterback sneak. The extra-point try failed.
The two then swapped punts. The half closed with Delta threatening, but MA’s Josh Petree recovered a Raider fumble to halt the scoring try.
John Tomlinson kept the momentum with the Patriots to start the second half. He returned the kickoff 60 yards to the Delta 13, and face mask flag moved it to the 8. Then Childers took a handoff and basically walked into the end zone for the touchdown. An unsportsmanlike flag on the Patriots forced Carpenter into a 35-yard, extra-point try, which missed the mark. The lead was 32-0.
All Patriots played the rest of the way, as the clock ran non-stop due to the home team’s huge lead.
The Raiders scored on runs of runs by their quarterback of 55, 76 and 24 yards, the latter one coming on the last play of the game. They kicked two extra points.
Marshall’s only other score came with 3:12 left in the third quarter. Owens threw to an open Tomlinson for the 24-yard touchdown. Childers’ kicked the extra point.
The Patriots had 281 yards in total offense, 241 of that on the ground. Bolden carried nine times for 110 yards and Childers four times for 97 yards.
The Raiders had 280 yards in total offense, 268 of that coming on the ground and most of that coming in the second half when the outcome was already decided.
Childers’ five tackles led the MA defense.
Marshall (2-2 in the district) travels to Carroll Academy Friday night to close the regular season. The Raiders, a district foe, are winless.
A victory gives the Patriots a “wildcard” shot at the playoffs via the Mississippi Private School Association’s power point system.
“We can’t let them slip up on us,” Wicker said. “It’s a very important game.”
A key game in the other district in the north half this week pits Leake against Manchester. Those two, at this stage, are in the running for wildcard spots, too. Leake has 11.222 power points, Marshall 10.667 and Manchester 10.125.
If the Patriots make the post-season as a wildcard, they will travel in week one on Friday night, Nov. 7.
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