Thursday, October 30, 2008
MA puts away Carroll early
By BARRY BURLESON
Keith Wicker talked to his Marshall Academy Patriots before they took the field Friday at Carroll about facing a winless team on both its senior night and homecoming.
“We had not had an intense week of practice,” the head coach said.
But any game-night worries were gone rather quickly. MA led 21-0 just eight minutes into the contest and coasted to the 35-12 district win.
“We hit them in the mouth early,” Wicker said. “We ran powers and counters at them and a few reverses and took control.”
The Patriots wrap up the regular season with three straight wins and go to 6-4 overall. They have an open date this week and await their November 7 playoff destination.
“We’re definitely in,” Wicker said. “I can’t see anybody catching us (in power points).”
It appears the Patriots, as a wildcard, will go into the post-season as the third- or fourth-seed in the north half of the bracket and travel in round one.
“We’re looking forward to it,” said Wicker, who led his team to a state runner-up finish last season.
The Patriots wasted no time spoiling the Rebels’ homecoming last week. John Tomlinson returned the opening kickoff 23 yards. On third down, Tyler Childers sprinted 31 yards to the Carroll 14-yard line. Two plays later Childers broke a couple of tackles and scored from the 14. Chase Carpenter’s extra-point kick gave the visitors the 7-0 lead less than two minutes into the game.
Tomlinson threw a Carroll runner for a 2-yard loss on third down, forcing a punt. Then he blocked the punt, which teammate Robbie Lundine recovered at the Rebels’ 35.
Three plays later Hank Owens threw 12 yards to Harris Gholson for the touchdown, and Carpenter added the kick.
Tomlinson tipped Carroll’s next punt, too, and it traveled just 20 yards.
The Marshall offense traveled 46 yards in just three plays. Hunter Bolden had a big 29-yard carry. Childers easily reached the end zone from the 12. Childers also kicked the extra point for a 21-0 advantage with 4:07 to go in the first quarter.
Carroll got on the board less than a minute later, thanks to a 75-yard run to the end zone. Childers blocked the extra-point try.
The Patriots padded its lead just before the opening period concluded. Bolden found the middle clogged up but somehow broke loose and ran 46 yards for the score. Carpenter’s kick upped the lead to 28-6.
The MA defense continued to wreck havoc on the Rebels to start the second quarter. Landen Fennell threw Carroll runners for back-to-back losses of 2 and 3 yards and then Will Patton, Michael Nooner and Childers sacked the quarterback for a 6-yard loss on third and 14.
Childers fielded the punt and returned it 60 yards for six points. Carpenter added his fourth extra-point kick of the night for a 35-6 lead with 9:44 left in the first half.
Wicker substituted freely the rest of the way. Carroll reached the MA 4 late in the first half but the Patriot defense denied points.
The second half, due to Marshall’s big advantage, featured eight-minute quarters rather than 12-minutes ones and a non-stop clock.
Carroll scored the game’s final points at the 3:10 mark of the third quarter on a 26-yard touchdown pass. The extra-point try failed.
The Patriots put together a long drive, that didn’t result in points, but ate up the bulk of the time left in the contest.
Marshall finished with 282 yards of total offense, 261 of that on the ground. Bolden and Childers each ran six times for 78 yards.
Carroll had 220 yards of total offense, 195 of that on the ground.
Davis Kelly and Tyler Cook, two Marshall Academy ninth graders who moved up from the junior high, were the top tacklers with four each.
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