Thursday, August 20, 2009
Patriots tune up in jamboree
By BARRY BURLESON
The positives outweighed the negatives in coach Keith Wicker’s evaluation of his Marshall Academy football team after jamboree action Friday.
“On the negative side, we missed some blocking assignments, but that’s to be expected in a jamboree,” he said. “Overall the effort was good. I thought things went well.”
The Patriots tied Indianola Academy 8-8 and beat Kirk Academy 6-0.
The Colonels struck quickly on their first possession - a 63-yard pass play for the touchdown.
“I thought defensively we played well, too, except for that one play,” Wicker said. “We didn’t play it right, but it was a good pass and catch on their part.”
Indianola also cashed in the two-point conversion for an 8-0 lead with 18:15 to go in the 20-minute contest.
The Pats’ new no-huddle offense managed one first down on its first possession.
Indianola then went three and out, thanks to a 7-yard sack by MA’s Will Patton and Neil Murphy on a third and four play.
The Patriots then put together a 10-play, 40-yard drive but couldn’t reach the end zone. They converted a fourth and two to start the possession and then failed on a fourth and three at the Colonels’ 18 to end it.
But once again the defense stepped up, forcing a three and out and giving the MA offense the ball with just 1:15 left. The big defensive play was a 6-yard sack by Patton.
The Pats scored on the game’s last play - a 25-yard pass from Hank Owens to Elgin Lafever. Owens then tossed to John Tomlinson for the two points and the tie.
“The touchdown was actually a busted play,” Wicker said. “I was going to put something in like that in later (a wheel route), but he (Lafever) put it in right then. It worked.”
Penalties plagued both Marshall and Kirk in the early going of their 20-minute matchup.
A block in the back infraction forced the Patriots to punt on their first possession.
The Raiders reached the MA 7 but a pass play on fourth and seven was unsuccessful.
MA’s new offense then started clicking, thanks in large part to the running of senior Tyler Childers.
“Everything worked pretty well with the signalling in of the plays,” Wicker said. “Thank goodness, Tyler made some big plays.”
There were only eight plays in the scoring drive, plus an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the Raiders.
Owens threw to Childers, who broke away for a 16-yard gain. Childers then had carries of 22 and 19 yards before Owens scored on the 1-yard quarterback sneak with 2:15 left. The extra-point try missed the mark.
Kirk tried to rally but instead went backwards due to tackles from Chad Mitchell, Josh Vanderburg and Jake Delashmit.
“Kirk is a solid team,” Wicker said. “They hit us in the mouth.”
He said he sees this year’s District 1-AA race as wide open.
“The teams look pretty even,” Wicker said. “It’s hard to rank them. All of our district opponents will be tough.”
First up for the Patriots is a non-district contest at Rossville, Tenn., this Friday night. Kickoff will be at 7 p.m. The Wolves were also participants in the MA jamboree.
“Rossville has a good group of kids,” Wicker said. “They’re very athletic. The quarterback scares me.
“We’re going to get after them and see what happens.”
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