Thursday, October 8, 2009
Junior high Pats blank Oak Hill
The Marshall Academy junior high football team improved to 6-0 on the season with a 34-0 non-conference victory at Oak Hill last Thursday.
It was a hard-hitting football game. The Patriots suffered a couple of injuries, most notably Dustin Allen (concussion) and Hunter Vanderburg (broken hand).
MA head coach Keith Owens said, “The final score was no indication of the physical nature of the game. It was one of the hardest-hitting junior high football games I have seen. It seemed every other play someone was getting hurt. Both teams played with a lot of heart and, as coaches, that is all we can ask for.”
Allen’s concussion came on the Patriots’ first offensive possession as he was knocked unconscious on a run play in an attempt to get a first down. He was unable to play the remainder of the game.
“Dustin is one of our leaders, especially on defense,” Owens said. “When he got hurt we had to have others to step up.’
Marshall got great efforts from Stephen Pannell, Chase Smith and John Wesley Ray. Pannell and Ray were each in on nine tackles, and Smith aided in seven, along with a couple of pass deflections.
Marshall led 14-0 at halftime. The first score came from Dakota Dailey, who hit paydirt on a 5-yard run. Zack Pritchett added the two-point conversion.
The Patriots’ next score came via the air as Pritchett connected with Aaron McAlexander on a 44-yard pass play.
“At halftime we had to make some adjustments and take what they were giving us,” Owens said. “Our kids did a great job taking over the game and making some big plays.
“I am very lucky to have a coaching staff that works as hard as they do during the week as well as in the game to be able to make adjustments.”
Owens was eluding to his assistant coaches, Gary Hickman and Ricky Hickman.
Marshall scored on all three of their second-half possessions. Pritchett hooked up with McAlexander for the second time for a 48-yard score and Smith scored two others, from 15 and 13 yards, respectively.
Pritchett was 15 of 24 passing for 223 yards and four touchdowns.
“Zack threw the ball extremely well and made some good decisions,” Owens said. “Our receivers did a great job as well.”
McAlexander and Ray each had five pass receptions. McAlexander totaled 109 yards and Ray 49. Smith had three catches for 46 and Pannell one for 10.
“The offensive line really came together and gave Zack time to throw the ball,” Owens said.
Marshall now focuses on its next opponent, Indianola Academy. The Colonels will travel to MA this Thursday with the conference title on the line. Both teams come in with unblemished records – the Pats 6-0 and Indianola 5-0.
“This is by far the biggest game of the year,” Owens said. “We will have to work extremely hard and have the same type effort from everybody. This one is for the championship and our goal is to keep it at Marshall.
“We have a great group of fans and I hope they will come out and support these young men. We, as coaches, feel they deserve it.”
Game time is 7 p.m.
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