Thursday, August 26, 2010
Patriots rout Wolves
By BARRY BURLESON
It was a scorcher Friday night at Patriot Field - weather-wise and on the scoreboard.
In extremely hot and humid third weekend of August conditions, Marshall Academy blistered Rossville (Tenn.) Christian Academy 43-0.
“We were slow getting started, but once we got going, we made some good things happen,” said head coach Keith Wicker, beginning his fourth season.
The Pats could not cash in their first possession of the night. They reached the Wolves’ 20-yard line before getting a 15-yard flag.
“Penalties will kill a drive, and we had too many Friday night,” Wicker said.
For the game, MA was flagged 11 times and Rossville 13 .
The Patriots got their first points late in the first after an Aaron McAlexander interception put the home team in business at the Rossville 25.
The short scoring drive ended on Jake Delashmit’s 1-yard plunge into the end zone with 3:03 to go in the quarter. The extra-point try failed.
McAlexander picked off another pass to halt the Wolves’ next possession.
On first down, quarterback Hank Owens kept the ball and darted 49 yards for six points. Chase Carpenter’s kick made it 13-0 with 11:47 to go in the first half.
MA would score 23 more points in the second quarter to turn the season opener into a rout.
At the 8:23 mark, John Tomlinson intercepted an errant Rossville pass and returned it 48 yards for the touchdown.
The Wolves, starting at their own 8, fumbled on the first play of their next possession. The loose ball rolled back into the end zone, where it was covered, but the play resulted in a safety. MA led 22-0.
The Pats got the ball back on the ensuing kick and marched for more. The big play was Chase Ferrell’s 26-yard run to the Wolves’ 12 on fourth down. Kevin Fitzpatrick later scored the first of his three touchdowns - this one from 4 yards away.
MA scored again on its last possession of the first half. Owens started the drive with an 18-yard toss to Delashmit. Fitzpatrick ended it with a 17-yard run to the right for the score.
Carpenter was three-for-three on extra points in the second quarter.
The commanding lead was 36-0 at the break.
Marshall’s last points came early in the third. Fitzpatrick found a hole up the middle and dashed 39 yards for the touchdown. At the 10:04 mark, Carpenter added another extra point.
MA’s new aggressive, blitzing defense was dominant. Fitzpatrick added an interception in the second half.
The Wolves had just 101 yards of total offense – 34 rushing and 67 passing.
“The defense worked well, I thought,” Coach Wicker said. “We did miss some sacks. We were going through there so fast, we missed some tackles. But our speed paid off.”
Taylor Maurey led the attack with five tackles, Getting four each were Ferrell, Evan Hickman and Tomlinson.
The Patriot offense rolled up 271 yards - 241 rushing and 30 passing. Fitzpatrick ran five times for 79 yards and Owens three for 76.
Coach Wicker shouts the formation and the number of the play from the sideline.
“We had a couple of mental mistakes looking at the play sheets (on their wrists),” he said. “We’ve been doing it all summer. They ought to know.
“But overall, I thought we played well for the first game. The kids played hard. We were in decent shape. I think all those sprints paid off - no doubt about it.”
The Class AA Pats will face a stiff challenge this Friday night. They travel to Senatobia to meet Class AAA rival Magnolia Heights. The Chiefs beat North Delta 32-18 last week.
“We’re excited about this week,” Wicker said, “and we will see how it goes. Magnolia Heights is always well coached and will get after us. I want us to compete and I believe we will. It’s a matter of execution.”
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