Thursday, September 2, 2010
Marshall falls to Chiefs
By BARRY BURLESON
Marshall Academy had some opportunities to stay in the game with Magnolia Heights Friday night in Senatobia.
But lack of execution, penalties and four lost fumbles did not help the cause.
The Class AAA Chiefs led 14-6 at the half, increased the margin to 35-6 in the second half and knocked off Class AA Marshall 35-19.
“I thought we played pretty good in the first half,” said Keith Wicker, head coach of the Patriots. “Then we started messing up. Magnolia Heights is a good team. You can’t give them anything.
“I don’t know if we would have beaten them if we would have played perfectly, but we certainly would have had a better shot.”
Marshall Academy’s Kevin Fitzpatrick opened the game with a 50-yard kickoff return to the Magnolia Heights 35. Two plays later the Chiefs’ Taz Zettergren intercepted a pass.
Two plays after that, Chase Ferrell of MA recovered a Magnolia Heights fumble at the Chiefs’ 15.
The Patriots could only move 7 yards to the 8. Chase Carpenter kicked a 24-yard field goal to put the visitors up 3-0 with 8:47 to go in the first period.
The Chiefs then unleashed their clock-eating ground game, led by quarterback Mac McDonald’s keepers. The 10-play, six-minute drive ended with Zettergren’s 7-yard carry to the end zone at the 2:03 mark of the first. Peyton Smith kicked the extra point.
MA jumped offsides three times in that Magnolia Heights possession.
“We have to stop that mess - just undisciplined,” Wicker said.
Marshall put together a long drive of its own on its next possession. Quarterback Hank Owens ran for a first down and threw to John Tomlinson for another. The Pats appeared to have the perfect pass play called to score from the Chiefs’ 37 but to no avail.
“That missed opportunity hurt us,” Wicker said. “That could have been a turning point for us. We need to execute plays like that.”
The drive ended on a fumble at the Magnolia Heights 24.
The Chiefs then put together another 10-play march, this one going 76 yards and taking five minutes off the clock in the second quarter. McDonald carried on seven of the 10 plays and then threw to Ben Billingsley for the 31-yard touchdown. Smith added the kick. It was 14-3 with 5:47 left in the second quarter.
MA bounced back to get three more points before the half. Tomlinson earned a big first on fourth and less than a yard. Jake Delashmit and Owens later had first-down runs. But the drive bogged down at the Magnolia Heights 24, and Carpenter booted a 40-yard field goal with 31 seconds to go in the first half.
The Chiefs struck again on their first possession of the second half. McDonald had two runs of 31 yards each and later found Wesley Bolton over the middle for a 2-yard scoring strike. It was 21-6 with 9:26 to go in the third.
“That quarterback (McDonald) makes them go - no doubt,” Coach Wicker said.
The Patriots fumbled the ball away on the first play of its next possession.
“We had problems with the center-quarterback exchange and we have to work on that this week,” Wicker said.
After the fumble recovery, the Chiefs used a 15-yard flag on the Pats and a 14-yard scoring run by Zettergren to pad their advantage. Smith’s kick made it 28-6 at the 8:25 mark of the third.
The two teams next swapped turnovers. MA fumbled the ball away again. Then Elgin Lafever picked off a Magnolia Heights pass.
Magnolia Heights’ last touchdown came on Billingsley’s 3-yard carry with 11:56 left in the fourth. Smith added the extra point.
The Patriots got two late scores - Owens’ 46-yard run with 2:37 to go and a 33-yard pass from Owens to Fitzpatrick with just 14 seconds remaining. A try-for-two failed after the first of those scores, and Carpenter kicked the extra point after the second.
The Pats ran the ball 32 times for 187 yards and were seven of 15 passing for 96 yards. Owens gained 103 yards on 11 carries. Fitzpatrick rushed for 77 yards on eight carries.
The Chiefs rushed the ball 43 times for 219 yards. They were six of eight passing for 82 yards.
MA’s top tackler was Ferrell with seven, while Dustin Allen had six.
The private school Patriots host public school Falkner this Friday night. Both teams are 1-1. The Eagles beat Alcorn Central in week one and lost to rival Walnut last Thursday night. The Pats beat the Eagles 21-12 in 2009 - the first meeting ever between the schools.
“They’re a solid football team,” Coach Wicker said. “They have basically all their starters back from last year. They’re big in the line. We have a lot of work ahead of us this week to get ready.”
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