Thursday, September 23, 2010
Patriots take thriller versus Colts
By BARRY BURLESON
The Marshall-Lee barnburner Friday night in Clarksdale wasn’t over until 35 seconds remained on the clock.
That’s when the Patriots’ Chase Ferrell broke up a pass play and secured the visitors’ 34-28 win over the Colts.
“That was a big-time play,” coach Keith Wicker said. “He knocked it down, and that was the ball game.”
It was a wild non-district clash, to say the least. The Patriots’ air attack, particularly in the second half, was the difference. They had 272 yards passing and just 90 rushing.
“I always like to try and establish the running game first,” Wicker said, “but they had everybody jammed up on the line and shut us down. We had to spread it out and start throwing it, and Hank (Owens) came through when we needed it.”
Owens was 13 of 21 passing for 257 yards and was the team’s top rusher with 32 yards. Kevin Fitzpatrick threw the other completion.
MA’s John Tomlinson returned the opening kickoff 75 yards for a touchdown. Chase Carpenter’s kick made it 7-0.
The quick points by their guests didn’t phase the Colts. They responded with 20 unanswered points.
Lee quarterback Blayke Hester scored on a 6-yard run with 3:06 to go in the first quarter. The extra point try failed.
With 31 seconds left in the period, Lee’s Robert Bobo intercepted a pass and returned it 27 yards to the Marshall 5. Hester kept for another touchdown and the two-point conversion. The defenses flexed their muscles for much of the second quarter. Bobo had another interception for Lee and Ferrell had a big sack for Marshall on a fourth and seven try by the Colts.
But late in the first half, Lee upped its lead to 20-7 on a 24-yard run by Tyler Tackett. The point-after try was no good.
Marshall had just 59 seconds left in the half after Aaron McAlexander returned the ensuing kickoff 23 yards.
Owens threw to Fitzpatrick for 11 yards and a first down. Then Owens found Ferrell twice - once for 32 yards and the next time for 15 yards and a score with 14 seconds remaining. The extra-point try was blocked.
Lee led 20-13 at the intermission.
The teams swapped interceptions midway through the third quarter - Bobo got his third for Lee and McAlexander snatched his second for Marshall.
Three pass plays netted 50 yards for the Pats - Owens to Maurey for 25, Owens to Jake Delashmit for 11 and Owens to Maurey again for 14. Then Owens ran 12 yards for the score. Carpenter’s kick tied the game at 20 with 1:21 to go in the first period.
Lee mounted a drive to start the fourth but it ended when MA’s Dustin Allen recovered a fumble.
The Patriots struck quickly when Owens hit Fitzgerald in stride on a fly route for 76 yards and six points. Carpenter kicked the extra point.
Just over two minutes later the Pats had the ball back following a Lee punt. They put together an 86-yard drive, mostly through the air. The big pass was an Owens to Ferrell connection for 41 yards. Then with 2:13 left in the game, Fitzpatrick threw to Tomlinson for 15 yards and a score. Carpenter’s kick put MA up 34-20.
But the Colts did not die. They got a 36-yard kickoff return from Bobo and later a big pass play from Hester to Tackett for 41 yards. Hester scored on a 6-yard run with 59 seconds left and the Colts added the two-point conversion.
Everyone in the stadium knew the onside kick was next. Lee executed it to perfection and was back in business with a shot to pull out a miracle finish.
But it didn’t happen. Ferrell broke up a pass on first down and another on fourth and seven. The Pats survived by six points.
“We got a two touchdown lead and it was almost not enough,” Coach Wicker said. “Our kids did not want to lose. They played hard – particularly in the second half.”
Lee ran for 149 yards and passed for 134.
Delashmit had six tackles for MA. Zack Pritchett followed with five.
The Pats were flagged 11 times for 90 yards.
A huge District 1-AA clash awaits this Friday. Marshall (4-1) opens district play with a trip to Batesville to face North Delta. The Green Wave is 3-1 overall and 1-0 in the district, having already beaten Indianola.
“This is really a playoff game, and it will be a playoff-type atmosphere,” Wicker said. “It’s a very important game for both teams. We have to cut out the turnovers and penalties. They’re a solid team. We will just have to see what we can do with them.”
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