Thursday, October 28, 2010
Patriots roll past Raiders
By BARRY BURLESON
Marshall Academy turned to the big play to blast Oak Hill Friday night at West Point.
The Patriots scored on plays of 75, 31, 39, 23 and 25 yards as they rolled over the Raiders 35-7. MA improved to 7-2 overall with the non-district win.
“We scored real quickly to open the game, and then we sort of lollygagged around,” coach Keith Wicker said. “But we kicked it in gear and hit some more big plays.”
The Pats ran just 18 plays in the first half and scored on three of them.
The first came less than a minute into the game when quarterback Hank Owens rolled right and found an open Elgin Lafever, who made the catch and completed the 75-yard touchdown connection.
Oak Hill, which dominated time of possession but not the game, ran 13 plays on its first possession but failed on a fourth and seven from the Patriot 21.
The two teams swapped punts - including a 66-yarder by MA’s Chase Carpenter. The senior also had two 52-yard punts in the game, plus he was five-of-five on extra-point kicks and booted five of six kickoffs into the end zone and the other to the 1.
Marshall switched to its “Wild Patriot” formation for its next score. Kevin Fitzpatrick, lined up at quarterback in the shotgun, pitched the ball back to Owens, who threw 31 yards to Aaron McAlexander for the touchdown.
“I really wanted to save that play, but we needed a score, and I knew if we completed it, it would be a touchdown,” Wicker said.
Later in the second quarter the MA defense, led on the night by Chase Ferrell’s 13 tackles, foiled the Raiders’ fake-punt attempt on fourth and 12.
The MA offense took over at its own 43 and struck quickly again - covering the 57 yards in only three plays. Fitzpatrick got loose, got hit, spun away and reached paydirt from 39 yards out with 3:37 to go in the second quarter.
The Pats upped their lead to 28-0 in the third. Fitzpatrick had a 26-yard kickoff return. Then two plays later, from the Oak Hill 23, Owens tossed to Ferrell, who broke a couple of tackles and scored.
MA fumbled the ball away three times in the last 15 minutes of the game.
But the Patriot defense managed to add a touchdown of its own. Neil Murphy deflected a Raider punt, which Ferrell caught and returned 25 yards for six points. That came with 1:42 to go in the third period.
Oak Hill avoided the shutout when it drove 92 yards in 12 plays. The big play was a 24-yard pass from Conner Baird to Clay Henley. Then Doss Miller, the Raiders’ workhorse, scored on a 13-yard run. Reid Posey’s kick was good.
Marshall’s McAlexader ended the game with his 10th interception of the season.
MA ran the ball 20 times for 172 yards, led by Ferrell’s 60 yards on six carries. Owens was four of seven passing for 143 yards. The Pats had just 35 yards in penalties, a season low.
Jake Delashmit had nine tackles. Dustin Allen and Murphy had seven each.
Oak Hill ran the ball 51 times for 152 yards and was six of 10 passing for 70 yards.
The Patriots end the regular season Friday night at West Memphis, a District 1-AA opponent. They will start the playoffs the next Friday night, Nov. 5, against the winner of this week’s Leake-Lamar clash. The site of that opening round playoff contest will not be known until after this Friday’s games.
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