Thursday, August 18, 2011
Pats enjoy ‘good night’ at jamboree
By BARRY BURLESON
Coach Barrett Donahoe hopes last week’s jamboree builds confidence and momentum in his Marshall Academy football team.
The Patriots beat District 1-AA foes Indianola and Carroll in a pair of 20-minute games.
“I thought overall, it was a good night,” said Donahoe, starting his first season at Marshall, “particularly from an intensity standpoint.
“Our execution in the first game was not as sharp as it was in the second game. In the second game we seemed more relaxed.”
The Patriots defeated Indianola 14-0.
Quarterback Kevin Fitzpatrick had a couple of first-down runs on MA’s first drive. He also threw to Aaron McAlexander for a first on a third-and-nine play. Fitzpatrick scored the touchdown on a QB sneak from the 1. Andy Burleson kicked the extra point.
On the Colonels’ ensuing possession, McAlexander intercepted a pass and returned it to the Indianola 14. Chase Ferrell scored on an 8-yard run. Burleson’s kick was again good.
Matt Rappa put a dent in Indianola’s last try at points when he sacked the quarterback for a big loss.
MA rested for about an hour and a half and then knocked off Carroll 20-14.
The Pats got on the scoreboard first. Neil Murphy ran for two first downs and Fitzpatrick threw to Elgin Lafever for another. Ferrell scored on a 10-yard carry. The snap on the point-after try was mishandled.
Tyler Cook and Ferrell made a tackle for loss on Carroll’s third and short play. Then on fourth and five, a Rebel receiver made a catch and got loose down the sideline for a score. A bag snap was turned into a two-point conversion. MA trailed 8-6.
The Patriot offense responded with a long run by Murphy, a pass from Fitzpatrick to Trey Johnson, Cook’s run for a first down and a connection from Fitzpatrick to Ferrell that moved the ball to the 1. Ferrell walked into the end zone on the next play. Fitzpatrick tossed to Johnson for the two.
Kirby Jones and Ferrell sacked the Carroll quarterback and forced a third and 15. On the next play, the Raider QB scrambled free from the rush and found a receiver behind the MA secondary for six points. The extra-point try missed the mark. It was 14-all.
The Pats had just just over a minute to try and pull out a win. They went 70 yards in three plays. Fitzpatrick found an open McAlexander over the middle. The receiver raced all the way to the Carroll 5 – a 65-yard gain. Fitzpatrick kept for a yard and then on second down scrambled and hooked up with Rappa for the winning score. The extra-point attempt was blocked.
“In the second game, we moved the ball well and put points on the board,” Donahoe said.
“I thought we had a good night defensively – with the exception of the two mix-ups on coverages. But those are things we can fix.
“The jamboree was a momentum-builder for us. It should build the confidence in our kids. But at the same time, we still have a lot of work ahead of us.”
MA, a Class AA school opens the season Friday at AAA Magnolia Heights.
“It’s a tough opener,’ Donahoe said. “Magnolia Heights is one of the most respected football programs in the MAIS. It will be intense and fun.
“More than anything, we need to approach this game as another step in the process of preparing for our conference games.”
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