Thursday, September 22, 2011
Ground game powers Patriots
By BARRY BURLESON
Marshall Academy’s game plan Friday night was simple – run the football.
Carroll Academy got a steady dose of Chase Ferrell. The senior carried 27 times for 283 yards and four touchdowns in the Patriots’ 40-10 homecoming win.
“I thought it was our best offensive performance of the year,” coach Barrett Donahoe said. “We were very successful running the ball.
“We created blocking lanes for Chase and got him into the open space. He had a great night.”
The Pats opened District 1-AA competition with a victory and improved to 5-0 overall.
“It was a huge win for us to start district play, and I think it will give us a lot of confidence,” he said. “But we have to continue to get better.”
The Rebels scored first on Jeremy Mumme’s 35-yard field goal with 6:46 left in the opening quarter.
A slow-starting MA squad gained some spark late in the first on a 61-yard, eight-play scoring drive. Ferrell picked up three first downs and then scored on a 7-yard run. The extra-point try was no good.
Kevin Fitzpatrick intercepted a pass to put the MA offense back in business at its own 41.
Ferrell capped the possession with a 22-yard carry to the end zone. Fitzpatrick scrambled and threw to Matt Rappa for the two-point conversion. Marshall led 14-3 early in the second quarter.
The Patriots’ defense continued to shut down Carroll’s big-play-oriented offense.
“Defensively, too, we did a great job of executing the game plan,” Coach Donahoe said.
Marshall ate up almost seven minutes of the second-quarter clock with a 70-yard, 15-play scoring drive. Fitzpatrick drilled a pass into the arms of Aaron McAlexander for a 7-yard touchdown. Andy Burleson kicked the extra point. It was 21-3 at the break.
On their second possession of the second half, the Patriots silenced any hopes of a Carroll comeback. McAlexander snagged a 33-yard toss from Fitzpatrick for a first down into the Rebels’ territory. Ferrell broke three tackles at the line of scrimmage and gained 43 yards to the 1-yard line and then got the call again for the score. Burleson’s kick upped the lead to 25.
McAlexander picked off a pass to stop the Rebels’ next threat. He returned it 50 yards to the Carroll 15.
It took the Pats four plays to score with Fitzpatrick doing the honors on a 3-yard keeper. The extra-point attempt failed. The scoreboard read 34-3 with 4:26 left in the third quarter.
Carroll got its only touchdown of the night with 7:50 to go in the game. Hayden Harrell scored on a 1-yard run. Mumme kicked the extra point.
The Rebels’ onside kick was not successful. MA took over at the Carroll 47, and on the first play, Ferrell went the distance for his final six-pointer of the night. The kick missed the mark.
The Patriots, who had 412 yards total offense, threw just eight times in the game and completed four for 56 yards. They rushed 48 times for 356 yards.
The MA defense limited Carroll to 204 total yards – 13 of 26 passing for 109 yards and 31 rushes for 95 yards.
McAlexander and Ferrell had 12 tackles each. Tyler Cook followed with 11 and Matt Rappa had seven. Getting six tackles each were Josh Petree, Fitzpatrick and Evan Hickman. Petree also had a sack, as did Kirby Jones and Wood Morris.
“Overall, it was a great night,” Coach Donahoe said, “but we still have a lot of work to do.”
Next up is another district home game versus Indianola Academy (2-3) this Friday at 7:30 p.m.
“They’re fundamentally sound and physical,” he said. “They’re well-coached, and they will be well-prepared for us.”
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