Thursday, November 17, 2011
Wow, what a game
By BARRY BURLESON
Call it wild. Call it crazy. Call it unbelievable.
Those adjectives and many more describe Marshall Academy’s 34-33 double overtime win over Carroll Academy Friday night in round two of the Class AA state football playoffs.
“I’ve never been a part of anything like it in my life,” coach Barrett Donahoe told his exhausted team huddled around him on Patriot field after the game.
Marshall enjoyed a 20-10 lead to start the fourth quarter and was in the midst of a good drive, getting well into Rebel territory after starting at its own 9.
That’s when the “chaos” started, Donahoe said.
The Pats were flagged for a block in the back and instead of a first down near the 20, they were sent backwards into a second and long and third and long and eventually had to punt.
“If we could have finished that drive, it would have probably iced the game,” he said.
Instead Carroll took over at the 9:05 mark and used 13 plays to score with 3:59 left. Breland Marett had a 7-yard touchdown run. Jeremy Mumme kicked the extra point. MA’s lead was sliced to 20-17.
The Rebels then got the ball right back with a successful onside kick.
They moved to the 16-yard line, where the Patriot defense stiffened and forced a field-goal try of 33 yards, which missed the mark.
MA took over at its own 20 with just 1:41 left. After a run on first down, Carroll called its last timeout.
On second down, several Rebels shot through the line and forced a fumble, which they recovered at the Marshall 19 with 1:30 left.
“They made a big play when they had to make one,” Donahoe said.
The Carroll offense could only gain 4 yards to the 15. On fourth down, a 32-yard field goal try was no good, but Marshall was called for roughing the kicker.
After a try for a touchdown and an intentional grounding penalty, Mumme got another shot at a game-tying field goal and drilled a 32-yarder on the last play of regulation.
On the first possession of the first overtime, starting at the 10, MA’s Kevin Fitzpatrick ran for 9 yards and Chase Ferrell scored on a 1-yard plunge. A try-for-two failed. Marshall led 26-20.
Marett tied the game with his own 1-yard run. Mumme hit the extra point but there was a flag on the play. After hearing it was on MA, Carroll players started celebrating, many throwing off their helmets, plus some fans came onto the field. But it was a pre-snap, offsides infraction on Marshall, which meant the Rebels would have to try the kick again. The penalty on MA was half the distance, and Carroll was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct due to the excessive celebration, moving the ball back to the 16 for the next extra-point attempt. It was blocked by Ferrell.
Carroll went in front 33-26 in the second overtime on Marett’s 1-yard carry and Mumme’s extra-point kick.
On the Pats’ ensuing possession, they started with a 5-yard penalty that pushed the ball back to the 15. Ferrell caught a 13-yard pass from Fitzpatrick and then Ferrell scored on a 2-yard run. Coach Donahoe decided to go for the two-point conversion and the win. Fitzpatrick kept the ball, got hit near the goal-line but made it across to set off the home team’s victory party.
“That two-point play is something we’ve worked on since day one,” Donahoe said. “It’s a play designed to give Kevin the pass or run option, and it was successful.
“A lot of things went wrong for us in the fourth quarter, and toward the end neither team could finish. Both teams kept getting opportunities, and it worked out that we won.
“Our kids understand that we did not play well, but we found a way to win.”
The first quarter of the game was scoreless.
At the 8:24 mark of the second, Fitzpatrick got loose and darted 67 yards for six points. The extra-point kick was no good.
Carroll’s Hayden Harrell tied the game on a 1-yard run with 5:01 left in the second quarter and Mumme’s kick put the visitors up by one.
Thirty seconds later the Patriots fumbled. The Rebels recovered at their 49. The teams swapped penalties before Tyler Cook of Marshall sacked the Carroll quarterback for an 8-yard loss. Mumme drilled a 40-yard field goal to put Carroll up 10-6 with 1:51 left before halftime.
Ferrell returned the kickoff 20 yards. Fitzpatrick and Aaron McAlexander hooked up on a 29-yard pass play. Then with 59 seconds to go, Fitzpatrick scrambled and drilled a pass to Neil Murphy, who made the catch and completed a 32-yard scoring play. A try-for-two failed. MA led 12-10 at the intermission.
The Patriots kept the momentum to start the second half. Fitzpatrick returned the kick 46 yards to the Carroll 44. Ferrell ran for 9, Cook for 14 and then Fitzpatrick kept for 21 and a touchdown. Fitzpatrick threw to McAlexander for the two. It was 20-10.
That score held until the momentum shifted and the craziness started early in the fourth.
Marshall had 402 yards total offense – 146 passing (10 of 20) and 256 rushing. Fitzpatrick led the ground game with 10 carries for 128 yards.
Carroll had 236 yards total offense – 126 rushing and 110 passing (11 of 22).
Ferrell led the defense with 19 tackles and the blocked extra-point try. Cook had 12 plus the sack. Matt Rappa had 10 tackles.
The Patriots are 11-1 and heading to River Oaks, La., this week to play for a north half championship and spot in the state title game the following week.
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