Thursday, September 13, 2012
Patriots drop first of season to Colts
By BARRY BURLESON
The second half Friday night at Clarksdale started on a sour note for Marshall Academy and did not get any better.
The Class AA Patriots gave up a kickoff return for a touchdown to begin the third quarter and followed that with two second-half turnovers. They lost their first game of the season, 16-7, to Class AAA Lee Academy.
“We played hard,” coach Bart Jenkins said. “We just had a hard time adjusting to the increase in competition.
“We have to continue to improve up front and cannot turn the ball over.”
Wood Morris’ quarterback sack forced a punt on Clarksdale’s first possession.
Then Marshall struck for go-ahead points on its second offensive series – going 49 yards in nine plays. The biggest play was a 32-yard pass from Dakota Dailey to Randy Love. Dailey scored the touchdown on an 11-yard keeper. Devin McGreger split the uprights with the extra-point kick.
The Colts tied the game near the midway point of the second quarter. They put together a seven-play, 65-yard scoring drive. Yeager Bass ran 19 yards for the six, and Taylor Scheider added the extra point.
Zack Pritchett’s hit for loss helped keep the Colts pinned deep in their own territory later in the quarter.
MA got the ball back with a possible chance to put additional points on the board before the break. The Pats moved 25 yards before Lee recorded a sack.
It was 7-7 at halftime.
Cam Monix quickly swung the momentum in Lee’s favor after intermission. He returned the kick 94 yards for a touchdown. The point-after try failed.
After a three-and-out by the MA offense, the defense stepped up. The Colts had driven from their own 25 to the MA 40, where the Pats halted them on a fourth down try.
Hunter Barringer was the top tackler on the night with 13 stops.
The Patriot offense responded with a push into Lee territory. Going for it on fourth and one near midfield, Pritchett had an 8-yard carry up the middle. But the drive ended with a fumble at the Lee 25.
Following a Lee punt, the Patriots started at their own 9. McGreger gained 20 yards as MA unleashed its running attack that moved the ball across the 50. That’s when the visitors coughed up the football again, this time at the Lee 45.
The Colts used nine running plays to move toward points. Pritchett forced a field-goal try with a hit for a 5-yard loss on third down. Scheider’s 30-yard kick put Lee up 16-7 with 3:38 to go in the game.
MA tried to rally with a couple of passes from Dailey to Aaron McAlexander, one for 12 yards and another for 20. But a couple of penalties hurt the Patriots, who later turned the ball over on downs.
The Colts ran out the clock for the nine-point win.
Other leaders of the MA defense in the game were McAlexander and Matt Rappa had 10 each, while Pritchett had eight and Von Watson seven.
Marshall outgained Lee 277 yards to 189.
Dailey was 10 of 17 passing for 129 yards. McAlexander caught five for 54 and Randy Love three for 48.
The Pats had 148 yards rushing, led by Dailey’s 17 carries for 67.
MA was flagged six times for 53 yards.
The Colts (3-1) had 183 yards rushing. They were one of five passing for six yards.
Next up for the Marshall Academy Patriots (3-1) is the start of District 1-AA play. They visit Carroll Academy Friday night. The Rebels lost 20-13 last week to Kirk Academy.
Two more district contests follow – at Indianola on September 21 and then home versus North Delta on September 28.
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