Thursday, October 11, 2012
Patriots blank Byers
By BARRY BURLESON
The first-ever football game between Marshall Academy and H.W. Byers was dominated by the host Patriots.
MA, a Class 2A private school, scored three touchdowns in each half and held the Class 1A public school to just 99 total yards in a 40-0 win Friday night.
“We played well and really cleaned up some mistakes,” coach Bart Jenkins said. “I was proud to see our focus, as well as our improvement.”
His Patriots improved to 6-2 on the season. The Lions fell to 2-5.
H.W. Byers coach James Kimbrough saw his quarterback, Trelorenz Stephen, have to leave the game after only a few plays due to a nagging ankle injury he had suffered the week before versus Tupelo Christian.
“He couldn’t go and that deflated us,” Kimbrough said. “He’s our team leader.”
Then backup quarterback Anthony Rubin suffered a leg injury on the final play of the first half and did not return.
“We had some guys play some good football on defense, but we couldn’t get anything going offensively,” he said. “When you can’t generate drives, and leave the defense out there so much, it takes its toll.
“Marshall played a very good, physical game. They have a good football team.
“It was a game with a lot of hype, and we wanted to make a good showing, but we did not play well.”
Byers had five turnovers – three interceptions and two fumbles.
Aaron McAlexander’s 52-yard punt return set up the Patriots’ first touchdown. Zack Pritchett scored on a 2-yard plunge. The extra-point try was blocked.
Marquis Moore’s running helped the Lions push the ball into MA territory. But on third down, Matt Rappa picked off a pass and returned it 15 yards to the Lions’ 47.
Jhereunt Yarbrough pushed the Pats backwards with a pair of sacks. Then quarterback Dakota Dailey launched a 40-yard bomb for Randy Love, who made a leaping catch at the Byers 3. Pritchett carried across the goal-line from there. Roy Billions made the kick, and it was 13-0 with 11:29 to go in the second quarter.
The teams swapped some punts – thanks to big hits by both defenses, including MA’s Hunter Barringer, Antonio Love and Vince Hoyt and on the other side, Byers’ Ronnie Dennis and Joseph Gomez.
With 3:12 left in the first half, the Patriots’ defense came up with points. Von Watson intercepted a pass and returned it 23 yards for the touchdown. Billions’ kick made it 20-0.
Aaron McAlexander picked off a Byers aerial to end the first half.
The Patriots got more points midway of the third period, thanks to a 10-play, 76-yard march. Devin McGreger had a 17-yard run. Dailey threw to Pritchett for 11 yards to the 1. Artemus Boyd carried into the end zone from there. Billions’ kick was good.
Two plays later the Lions fumbled and McAlexander recovered.
MA faced a third and 13 at the end of the third, and on the first play of the fourth, Dailey and McGreger connected for 22 yards and six points. The kick missed the mark. It was 33-0.
McAlexander earned the Pats’ final touchdown when he returned a punt 50 yards. Billions kicked the extra point.
Matt Rappa, who led the Marshall defense with 12 tackles, had a fumble recovery later in the fourth to preserve the shutout.
McGreger topped Marshall’s ground game with 10 carries for 63 yards. Boyd had six for 50. Dailey was seven of 12 passing for 112 yards. Love caught two for 53 and Boyd snagged two for 28.
McAlexander had four punt returns for 127 yards.
MA was penalized 13 times for 100 yards and Byers 10 times for 95.
The Patriots do not play this Friday night. They visit Pillow October 19.
The Lions return to Region 1-1A competition this Friday when they host Thrasher for homecoming. The Rebels are 5-1 overall and 3-1 in the district. Byers is 2-2 in district play.
“It’s a must win for us (as far as the playoffs),” Coach Kimbrough said. “We have to get our injuries healed up.”
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