Thursday, November 1, 2012
Patriots rip Raiders; playoffs next
By BARRY BURLESON
Marshall Academy is averaging 35 points a game this season. Friday night, the Patriots scored 52, all in the first half.
On “Senior Night,” MA wrapped up second place in District 1-AA and a sixth straight state playoff berth with a 52-13 mauling of Kirk Academy.
“I like the way we’re approaching games now,” coach Bart Jenkins said. “We’re coming out of the gate quickly and performing well.
“I’ve seen consistent improvement on the offensive line and less missed tackles on defense.
“We’re executing at a higher level, but I still think our best football is ahead of us.”
MA (8-2) travels three hours south to Canton Academy Friday night for a first-round playoff game versus the Panthers (7-3).
“Canton has a very good football team,” Jenkins said. “And anytime you go on the road in any atmosphere, it adds to the degree of difficulty.
“But we had that three-game stretch of road games in the regular season that helped us condition ourselves for it.”
The winner meets the Central Hinds-Indianola survivor in round two on November 9.
“Players win games, and we’ve had a large number of very, very good athletes here in recent years, as we do this year,” Coach Jenkins said about the playoff run started in 2007. “Primarily it’s the players, but it takes everybody – the community and the school. Everybody supports football here, and it’s commonplace to be at this level.”
Last Friday, Marshall scored eight touchdowns in the first half to rout rival Kirk on a cold, wet night at Patriot Field.
Devin McGreger rushed for 192 yards on nine carries and scored three touchdowns. Artemus (A.J.) Boyd gained 117 yards on eight carries and scored two touchdowns. Aaron McAlexander had the other three scores.
McAlexander got things started with a 96-yard punt return at the 8:15 mark of the first quarter. Also in the opening period, Boyd darted 27 yards for a score, McAlexander caught an 8-yard toss from Dakota Dailey and McGreger ran 18 yards for six points.
Roy Billions connected on two of four extra-point kicks in the first quarter. The lead was 26-0.
The Pats continued to light up the scoreboard in the second period – reaching the end zone four more times.
McGreger plunged across the goal-line from 2 yards out and Boyd raced 67 yards for six. Next McAlexander picked up a Kirk fumble on a kickoff and returned it 20 yards for a touchdown. Marshall’s final score of the night came before half on McGreger’s 21-yard run.
Billions was again two of four on extra-point kicks in the second period.
The Raiders scored twice in the second half on a 19-yard pass from Tyler Kirk to Chase Carpenter and a 5-yard run by Kirk. They added one of two kicks.
Leading a stout Marshall defensive effort in the game were Hunter Barringer, Matt Rappa and Zack Prichett with eight tackles each.
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