Colonels eliminate MA
Indianola Academy struck Marshall twice with long passes, one early and one late, and both costly for the Patriots.
Those two big plays helped propel the Colonels to a 27-12 win over Marshall Academy in the second round of the Class 3A state playoffs Friday.
“We cut it to 17-12 (in the fourth quarter) and then we gave up the big pass,” said Barrett Donahoe, head coach of the Patriots. “That happened twice, and it really hurt us.”
The Colonels took a 7-0 lead on their first possession of the game after a 53-yard pass put them deep in MA territory.
In the final period, the Pats had sliced the deficit to five, and Indianola went deep for 51 yards on a drive that led to a field goal and a 20-12 lead.
“I thought the second half we settled down and played much better,” Donahoe said.
Marshall found itself trailing 17-0 at halftime of the chilly game at Patriot Field.
After the long strike on their first possession, the Colonels scored on a 12-yard run by Thomas Putnam. Spencer Roberson kicked the extra point.
About six minutes later Roberson nailed a 30-yard field goal to up the Indianola lead to 10-0.
MA failed to convert on a fourth-and-eight try, and then the two teams swapped a pair of punts.
Indianola used a five-minute march late in the first half to go up 17-0. Putnam scored on a 24-yard keeper, and Roberson split the uprights for the extra point.
“They played faster than us in the first half,” Donahoe said. “They got to the line quick and executed, and we didn’t adjust.”
But the Patriots came out the second half with some fight.
On the first play of the third, Jeremiah Jones threw deep for Sam Greer, who made the catch for a 50-yard gain to the Indianola 30. Marshall then converted a fourth and 7 when Jones rolled right and threw to Colton Neal for an 18-yard gain. Landon Houston scored on a 6-yard run. The try-for-two failed. MA was down 17-6.
The Colonels fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Houston recovered at the Indianola 25. However, the Pats could not cash in the turnover, actually going backwards on the possession.
“We had to score there when we got that fumble on the kickoff, and we couldn’t punch it in,” Donahoe said.
The MA defense then forced back-to-back Indianola punts.
The Patriot offense put together an eight-play, 42-yard drive to end the third and start the fourth. Jones and Philip Parks had first-down runs before Jones kept for an 8-yard touchdown run up the middle. The two-point try was not successful. Marshall was down 17-12 with 9:45 left.
On their next possession, the Colonels stunned MA with its second long pass play of the night. This one pushed the ball to the Patriot 15, and four plays later Roberson hit a 24-yard field goal to up the visitors’ lead to 20-12.
Indianola got the ball back on an interception, and went 40 yards in seven plays to ice the victory. Putnam plunged into the end zone from 1 yard out, his third touchdown of the night, and Roberson added the kick.
Marshall, the District 1-3A champion, ends the season at 5-5.
“I really appreciate the effort of our guys this season,” Donahoe said. “Things didn’t start out so well for us (early losses to North Delta and Kirk early), but we came back and played hard to get us to this point – hosting a playoff game.
“I’m pleased with what we did. We grew up as a team, and it was fun to watch.”
He loses seven seniors.
“I appreciate these seniors and all they did to help grow this program,” Donahoe said. “These younger guys saw something they can build off of in the future.”
Indianola advances to meet Winona Christian in the state semi-finals. The other final four contest pits Carroll Academy against Greenville St. Joe.