Photo by Theresa Bolden Devore
Phillip Parks (5) tries to pull away from an Eagle. In back is Brady Jeanes (78). Parks ran for 339 yards in the victory.
Photo by Theresa Bolden Devore
Bringing down a Falkner ball-carrier are Marshall players Wyle McMillan (15), Desmond Howell (56) and Anthony Mayfield (1).

Patriots win by 26

It took three hours and eight minutes but Marshall Academy exited Tippah County with a win Friday night.

“That’s the longest football game I’ve ever been a part of,” coach Barrett Donahoe said. “It lasted forever.”

His Patriots rebounded from a disappointing performance the week before at West Memphis Christian (Ark). to beat Falkner 48-22.

“We were embarrassed by that showing last week, and we responded well after the loss,” he said. “We had a good week of practice leading up to the game and executed well.”

Phillip Parks was the star of the offensive outburst. He ran for 339 yards on 23 carries and three scores, plus he caught a pass for a touchdown.

“Phillip had a great game, but he couldn’t have done it without his offensive line; those guys up front played well, too,” Donahoe said.

MA used a 70-yard drive, which started late in the first quarter, to take the lead. Parks had a 33-yard carry to the Eagles’ 2. From there, Jeremiah Jones threw to Anthony Mayfield for the score. Jason McDoniel added the kick with 10:42 to go in the second period.

Wyle McMillen recovered McDoniel’s successful onside kick.

Three plays later, Parks found running room and went 48 yards for six. The lead was 13-0.

Falkner’s first points came on a 50-yard pass from Lane Elliott to Chauncey Jackson. T.J. Colom cashed in the two.

The Patriots then put together a four-minute march. On fourth and goal from the 12, Jones threw to Parks for the score. He then tossed to Mayfield for the two-pointer. Marshall was up 21-8 with 5:01 to go in the first half.

Everette Jones’ interception gave the Patriots the ball back.

On second down, Parks went up the middle and the burst outside for a 53-yard carry to paydirt. McDoniel’s kick pushed the lead to 20.

MA’s Rod Moore recovered the pooch kick to get the offense back on the field, but an interception by Falkner’s Anzayvian Hudson ended the threat.

The Eagles then soared 97 yards in 11 plays to cut their halftime deficit. Elliott passed to Colom for the touchdown. Riley Akers got the two-point conversion.

Marshall led 28-16 at the break.

“We did a great job of executing our first-half game plan,” Donahoe said. “If it wasn’t for that interception and their late drive, I would feel great about the first half. I thought we were effective on both sides of the football.”

MA opened the second half with Parks’ 31-yard kickoff return to the Falkner 40. McMillen threw to E. Jones for 18 yards. Parks scored on a 14-yard run. McMillen ran for the conversion. It was 36-16.

Falkner drove 66 yards on its first possession of the second half. Elliott threw to Colom for the 16-yard score. Mayfield intercepted the try for two.

Late in the third, Sam Greer picked off a pass for the Patriots and returned it 43 yards to the Falkner 27.

McMillen scored on a 1-yard quarterback keeper. It was 42-22.

Parks halted Falkner’s next possession with an interception.

Marshall wrapped up its scoring on a 5-yard run by Taylor Cox with 1:19 to go in the game.

MA racked up 513 yards total offense, 439 rushing and 74 passing. McMillen had 12 carries for 48 yards and he was two of two passing for 28 yards.

Desmond Howell led the Patriot defense with six tackles.

The Patriots battled through some injuries during the contest.

“We had to find a way to win, and we did,” Donahoe said. “We had some guys come in and fill some important roles. I thought everybody put in the effort to win that football game.”

The Patriots (2-1) host Kirk Academy this Friday. The Raiders are 1-2, coming off a 33-7 loss to Carroll Academy last week.

Holly Springs South Reporter

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