Eagles Put Exclamation Point In Jamboree Rout
In the most anticipated match up in the pre-season, the Magnolia Blue Eagles defeated the John Marshall Monarchs 35-0 to kick-start their 2009 season in style.
The Blue Eagles out-hit and out-hustled John Marshall in all phases of the game. JM started the third annual Ohio Valley Jamboree at the 30 yard line on offense. On the second play, Eagles’ Stingray Bates recovered a loose pigskin on the 31 yard line when a flock of Eagles stripped the Monarch ball carrier.
Magnolia went for it, all on the first play from scrimmage, but the fleet-footed Magnolia receiver, Derek Fruner, dropped the Justin Fox aerial. Bates rambled for a couple yards on the next play. Fox then hit Fruner for a small gainer. But, on fourth down, a quick pass from Fox to Jared Blatt went all the way to the one yard line.
The Blue Eagles scored their first goal when senior runningback Dillon “Action” Jackson took a Fox handoff a high-stepped into the end zone. Fox drilled the extra point conversion kick through the uprights for a 7-0 Magnolia advantage, just five minutes into the game.
The Monarchs started their next drive on the 30 yard line, but Magnolia senior linebacker Zach Neff dropped the Monarch ball carrier in the back field for loss of yardage. A nice stop by Blue eagle defender Cole Mullett forced John Marshall to punt.
Following the kick, Fox connected with Fruner for positive yardage on the Eagles first play of their second series. After a dropped pass, Jackson picked eight yards for the Blue Eagles with the help of a nice block from Jake Potts.
Nice runs by Jackson and Bates moved the ball to the one yard line, where Jackson went in for her second TD. After another successful extra point kick by Fox, the Eagles extended their advantage to 14-0.
After a couple of plays in the next series, John Marshall connected on a 36-yard pass play. However, Jackson took the ball away from the JM receiver and galloped the pigskin back 30 yards close to midfield.
Eagle freshman receiver Stephen Rogalski made a nice catch for positive yardage, but a MHS penalty negated the play. Blatt hauled in a nice Fox pass to move the chains to the 29 yard line.
Later in the drive, Jackson took the handoff and ran up the gut to the 13 yard line to move the chains once again. Fox ran out of the pocket to gain a couple yards, then connected with Fruner to give the good guys a three-touchdown lead.
A steady dose of defender Zach Neff on three straight tackles forced JM to punt. Magnolia snagged the punt at the 32 yard line. It was there that the Monarch defense would stop Fox for the first and only time and force MHS to punt.
After another steady dose of Neff, Matt Riggs and Andy Huggins forced John Marshall to punt. On the first play, Fox connected with Rogalski on a long pass play and the speedy freshman took it to the house, pushing the Blue Eagles ahead 28-0 after another successful PAT by Fox.
After a few plays by the Monarch offense, Jackson again stripped the ball from a Monarch and ran it back to midfield.
With many of the first team offense on the bench, Jayson Keller got his chance to move the ball on the ground and he didn’t disappoint. The sophomore moved the ball down near the goal line to pick up positive yardage for the Blue. After a quarterback sack, Keller added six points to Magnolia’s final tally
Blue Eagles Sam Shepherd and Cody Elliott stoped the John Marshall offense with fumble recoveries on the next couple drives. Neither team moved the ball well. However, the Eagles came close when Rogalski made a nice completion on the sidelines of a pass from freshmen backup quarterback Tanner Hanna. But, with the clock running, the Blue and Gold didn’t have any more time to add another tally.
The Magnolia offense had 321 yards on 45 plays. Several passes from Fox were dropped, but he still completed 5-9 passes for 118 yards and three scores. Hanna, meanwhile, completed 1-2 for 27 yards.
In the rushing department. Bates and Jackson split 80 yards, while Keller netted 36 yards on three carries. Timmy Shreve rushed for 16 yards and Traeh Keller picked up seven yards for the Eagles. Fox picked up four yards on a pair of carries.
Defensively, the Big Blue limited the Monarchs to 30 offensive plays and caused seven turnovers, while recording seven quarterback sacks. Neff led the way on defense with 10 tackles and two sacks. Traeh Keller netted six stops and Shepherd brought down the Monarch QB twice. Riggs and Jayson Keller each added one sack.
After an 0-3 start last season, not many would have predicted that Magnolia would go to the state championship. But, that has changed this year and fans are hoping the Blue Eagles will bring home a championship they haven’t had since 1960.
And, after a nice performance by the Eagles over big Class AAAA John Marshall, it looks good. But they first have to get by Tolsia in the season’s opening game, Friday, Aug. 28 at Alumni Field.