Eagles Blank Rebels 61-0 To Open 2009 Season
Eight different Magnolia gridders scored points for the Blue Eagles in a convincing 61-0 trashing of the Tolsia Rebels to open Magnolia’s 2009 campaign Aug. 28 at Alumni Field.
It was the Rebels’ worst defeat in the school’s history and the second shut-out in four seasons – both by Magnolia.
After the Rebels’ three and out, Magnolia gave Tolsia a steady dose of Stingray Bates for 12 yards on three totes.
MHS signal caller Justin “Tank” Fox hooked up with freshman wide receiver Stephen Rogalski for a 49-yard touchdown pitch and catch to take a 7-0 lead after a successful PAT by Fox.
The Blue Eagle defense limited the Rebels to minus yardage on the ground in the first half and only three positive yards in the air, recording five quarterback sacks and several tackles behind the line of scrimmage led by Traeh Keller and Zach Neff.
Magnolia held the Rebels on downs in Tolsia’s second series, the Blue Eagle offensive line jumped to give the visitors their first down of the quarter.
A Neff QB sack forced Tolsia to punt. The first of two high snaps by the Rebels long-snapper gave the Eagles nice field position at the 10 yard line.
Dillon “Action” Jackson got the ball twice in the Red Zone and capped the short drive with a two-yard touchdown blast to give the Eagles a 14-0 lead after Fox’s PAT.
When the powerful Eagle defense forced another punt, Fox hauled it in and outran the Rebel defense for a 21-0 lead.
On the ensuing kickoff Tolsia brought the ball to midfield, only to face two quarterback sacks. One of them was from the trio of Keller, Howell, and Matt Riggs; the other sack was solo by Keller. Both forced Tolsia to punt.
Although the Blue Eagles blocked the punt, their first miscue of the first half gave the Rebels a temporary reprieve. But, a stingy Eagle defense, headed by Keller, took back the ball on downs.
The Rebels forced Magnolia to punt for the first time in the game. Fox handled the bouncing snap and got off a short punt. Tolsia moved the ball 12 yards on two runs, but a huge defensive stop by the Magnolia front wall forced a fumble. Whereupon, Keller picked it up and rumbled 78 yards to paydirt and a 28-0 Magnolia lead.
A ferocious Eagle defense, led by a Riggs’ quarterback sack, forced the Rebels to punt from the endzone. Bates rushed for 12 yards on the first play from scrimmage. With help from his leading blocker, Jackson and the right side of the Eagle line went 20 yards for a 35-0 Magnolia advantage.
The Eagles forced Tolsia to punt with 1:38 remaining in first half. Magnolia, in a good position to add to its lead, showed good sportsmanship by running out the clock and going into the locker room, up 35-0.
During intermission the Blue Eagle Marching Band, led by interim band director Dave Cisar, staged a spectacular opening-game show that moved the crowd.
In the first half, the Magnolia offense had rushed 14 times for 73 yards, led by Bates with 54 yards. Fox converted 2-4 passes for 42 yards and a TD.
After intermission, Tolsia went to work. However, Fox moved in front of a Rebel pass on a third down for an interception. On the first play from scrimmage, Fox hit Jared Blatt in stride for a diving 25-yard strike to the five-yard line. On the second play, Bates galloped, untouched, into the end zone for another Magnolia score.
The Eagle defense again held Tolsia and forced another punt. For the second time, a Rebel high snap allowed a determined Neff to jump on the punter in the endzone for a safety and an Eagle 44-0 lead. Later, Fox would add a 27-yard field goal and Brendon Kacor would run back a punt 70-yards to paydirt to give the home-standing Eagles a 54-0 advantage.
Tim Shreve took a Tanner Hanna hand-off for a 47-yard TD run for the Eagles’ 61st and final point of the contest.
Bates had 60 yards rushing and two TDs before being lifted early in the third period. Jackson netted 40 yards that included a two-yard touchdown, while Shreve scampered 53 yards on two touches.
Fox hit three different receivers: Rogalski, once, for a 41-yard TD; Bates, once, for 11-yards for 92-yards and one touchdown; and Blatt, twice for 40-yards. He also kicked a 28-yard field goal.
On defense, Magnolia was led by Keller with 12 tackles, five of which were solos and two were quarterback sacks. Neff also had a pair of sacks on eight tackles, while a flock of Eagles added more than a pair of tackles. The defense limited the Rebels to only three yards in the first half. Tolsia finished the game with less than 50 yards rushing and passing. Eight different Eagles put points on the scoreboard.
Magnolia will go on the road Sept. 4 to challenge the Williamstown Yellowjackets with a 7:30 p.m. kickoff.