Tigers Hold-Off Blue Eagles, 49-35
The Marietta Tigers put together explosive play after explosive play Friday night as the orange and black wrapped up the home portion of their season with a 49-27 win over a pesky Magnolia Blue Eagles squad Oct. 7 at Don Drumm Stadium.
The term “explosive play” seems to be the new buzz word when describing what used to be simply called “big plays” on the gridiron.
An explosive play is considered either a run of 10 yards or more or a pass of 25 yards or more. The Tigers tallied no less than 14 explosive play as they pulled out to an early 22-0 lead and then weathered a storm when Magnolia answered with 20 second quarter points of their own.
It took the Tigers all of 15 seconds to deliver their first explosive play of the evening when senior Travis Moore returned the opening kickoff 89 yards for a touchdown and after the two-point conversion, Marietta was on top 8-0.
Later in the quarter the Tigers capitalized on a blocked punt , and shortly after scored on a 14-yard scamper to take what appeared to be a comfortable 14 point lead.
The Eagles were in the verge of getting on the board late in the opening period, but the Tigers secondary picked off one of their two interceptions, and would travel 85-yards that included a 41-yard touchdown as time expired in the opening period to give the Tigers a 22-0 advantage.
Magnolia displayed their ability to execute an explosive play of their own when quarterback Nick Priem connected on a 30-yard scoring strike to Leo Herrick early in the second quarter to cut the lead to 22-6 after the missed two point conversion pass was denied.
After Marietta turned the ball over on downs near midfield, Priem connected with Chase Street on a 42-yard pass and run at the one-yard line. From their Priem cut the deficit to 22-14 after the Street two point conversion run.
Marietta answered quickly on a 33-yard scoring strike, but Priem answered the score with his second one-yard touchdown run to pull the Big Blue to 29-20 at the break.
Brooks Parsons got he Eagles off to a good start running back the second half kick-off 24 yards close to midfield. However, the Blue Eagles couldn’t gain any ground and the Marietta defense held tough, and forced a three-and-out.
The Tigers returned the ensuing punt to mid-field, and would score on a 54-yard scamper to give the hosts a 35-20 lead.
Street answered with a 53-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter to pull Magnolia back to within a score after the Patrick Mirandy PAT at 35-27.
However, the Tigers would score on a 64-yard run with 9:46 to play, giving the Tigers some daylight; they then added a 89-yarder with 5:42 to go put things away from good.
The never-say-die Eagles wouldn’t lie down, and would score on a eight yard pass play from Priem to Herrick. The two, would team again on the PAT.
Magnolia, who slipped to 1-6 with the loss, was led by Street?s 232 rushing yards while Priem completed 12-of-22 pass attempts for 174 yards, and a pair of touchdown tosses.
Parsons hauled in five Priem passes for 76 yards, while Herrick caught five passes for 61 yards and two scores. Street grabbed one pass for 20 yards, while Drew LeMasters totaled 17 yards on one grab.
Defensively, Hunter Partridge returned to the line-up after missing a pair of games from a leg injury, leading the team with 11 tackles, six of which were solos – including one for loss of yardage. Peau Halinghano made six solo tackles, forced a fumble and made an interception. Sebastian Stickler recorded six tackles, while Herrick made five solo tackles, and Zach Ware a fumble recovery.
The Eagles will host the undefeated St. Marys Blue Devils on their Homecoming night, with kick-off scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Alumni Field in Bill Stewart Stadium.