Monroe Plucks Magnolia, 51-13
The Monroe Central Seminoles dazzling duo of quarterback Malachi Rose-Burton and runningback Alex Kilburn both ran for over 100-yards, while combining for about 300-yards, 4-TDs as well as taking advantage of some timely turnovers, to spoil Homecoming for Magnolia with a 51-13 rout.
Most of the Central’s damage came in first quarter against the Blue Eagles. After receiving the opening kick, the Eagles were in business at midfield. The Eagles Silas McKeever rushed for 8 of his 107-yards in their first offensive series, but after losing a couple yards on a tackle for a loss, McKeever picked up a first down on a 5-yard run to garnish the Eagles first of 11 first downs. The Eagles Mikey Hamrick seeing some time in the back-field carried several Seminoles for a 4-yard pick-up, but McKeever was tackled for a big loss, and would have to go to the air. However, a pair of incomplete passes, the Seminoles took over on downs near their own 39-yard line..
The Seminoles went to their bag of tricks with a reverse, but their pitch to the running-back took them back 3-yards. The Eagles stopped Kilburn for a short gain, but couldn’t contain the slippery Seminole quarterback, who picked up their first of 11-first downs. They fed Kilburn the ball three straight times, ending with a 37-yard touchdown romp to give the visitors a quick, 7-0 lead.
The Eagles started their next series at their-own 34-yard line after the ensuing kick-off. McKeever picked up another Big Blue first down on a nice 15-yard run for a first down, but the Seminole defense held firm that forced a severe pressured McKeever short punt.
It didn’t take the ‘Noles long to score as Kilburn, burned the Eagles on a dazzling 59-yard run to extend its lead to 13-0 after the failed PAT kick.
Once again the Big Blue Kick-off team did their thing that broke McKeever loose to their-own 43-yard line. After a tackle for loss, and a incomplete pass, McKeever gained 6-yards, but fell a little short and pinned Monroe Central at their-own 20-yard line.
Rose-Burton played Houdini with a nice faked hand-off to Kilburn and raced untouched for an 80-yard TD scamper and pushed their advantage to 20-0 after the PAT kick with 2:1-0 remaining in the opening period.
On the ensuing kick-off, the Eagles were penalized for a holding, and started their next series at their-own 17-yard line. However, 3-straight incomplete passes forced yet another punt.
The tandem of Hamrick and Kolbee Cecil would back-up the Seminoles a couple of yards, and Monroe Central would go to the pass. However, the Eagles Gavin Postlewait climbed the latter and picked-off Rose-Burton and halt the ‘Noles offense for the first time early in the second stanza on the Seminoles 4-yard line.
However, the Seminoles would answer right back with an interception of their own on a Rose-Burton 29-yard pick six to give the Seminoles a 26-0 lead.
Magnolia’s Brayden Vargo would run-back the ensuing kick 20-plus yards to midfield to give the hosts good field position. After a positive run by McKeever, the Eagles quarterback Caden Cisar hooked up with Postlewait on a nice 17-yard throw and run for a first down. However, Monroe Central would get another pick six on a Babcock 70-yard return, as well as a Kilburn 4-yard TD run to end the first half of action.
Kilburn would score on a 48-yard run up the gut to open the second half scoring. The Blue Eagles would get a touchdown pass from Cisar to Postlethwait for 64-yards and a McKeever 36-yard TD run late in game, but Jagger Keylor would go untouched for a 43-yard touchdown to put the nail in the coffin to give the Seminoles the win, 51-13.
Magnolia rushed for 131-yards rushing with McKeever leading the way with 107-yards, and Hamick 10-yards. Damien Gatian rushed for 23-yards on 2-carries, and would have had close to 40-yards, but a holding call wiped the large gainer.
In the air, Cisar through over 100-yards, completing 76-yards and a touchdown to Postlewait, 39-yards on 2-receptions to McKeever as well as 5-yarder to Brendan Mirandy.
“We had some adversity hit here the last couple weeks,” Magnolia coach Dave Chapman said. “These guys trust and believe in each other and it has been tough. You try to keep the kids motivated and try to keep plugging away.
“We need to focus on getting better each day, each week and the wins will take care of themselves. Attitude and effort. The guys are hurting, but you have to continue to play. We just didn’t make the plays, missed a few tackles and we didn’t execute offensively. The guys are capable, but we have to get them to play a little beyond what they think they can do.”
Defensively, Cody Leek made 9-tackle with one for loss of yardage, while Kolbee Cecil provided 7-tackles, with 2 for loss of yardage and a half a sack. Charles Powell and Mikey Hamrick each recorded 6-tackles with Powell making a tackle for loss of yardage, and Hamrick 2 for loss of yardage and a half a sack.
The Eagles will try to get their first win Friday night inside Bill Stewart Stadium on Alumni Field against Marietta, with kick-off scheduled for 7 p.m.