Second half letdown sends MCHS home with loss
Penalties plagued the Marshall County High School Tigers in their fourth straight loss
Friday night, a 39-19 setback at Cheatham County. The Tigers were penalized 13 times for 100-yards.
With the defeat, the Tigers' hopes of a playoff bid, grows weaker. In all likelihood, Marshall County needs to win two of the last three games, which are region games, to have any chance of making it to the post season. This Friday, the Tigers travel to 1-5 Montgomery Central and after a bye week, close out the season with Region 5A frontrunners, David Lipscomb, 5-1 and Giles County, 6-0.
Cheatham County wasted no time in making a statement, taking the opening drive 50 yards in six plays to score when Kevin Elliott plunged 1-yard for the touchdown.
Joey Beach's extra point gave the Cubs a 7-0 lead.
It looked like the game was going to be a barn burner when the Tigers answered with a 6-yard Donta Hightower run to the end zone which combined with a PAT from the foot of Kenny Jackson, knotted the score at 7-all.
Corey Randolph gained 51 of his 187-yards on one play in the second quarter to score Cheatham County's second touchdown. From that point, Randolph and his teammates never looked back.
MCHS moved the ball to the Cubs' 29 yard line before Cavalla O'Neal threw one of his three interceptions, to end the march. Cheatham County counted down the final 56 ticks on the clock to carry a 14-7 lead into the locker room at the half.
The second half started in the same fashion for the Tigers as the first half closed, with a turnover. Cheatham County attempted an onside kick which worked to perfection, giving the Cubs, possession at the Marshall County 47 yard-line.
Cheatham County marched the ball down field and expanded the lead when Kyle Cripus connected with Joey Beach for a 13-yard touchdown pass. Before the third quarter ended, Cheatham County added a field goal to stretch the lead to 24-7.
The Tigers pulled to within eleven, when O'Neal scored on a 7-yard run. The point-after failed and Cheatham County still led comfortably, 24-13. That cushion would soon be increased as an interception set the stage for Randolph to gallop 25-yards to the end zone with nearly 9 minutes to play. Beach's kick for the point-after gave a the Cubs a 39-13 lead.
MCHS managed one final crack at the end zone late in the fourth when Cavalla O'Neal scored a touchdown from 2-yards out. The extra point attempt failed for the final 39-19 score.
With the exception of penalties and points, statistically, the two teams were close.
Marshall County had 15 first downs to Cheatham County's 13. The Cubs narrowly outgained the Tigers on the ground with 231 yards compared to 210 yards. MCHS had 93 yards passing while Cheatham County gained 84 yards through the air.