MCHS Rolls past Giles County
The Marshall County Tigers are officially back after putting a 26-7 physical beat down on fourth ranked Giles County Friday night at Preston Hopkins Field in Lewisburg.
"The foundation just cracked," yelled a jubilant MCHS head coach Tom Turchetta as he ran up and down the sidelines late in the game.
A five-year dominance by Giles County (3-2, 2-1) over the Tigers (3-1, 2-0) was wiped away with the convincing win, catapulting Marshall County into a first place tie with Fairview (5-0, 3-0) atop the District 12A/AA standings.
There was never a doubt which team was going to win as the momentum was clearly with the Tigers from the first play from scrimmage as Trevor Irizarry took the handoff from Austin Stacey, juked a cutback move and then broke to the outside and down the home sidelines for a 69-yard touchdown.
The Bobcats never recovered and Kevin Peterson felt it as he said after the game, "We have been preparing for this game all week and I am just glad we came out with the victory. I think we had control of the game from the beginning."
The Tiger defense backed up the score by Irizarry with a three and out stop, but they punted after three downs as well on their next touch.
After MCHS punter Aaron Medley pinned the Bobcats back at their own ten-yard line, Mariel Nicholson stripped the ball from the Giles County receiver on a second down completion and fell on the pigskin at the Bobcat 30-yard line.
After three plays, Medley came up short on a long field goal and the game remained 7-0.
Once again, the Tiger 'D' was stout and held Giles County in check with the big play coming from Jay Murphy, who put the Bobcats offense in a hole when he drilled running back Devin Polk for a two-yard loss on a first down run.
MCHS drove the ball deep into Giles County territory, but came up empty on a fake field goal play by Medley.
The Bobcats were not ready for the intensity of the Tiger defense as they continued to dominate, forcing another Giles County punt with just over seven minutes to play in the first half.
The Tigers took over on their own 47-yard line and got a big play on first down when Stacey found Peterson for a 21-yard hookup.
MCHS moved just one yard the next three plays, but this time Medley's kick was good from 43-yards and the Tigers took a 10-7 lead with 6:39 left.
The Bobcats began to move the ball, taking it down to the MCHS 38-yard line before a fourth down pass fell to the ground and the Tigers took over, but on the first Tiger offensive play, Brandon Houston intercepted a Stacey pass with 75 seconds left in the half.
A holding call on the interception return moved the ball back into Giles County territory and the half ended after the Bobcats failed to convert on the turnover.
The Bobcats came out of the halftime intermission with the intent of getting back in the ballgame and after Medley's kickoff sailed into the endzone, Giles County took over at the twenty.
An eight-play drive that covered three minutes and twenty-five seconds was capped with a five-yard touchdown run by Bobcat quarterback Al Cobb and the Tigers' lead was cut to three-points at 10-7.
The Giles County defense was buoyed by the score and stopped Marshall County on a three and out.
The next Giles County series looked like it would be the go-ahead drive as they marched the ball to the Tiger's 37-yard line where they had a first down and ten.
The Bobcats imploded from there.
Three false start calls, an unsportsmanlike penalty, a fumbled snap, and two Tiger sacks made it third down and two time zones for the Bobcats, who were forced to punt the ball away.
Irizarry made them pay for their mistakes as he ran the ball nine yards on first down and then into the Giles County endzone from 44-yards out on the next play and the momentum shift went back to Tigers for good as they led 16-7 after a fumbled extra point snap.
Senior Davey Maddox came up huge on the next Bobcat series when he busted through the line and came up with a loose ball at the Giles County 35-yard line with 1:44 remaining in the third quarter.
The mistake was a fatal one for the Bobcats as the Tigers drove the ball to the one-yard line where Irizarry scored on a third and goal.
Medley's extra point made it 23-7 with 11:22 left to play in the contest.
The next series was do or die for the Bobcats and Turchetta knew it as he urged his defense on from the sidelines and after taking the ball to the MCHS 47-line, the drive was over on downs and the Tigers took over.
A Medley field goal made it a 26-7 ballgame after an eight-play drive that ate up most of the clock as only a little over five minutes remained in the battle.
It was Maddox who spread a thick layer of icing on the winning cake, as he was a man possessed.
On the Bobcats' final series of the game, Maddox began with a first down sack of Cobb, followed by two consecutive tackles in the backfield that sent the huge throng of Tiger supporters into a frenzy as the game ended on a fourth down incompletion.
Maddox said after the game, "This feels good, we have been waiting for this for a while. We never give up, we practice physical, we hit every day and we want to peak in the fourth quarter. I am just proud that all the boys came together."
Irizarry ended up with all three of the Tigers' touchdowns, running for 191 yards on 15 carries.
Peterson ran for 55 yards on seven carries, freshman Chris Walker had 30 yards on five touches, and Jalen Jones hauled the pigskin twice for 10 yards.
The Tigers amassed 295 yards rushing in the game and 30 yards in the air.
Stacey was 3-6 passing for 30 yards and Cobb went 14-28 for 123 yards and ran for 36 yards on 22 carries.
The Tigers travel to Spring Hill (1-3, 1-2) Friday before coming back to Lewisburg on Sept. 30 for the big showdown with Fairview.
"We didn't get down after the loss last week to Columbia and we will not overlook anyone from here," said Maddox. "First place in the region feels good and we want to keep it that way."