Tigers outgun East Hickman
Records are meant to be broken. Marshall County senior tailback Trevor Irizarry made history on Friday night when he broke MCHS' single game rushing record by racking up 319 yards and six touchdowns on 22 carries to help lead the Tigers to a 39-18 home victory over the East Hickman Eagles.
Former Marshall County great Rodney Davis previously held the single game rushing record with a 291-yard outburst against Brentwood in 1983.
The Tigers (7-3, 6-2 District) got off to a somewhat sluggish start due to a couple of first quarter turnovers, but still held an 18-6 lead at the break thanks to three touchdown runs by Irizarry.
In the second half, Irizarry reached the end zone three more times to help Marshall County forge a 39-12 advantage early in the fourth quarter before MCHS cruised to the 21-point victory.
"I was just excited when I learned that I had broken the record. I really didn't believe it at first" said Irizarry. "I just want to give all the credit to the offensive line. Without them I couldn't have done this."
Thanks to their win over the Eagles, Marshall County finished in second place in the District 12-AA standings and earned the third seed in their playoff quadrant where they host Notre Dame out of Chattanooga in the first round.
Aided by Irizarry's herculean effort, the Tigers tallied 376 yards on the ground overall en route to finishing with 436 yards of total offense.
"We wanted to run the ball and Trevor is good at it," said Marshall County coach Tom Turchetta. "He's going to get all the accolades for this, but whenever you have a performance like this it's a team effort."
Kevin Peterson also added a 40-yard run for Marshall County, while quarterback Austin Stacey toted the ball twice for 15 yards.
With Marshall County able to run the ball at will, Stacey attempted just seven passes, completing four for 60 yards to go along with one interception.
Peterson was Stacey's primary target and hauled in three passes for 37 yards, while Chris Walker had one catch for 23 yards.
Although MCHS failed to convert both of their two-point conversion attempts, place kicker Aaron Medley converted 3-of-4 PATs and made a touchdown saving tackle on a kickoff return late in the second quarter.
East Hickman's spread offense gave Marshall County fits for much of the evening, as the Eagles (2-8, 1-7 District) piled up 352 yards from scrimmage despite rushing for only 66 yards on 25 carries and committing two turnovers.
Primarily utilizing short throws and screens, East Hickman quarterback Austin King completed 34-of-52 passes for 286 yards and three touchdowns to go along with one interception.
Trey Phillips paced the Eagles' receiving corps with 11 catches for 113 yards and two touchdowns, while Hunter Arrowood had nine receptions for 75 yards. Landon Graham also added seven catches for 47 yards and a touchdown.
Linebackers Dutch Church and Jalen Jones led MCHS' defense with 14 and 10 tackles respectively, and defensive end Davey Maddox recorded seven tackles and a sack. Keifer Bolton and Quan Greer notched five tackles apiece as well with Bolton recovering a fumble, while Mariel Nicholson had an interception and two tackles.
The Tigers wasted no time getting on the board, as Irizarry broke loose for a 49-yard touchdown run on the third play of the game to give MCHS a quick 6-0 lead.
After Marshall County forced a three and out by the Eagles, East Hickman got the ball back near midfield when the Tigers mishandled the punt, but were eventually stopped on downs at the MCHS 23.
Although the Tigers drove deep into East Hickman territory on their next two possessions, Marshall County came up empty both times, as they saw a fake field goal attempt go awry before Stacey was picked off at the Eagle 2 by Graham late in the first quarter.
Nicholson then snuffed out an East Hickman scoring threat by intercepting a King pass in the end zone on the Eagles' ensuing possession before Irizarry raced 45 yards for a touchdown four plays later to give Marshall County a 12-0 advantage with 7:06 left in the second quarter.
The Eagles narrowed the gap to 12-6 late in the second quarter thanks to a three-yard touchdown catch by Graham, but the Tigers marched 62 yards to pay dirt in eight plays on their next offensive series, capped by an Irizarry 13-yard touchdown jaunt, to stretch their lead to 18-6.
In the third quarter, East Hickman received the opening kickoff, but running back Joseph Collier fumbled on the first play of the half and Bolton pounced on the pigskin to set up the Tigers at the Eagle 37.
Irizarry then scampered 37 yards for a touchdown on the next snap while Medley tacked on the extra point to make it 25-6.
After MCHS stopped the Eagles on downs at the Tiger 45, Irizarry and Peterson ripped off consecutive runs of 13 and 40 yards to move the ball down to the East Hickman 3. Irizarry then scored on a five-yard touchdown jaunt two plays later while Medley converted the PAT to push Marshall County's lead to 32-6 midway through the third quarter.
The Eagles trimmed the deficit to 32-12 late in the third quarter thanks to an eight-yard touchdown reception by Phillips, but Peterson returned the ensuing kickoff 54 yards to the East Hickman 34 before Irizarry darted into the end zone from 15 yards out two snaps later to stake the Tigers to a 39-12 advantage.
Phillips then caught a 21-yard touchdown pass from King on the Eagles' final drive for the 39-18 final.