Tiger varsity stays close against Knights
The Marshall County football team played host to private school powerhouse Pope John Paul II Friday in a jamboree to wind down the preseason and gear up for its season-opener against Franklin County.
The visitors finished the varsity portion of the event leading 21-20 before the reserves took over which led to a 48-48 tie.
The Tigers wasted little time getting on the board scoring on the first possession on a touchdown pass from Ashton Posey to Jay Howard.
"Even though this was just the jamboree we wanted to come out playing hard" said Posey, who completed 14 of 20 passes for 189 yards and three TDs. "We wanted to show (PJPII) that we were taking this seriously."
The Tigers continued to hammer away at the visitors from Hendersonville on the next possession as Kamron Liggett ran twice for 15 yards, Darius McKenzie caught a first down pass, and Posey tossed a beautiful pass to Howard for a 22-yard touchdown to push the lead to 13-7 following Caleb Estes' conversion kick.
The Knights got back in the game with the help of a pair of turnovers. A 10-yard scoring run from Codarius Hunter gave the visitors a 14-13 lead.
The Tigers answered immediately behind Posey. The quarterback ran 3 times for 20 yards, tossed a 14-yard pass to Josh Franklin, and capped the possession with a 40-yard bomb to a streaking Darius McKenzie to wrangle back the lead from the Knights 20-14.
Pope John Paul II regained the lead at 21-20 on a 34-yard scoring run with just under two minutes left in the quarter.
The Tigers made a valiant effort to regain the lead. Josh Franklin ran 19 yards and Posey hit Liggett on a 25-yard pass before Liggett ran 8 yards to get into field goal range. Estes, however, was just wide right of the uprights on his kick before the reserves took over.
"That wasn't the ending we were hoping for," Tigers coach Thomas Osteen said. "But it gave us a lot to work on this week to prepare for Franklin County."
Statistically for the Tigers, Howard had 6 receptions for 79 yards and 2 TDs while McKenzie had 3 catches for 57 yards and a score. Liggett led the rushing attack with 40 yards on 6 carries while Franklin had 4 carries for 27 yards.
Iendi Biggers and Hunter Cummings paced the defense with 4 tackles each.
In a sneak peak to the future, quarterback Bryce Wallace led the junior varsity with 112 yards and two TDs on 10 carries while completing 6 of 10 passes for 69 yards to help forge the tie for the night.
The Tigers open the regular season at 7 p.m. Friday against Franklin County.