LEWISBURG –In the season opener against Columbia Central, the Marshall County Tigers saw starting quarterback Bryson Hammons go down with an apparent season-ending knee injury.
That injury prompted head coach Thomas Osteen to shuffle the roster and in the end, the Tigers were able to scratch together a 21-14 win in their home opener on Friday night against Shelbyville Central.
“Losing Bryson is a huge loss to this team. He’s had such a great high school career and he was going to have a big year this year,” Marshall County coach Thomas Osteen said. “I think he would have been the best quarterback in our region no doubt and one of the best in the mid-state.”
Tiger backup quarterback Devonte Davis provided the spark on offense the Tigers needed, rushing for three touchdowns.
“Devonte Davis is just a football player, He contributes in all three phases of the game,” Osteen said. “He’s got some good tools to work with. He’s one of the best football players in the mid-state that not many people know about. I’m really glad he’s on our team.”
Marshall County scored first off a Davis three-yard run midway through the opening quarter. Wyatt Joyce connected on his first of three extra points for the 7-0 lead.
After a failed fourth and long by the Eagles, the Tigers took over on downs and Davis added a 26-yard TD. The kick after increased the lead to 14-0 with 4:48 left in the half.
Shelbyville Central followed with an impressive drive capped off by a three-yard touchdown run by senior Laquan Young in the closing seconds of the half. The run on the conversion attempt was no good leaving the halftime score 14-6.
The Eagles evened the score at 14-14 with 8:15 left to play when Kendall Trice hauled in a six-yard pass from Kade Cunningham. The duo teamed up for the two-point conversion as well.
“Our defense kept getting stops and finally we put together a really good drive and scored then got the two-point conversion to give us a chance,” Shelbyville coach Josh Puckett said.
That chance was short-lived as the Tigers followed with a winning drive highlighted by an 18-yard TD run by Davis.
“Give credit to Marshall County, they put together a great drive and banged one in on us,” Puckett said.
“We overcame some adversity and when we had to punch one in we did so just like we did last week,” Osteen said.
Davis rushed for 71 yards on 13 carries while Demari Braden added 64 yards on 14 touches.
Young rushed for 107 yard on 20 carries while Cunningham collected 93 on 14 attempts.
“I don’t know how much I'd have paid somebody coming in to hold Shelbyville to 14 points,” Osteen said. It feels like Kade Cunningham has been there for 10 years and he’s such a great player. They have a lot of good players. I feel like they will win their region.”
Davis led the Tigers on the ground with 71 yards on 12 carries while Braden added 66 yards on 14 touches. Davis also completed 4 of 6 passes for 44 yards.
Marshall County faces region foe Creek Wood on Friday while Shelbyville Central travels to Coffee County for a region matchup.
Shelbyville Central 0 6 0 8 — 14
Marshall County 7 7 0 7 — 21
MC – Devonte Davis 3 run, (Wyatt Joyce kick), 7:23.
MC – Davis 26 run, (Joyce kick), 4:48.
SC - Laquan Young 3 run, (run failed), 0:35.
SC – Kendall Trice 5 pass from Kade Cunningham, (Trice pass from Cunningham good), 8:15.
MC – Davis 18 run, (Joyce kick), 3:18.
THE YARD STICK
Rushing Yards 219 125
Passing Yards 36 44
Total Yards 255 169
First Downs 14 12
Penalties-Yards 5-37 1-15
Turnovers 1 0
Returns-Yards 3-84 3-66
Time of Possession 28:57 19:03