After three consecutive games on the road, the Magnolia Heights football team road into Batesville looking for one more win before their district showdown with Pillow Academy on October 16. The Chiefs would start the game on offense, receiving the kick from the Marshall Academy Patriots. After the opening kick-off the Chiefs began with first and ten from their on thirty-four yard line. Magnolia quarterback Blake Kirby wasted little time in connecting with Graycen Crumbley for an eight yard gain. On second down, Kirby completed a pass to Keondre Fields but a host of Patriots tackled Fields for no gain. A Third down reception to Drew Prosek was stopped short by Marshall Academy linebacker Rodrick Moore leaving the Chiefs facing a fourth and two. Magnolia was unable to convert on fourth down and Marshall Academy took possession of the ball.
Their first offensive possession would be short lived however, with the Chiefs Brett Prosek stripping the ball from Marshall’s Colten Neal. From there, Kirby connected with Graycen Crumbley moving the ball down to the fifteen yard line before being brought down by Will Merrill. Two plays later, the Chiefs were again facing a fourth and short scenario but this time Kirby found Blake Dunlap for the score. Parker Bright added the point after touchdown giving Magnolia Heights a 7-0 lead with 7:03 left in the first quarter.
The Chiefs next score would come off the legs of Magnolia Heights signal caller, Blake Kirby. Dropping back, Kirby, unable to find an open receiver tucked the ball and rambled forty-two yards down the middle of the field and into the end zone for the Chiefs second touchdown. Freshman kicker, Parker Bright split the uprights and the scoreboard reflected a 14-0 Magnolia Heights lead.
Late in the first half, Ross Thompson added to the Chief lead, taking the ball nineteen yards directly up the middle of the Patriot defense before being brought down on the Patriot five yard line by Marshall’s Nick Henry. From there, Ross Thompson plunged up the middle of the field and across the goal line for the Chiefs third touchdown of the game. Parker Bright added the extra point and Magnolia now lead 21-0 with 4:30 left in the second quarter.
Neither team would get near the end zone in the time that remained in the half until Magnolia Heights took a shot at a field goal attempt with under a minute to play the half. Parker Bight sent the ball hurdling through space towards the middle of the uprights but the kick would fall short and the horn sounded to end the half with the Chiefs carrying a 21-0 advantage over the Patriots.
The Chiefs kicked off to start the second half of play and both teams swapped possession of the football back and forth with no points to show for their efforts. The Chiefs would break the scoring drought late in the third quarter when a seventeen yard gain by Ross Thompson would put the Chiefs in scoring position on the Patriot nine yard line. On first down, Thompson took the ball down the left sideline to be stopped short of breaking the plain. On second and goal, senior running back Gavin Woods out ran Patriot defensive end Jordan Bonds to cross the goal line for the Chiefs. The point after attempt was kicked by sophomore Carson Barham to put the Chiefs out in front 28-0 with 1:18 left in the third quarter.
Though both teams moved the ball up and down the field in the fourth quarter, neither team was able to cross the goal line and the shortened week of preparation ended with a 28-0 Thursday night victory for Magnolia Heights over the home-standing Marshall Academy Patriots.
Offensively, the Chiefs rushed the ball 42 times for 216 yards and 3 touchdowns. Ross Thompson was the workhorse on the ground for Magnolia picking up 145 yards and 2 touchdowns on 27 carries. Keondre Fields had 8 carries for 36 yards, Blake Kirby gained 28 yards on 6 attempts, and Gavin Woods had 1 carry for 8 yards and a touchdown
The Chiefs passing attack went 15 of 25 for 130 yards and 1 touchdown for a .600 completion rate. Senior quarterback Blake Kirby accounted for all of the Chiefs attempts throwing for an 8.7 yard average gain on his 15 completions while giving up 2 interceptions. Graycen Crumbley was Kirby’s main target against the Patriots catching 8 passes for 63 yards. Blake Dunlap caught 2 passes for 29 yards and a touchdown. Hunter Jones had 21 yards on 2 catches; Drew Prosek gained16 yards on 2 receptions, and Keondre Fields had 1 catch for 1 yard in the victory.
Defensively, the Chiefs held the Patriots to zero points while recording 3 sacks in the game. The Chief defense was led by Gavin Woods with12 tackles and 1 interception, Asa Moore and Jackson Thomas each had 7 tackles, Drew Prosek had 6 tackles and a fumble recovery, Ross Thompson had 5 tackles and Carson Barham had 3 solo stops, 2 assist, and 1 tackle for a loss. Seniors Walker Gatewood, Hunter Pugh, and Blake Dunlap each added 1 tackle to the defensive effort against Marshall.
The Chiefs (5-2) return home on Friday 16 with a district game against Pillow Academy (5-2) scheduled to kick-off at 7:00 p.m.