Tribune-Courier News Editor
DRAFFENVILLE – Mayfield’s Cardinals came to Marshall County as advertised Friday night. The visitors scored early – the first coming off just two plays – and often on their way to a 31-0 win.
The Cardinals’ defense set the tone, holding the Marshals to just 98 total yards and nine first downs.
Mayfield came into the contest with a formidable record. The 2010 Class 1A state champion hasn’t lost a regular season game since Oct. 30, 2009, and is 25-1 in the last three years.
Marshall County head coach Ron Barnard noted Mayfield’s defense as one of the difference makers.
“Give them some credit. They have a track record of shutting people down,” Barnard said. “We’re trying to get our defense to have that same mentality.”
Mentally, Mayfield opened with a punch to the mouth, using a pass interference call, an 8-yard run by Jonathon Jackson and a 53-yard pass to Louis Love for the game’s opening score.
Jackson would plague the Marshals all night, gaining 110 yards on 18 carries.
Jackson combined with Love (four receptions for 69 yards and two touchdowns) and Jordan Brown (five receptions for 90 yards) to pace Mayfield’s attack.
Marshall, meanwhile, struggled to gain yards. Chase Buchanan and Noah Steele led the way with three receptions for 26 yards and two receptions for 20 yards, respectively, but accounted for all of quarterback Chase Clark’s throws. Clark was 5-for-14 with one interception.
The Marshals’ 46-yard total through the air was only slightly topped by its ground game, which yielded 52 yards on 25 attempts.
After the loss, Barnard criticized his team’s lack of execution.
Barnard said he would continue to look for players to step up, which could prove difficult as injuries and other problems are beginning to shrink Marshall County’s bench.
Jamie Gilland is reportedly out for the season after suffering a shoulder injury Friday, along with Brody Pogue, who is also expected to be out for the season with a knee injury.
The Marshals played Friday without Brian Dueker, who has also been sidelined indefinitely, and Cody Gregory could be finished for the season with an ACL injury.
The team now turns to Crittenden County (2-3). The Marshals will visit the Rockets Friday at 7 p.m.