DRAFFENVILLE – Kickoff was moved up 24 hours in an attempt to avoid storms coming from the remnants of northbound Hurricane Isaac, but Lone Oak brought thunder and lightning of its own to Carroll Traylor Stadium.
The Purple Flash scored early and often and rolled to a 52-7 victory over Marshall County Thursday night.
“No excuses,” Marshals coach Ron Barnard said. “We got beat by a better team.”
Barnard had some excuses to use, had he chosen to. He fielded a team decimated by illness and injuries. Six starters were out of commission with the flu.
But he gave Lone Oak credit instead. The Purple Flash were simply too big, too fast and too good.
The Flash, known as a passing team with Cole Ousley at quarterback, had to change their modus operandi when Ousley went down with a shoulder injury in Lone Oak’s season opener against Paducah Tilghman.
With freshman Zayire Hughes at the helm, the Flash look first to run. They rolled up 300 yards on the ground against Marshall County, with Hughes carrying six times for 93 yards and two touchdowns.
The freshman is no slouch as a passer, either. He completed 11 of 21 throws for 110 yards, with one interception but also three touchdowns.
Hughes got Lone Oak on the board early, scampering 30 yards for six points with 10:24 on the first-quarter clock.
Marshall County answered almost immediately. On the second play after Noah Steele returned the kickoff 20 yards to the 29, Jamie Gilland took a handoff from quarterback Clay Allen and broke loose down the left sideline. He was dragged down at the 1 yard line by Elijah Macklin.
Two snaps later, Allen went in from the 1 and Brock Herndon’s conversion tied it at 7-7 with 8:27 showing.
The tie was short-lived, though, as Hughes drove the Flash 73 yards on only four plays, hitting Morgan Alexander on a 15-yard catch-and-run scoring play.
The Marshals went three-and-out, and Lone Oak scored again, on a 32-yard run by Hughes with just under two minutes to go and on the third of seven PAT kicks by Reed Snow, Lone Oak led 21-7.
Snow added a 27-yard field goal, D’juan Sherrill scored on a 39-yard run and Hughes had TD passes to Tyrae Caldwell (28 yards) and Rasheed Jones (15 yards). The Flash defense got the final six points, with Bryce Wright picking off a Marshal pass and rambling 95 yards to the MC end zone with 35 seconds left in the third period.
The Marshals rushed the ball 35 times for a respectable 187 yards. Gilland led the way with 76 yards on six carries, with Nolan Nichols picking up 55 hard-earned yards on 13 carries.
The passing attack yielded only seven yards, as Allen connected on one of nine passes with two interceptions. Gilland had one throw on a halfback option pass, but it was incomplete.
The Marshals take on Webster County Friday at 6 p.m. in the first game of a double-header at Calloway County’s Jack Rose Stadium. The Lakers will meet Ballard Memorial at 8 p.m. in the nightcap.