DRAFFENVILLE – Marshall County recovered from one 14-point deficit, but another two-touchdown gap proved too big to overcome.
The result was a 35-28 loss at the hands of Allen County-Scottsville Friday night in the Marshals’ second frustrating loss of the season.
The defeat came despite a stellar effort from senior Nolan Nichols, who rushed for 133 yards and two touchdowns, scored another TD on an interception return, recovered a fumble and had nine solo tackles and three assists.
It was a second straight superlative effort for the senior, who had 80 yards rushing and one TD in the Marshals’ season opener a week earlier, a 35-24 setback to Trigg County.
“We’ve got to quit digging ourself in a hole, giving up 21 points in the first half again,” Marshals coach Ron Barnard said. “We’ve got to quit doing that. Got to find a way to stop some people, keep them out of the end zone. I don’t know what the answer to that is yet.”
The Patriots scored once in the first quarter and made it 14-0 with a second tally in the opening minutes of the second period. Marshall County made it 14-7 on a 40-yard completion from quarterback Cole Barnard to wideout Austin Spicer. That came with 9:32 left before halftime, and the first of four extra-point conversion kicks by Ethan Mensch made it 14-7.
But Allen County-Scottsville scored again to take a 21-7 advantage into intermission.
The Marshals blew up for two TDs in the first 2-1/2 minutes of the second half to know the score at 21. Nichols went 47 yards on the Marshals’ second play from scrimmage just 48 seconds into the period, and then he picked off a pass by the Patriots’ Colton Oakes and took it 20 yards into the end zone at the 9:25 mark.
However, AC-S then put together a methodical 78-yard drive, eating up nearly six minutes, and regained the lead on a 32-yard run by senior running back Charlie Trapp. It was the second TD of the game for Trapp.
The two teams battled back and forth until AC-S defensive back Caleb Vernon picked off a deflected pass from Barnard, and Ty Mutter’s second short TD run of the game pushed the margin back to 14 points with 10:34 left to play.
The Marshals put together a sustained drive of their own in the fourth period, with Nichols going the final four yards for his third TD of the game. But the drive left only 3:37 to play.
The Marshals held AC-S to three-and-out on the ensuing possession, and Cody Gregory returned the punt to the 45, leaving the Marshals with 2:25 to cover 55 yards. The drive stalled at the 30 with 47.4 seconds left, and the Patriots ran out the clock.
“We battled back and gave ourself a chance at the end,” Barnard said. “We didn’t finish. That was our motto this week – finish.
“But I truly believe that we’re going to be tough down the stretch. We’re going to figure this thing out and come together and we’re going to be a complete, good ball team before it’s over with.”
THIS WEEK: Marshall County travels to Murray for a meeting with Calloway County at Jack Rose Stadium. The Lakers are 1-1 after a 34-12 victory over Hancock County last week in the KME David Sadler Bowl, a double-header at Trigg County High School in Cadiz.
The Marshals have won seven consecutive matchups with Calloway, including a 43-28 win at home last year and a 33-17 win two years ago at Calloway. The most recent Laker victory came at Draffenville on Sept. 10, 2004. The two teams did not play in 2009 and 2010.
Calloway lost 42-7 to cross-town rival Murray in its opener Aug. 30.
1st downs 13 13
Rushes-yds 48-318 30-155
Passes 2-4-1 12-32-1
Passing yds 17 154
Penalties-yds 5-46 1-5
Fumbles-lost 1-1 2-1
AC-S 7 14 7 7 – 35
MC 0 7 14 7 – 28
AC-S – Charlie Trapp 35 run (Cainan Cox kick), 5:09, 1st
AC-S – Ty Mutter 2 run (Cox kick), 10:19, 2nd
MC – Austin Spicer 40 pass from Cole Barnard (Ethan Mensch kick), 9:32, 2nd
AC-S – Trapp 2 run (Cox kick), 7:45, 2nd
MC – Nolan Nichols 47 run (Mensch kick), 11:12, 3rd
MC – Nichols 20 interception return (Mensch kick), 9:25, 3rd
AC-S – Trapp 32 run (Cox kick), 3:51, 3rd
AC-S – Mutter 5 run (Cox kick), 10:34, 4th
MC – Nichols 4 run (Mensch kick), 3:37, 4th