Friday night’s game between Marshall and Pine Tree certainly didn’t lack drama, especially the second half, more specifically, the fourth quarter.
One score occurred in the first quarter and two in the second, giving Marshall a 14-6 halftime lead. The third quarter only saw one score, another by Savion Williams to give the Mavericks a 21-6 lead.
Then the fourth quarter was its own story as the two teams combined for seven scoring plays, including a 30-yard field goal from Angel Mendieta. Pine Tree fought to the very end. Just as it looked like the Mavs had it wrapped up as they held a 38-19 lead with just 1:19 left in the game but the Pirates, with the help of a couple onside kick recoveries, managed to score a couple more touchdowns, with the last coming with eight seconds on the clock, likely leaving fans at Maverick Stadium keeping their fingers crossed as the Pine Tree kicked its last onside of the night, a kick that was recovered by Marshall before the Mavs’ offense took a knee.
It probably goes without saying that Savion Williams earned player of the week honors on the offensive side of the ball with his 191 rushing yards and four touchdowns on 23 carries. He did allow Joe Jordan to take a trip to the end zone. Jordan came close to the century mark and averaged nine yards per carry. On the defensive side of the ball, Kevin Pinson made a strong case for player of the week with his two interceptions.
Emotions seemed to be high for the Mavericks as they say 12 penalties go against them for 125 yards. That’ll likely be something the team will work on this upcoming week as they prepare for bi-district as they play host to Huntsville, the team that knocked the Mavs out of the third round of the playoffs a year ago. That game against Huntsville at the Star was filled with drama and controversial calls by the officiating crew, something neither team will be quick to forget.
It will be somewhat of a homecoming for Huntsville head coach Rodney Southern who coached the Mavericks from 2002-2006 to a 36-24 record.
Marshall will enter the playoff matchup with an overall record of 7-3 after going 7-0 against District 9-5A DII opponents. Huntsville will also enter the postseason with an overall record of 7-3 but the Hornets dropped a pair of District 10-5A DII games to finish district play at 5-2.
The bi-district playoff game between Marshall and Huntsville is slated for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff Friday at Maverick Stadium.