Marshall Mavericks shutdown by Tigers

Mavericks cease to score leading to a Tiger win


Caden Rainwater

Junior Braylon Stewart breaks through the Marshall defensive line. Stewart led the team to a 28-0 win providing three touchdowns and 254 yards rushing.

Story by Caden Rainwater, sports editor

As the Marshall Mavericks went into the game with a plan to run out the clock throughout the entirety of the game, limiting the Tigers scoring was key to success. However, the key flaw that the Mavericks forgot to take into account was that they needed to score in order to win. This fatal mistake led to a big win for the Tigers, 28-0.

An original weakness that has become evident over the past few games is the Tigers’ ability to limit any kickoff return. Providing an unfortunate start to the game Friday night, the defensive line showed their wits, enforcing two sacks and a punt. Looking to score first, the Tigers marched downfield and attempted a trick play where junior Brason McHenry flicked the ball outside to senior Zane Dodson. Attempting to fool the Maverick defense with a short pass play, Dodson then passed downfield where the ball was intercepted.

Nearing the end of the first quarter, a miscommunication on the Tiger sideline and Dodson led to a botched punt return, and the Mavericks in field goal range. Putting off the field goal attempt until the second quarter, the Mavericks ran out the clock marking the end of a quarter with four total punts and two turnovers combined, 0-0.

Opening the second quarter with a possible Maverick touchdown pass by Brent Burris, the pass was dropped in the endzone forcing an attempted field goal. At a long 45-yard shot, there was no chance as senior Clayton Smith broke through the offensive line with ease getting a hand on the ball.

Putting the Tigers on the scoreboard first, Braylon Stewart used his agility and endurance to take the team down the field eventually scoring on a 6-yard rush giving the Tigers the lead 7-0. Ending the night with three of the four touchdowns and a whopping 254 yards rushing, Stewart’s conditioning was put to the test.

“I just went to work so that we could really open up the passing game,” Stewart said. “Once we run the ball hard, we feel like nobody can stop us then.”

A mere twenty seconds after finding themselves in the endzone for the first score, the Tigers made their way there once again following a kickoff fumble picked up by senior Lathan Ragland. Once the Tigers got a failed Maverick drive out of the way, Stewart scored once more taking the team up to a 21-0 lead before the half.

Receiving on the opening kickoff for the half, the Tigers began to speed up their run-game even further. On the very first drive, Stewart took the ball 73 yards on third down to take the lead to 28-0. The rest of the third quarter resulted in a pair of punts on both sides of the field.

With little to no solution on how to make it past the overwhelming Tiger defense, the Mavericks finally found a solution on their second drive of the final quarter with their receiver JQ Davis making a pair of long passes take their team down to the redzone. In addition with a passing interference by the Tigers, the Mavericks made it to the 6-yard line, but could not produce a single point with a turnover on downs.

On the returning drive, with the quarterback kneel by Dodson, the Tigers secured a 28-0 victory over the Marshall Mavericks.