The Owls suffered a tough loss to MBA on Friday night. The Big Red played well and made the big plays when needed and their victory was not a fluke. While I believe our guys played hard we did not make the plays we needed to have a chance at the end. Anytime you see your season end earlier than you wish it is hard but this team certainly over the course of the year became an outstanding team and represented the school well. I am very proud of the boys and the coaches for a job well done.
Our Mercury Player of the Game Awards go to Keithran Hopson and Hunter Kendall. Keithran played well on defense as he has the entire season and Hunter capped off a great year with a solid game rushing the football. Congrats to both of these fine young men.
We will produce a season recap next week after our team party. We enter this Thanksgiving Holiday with much to celebrate after and exciting 2019 season. GO OWLS!!
The Owls played probably our best offensive game of the year and we needed every point against a very potent Knoxville Catholic team. This was a great game to watch if you love exciting offensive plays. The teams combined for 11 plays of over 20 yards. The Owls posted their highest total offensive stat of the season gaining 459 yards which included two of the top 10 longest rushing plays in the modern era of MUS football. Edwin Shy's 2nd quarter run of 89 yards is 5th longest and Vaught Benge's scamper of 80 yards is the 10th longest. And both came at critical moments. And while our defense took some lumps they did manage to make some big plays. A big goal line stop in the 2nd period was a huge part of the game and the group also created 3 turn-overs. Our special teams groups also had some uncharacteristic errors but came through with a couple of key punts late in the game. As the saying goes it is "survive and advance" and with this win the Owls do advance to the semi-finals for a big rematch with MBA.
MERCURY AWARDS: In the play-offs we only recognize Players of the Game but it goes without saying the our scout team guys this past week really exhibited a great deal of grit. The Tuesday practice I believe was the coldest weather I can ever remember conducting with wind-chills in the low teens. Wednesday was only slightly better but these guys stayed focused and helped us prepare.
We had several guys make big plays throughout the game but we will recognize four for our Mercury Player of the Game Awards. QB's Vaught Benge and Edwin Shy combined for 376 yards of total offense including 225 yards rushing. Those numbers would each be in the top 10 of records in a game individually. They also played a role in 4 of our TD's. It was an exceptional night of QB play. On defense we had two guys stand out making key plays. Cody Hopkins not only made 2 interceptions but also contributed 9 tackles from his safety position. Colby Ring had his overall best game as an Owl. He made two big plays back to back to stop KC on the goalline in the 2nd quarter and also had a big tackle for loss later. Congrats to all four.
The next rung in the ladder is a team we know very well. The Big Red from MBA have had a remarkable season and it all started when they last visited us on Sep 20th. At that time MBA was 1-3. Their victory that night sparked a turnaround that has been spectacular. And they have played a brutal schedule which has to be the toughest in the state. They have accomplished this playing outstanding defense, opportunistic offense, and displaying precision on special teams. This next test on the road to achieving another play-off victory will be the toughest so far. I believe our team is looking forward to this challenge. GO OWLS!!
REGION CHAMPS!! What a great accomplishment by our coaches and players! The Briarcrest team we defeated on Friday was an excellent team and had played great football all season. It was an excellent test for the Owls. After a lot of rain over the last several days the field conditions were actually pretty good and the cool temps made it football weather. Both teams made some early mistakes probably caused by nerves. The game was a defensive struggle. We missed a scoring opportunity early but did get a safety to take a 2-0 lead. BCS made a nice drive in the 2nd quarter to go ahead 7 to 2 but we were able to capitalize on a interception by Roderic Lewis and then a nice scramble by Edwin Shy to set up a short run by Hunter Kendall right before half to go back up 8 to 7. The 3rd quarter was one of our best of the year. A quick stop by the D gave us the ball in good field position and the team went on an 8 play 54 yard drive. The big play was a 5 yard hitch route from Vaught Benge to Gavin McKay that Gavin turned into a 21 yard gain when he broke 2 or 3 tackles. Then we turned to our heavy set and handed the ball to Kendall 3 straight times for the TD. Tough running and great blocking got it done. The Owls got another stop led by a sack by Thomas Rogers and got the ball back at our own 43. This 57 yard drive took 9 plays with the big play being a 22 yard pass from Shy to Drew Burnett. Kendall powered in from the 1 for his 3rd score of the night and George Howard made his 3rd PAT to give us a 22 to 7 lead as the 4th quarter began. The Saints were not going to quit and proceeded to go 75 yards in 10 plays getting a 33 yard TD pass for the score. The Owls defense made the play on the 2PAT attempt to keep a two score lead. The Saints had one more effort and aided by a couple of tough penalties settled for a field goal and then tried to get the onside kick. But Clarkson Shoaf was right on the spot and secured the ball and effectively the game.
MERCURY AWARDS Our final Buzzard Award of the season goes to Hayes Wilkinson. Hayes is a 10th grade QB & LB. He has helped the team all year during practice and also plays an important role on Friday night's helping us chart plays we run on offense. There is no doubt that the success of our team is very much impacted by all the young men who have won the award this year.
Once again this was a game where many guys made contributions to help us win. The two guys we will go with this week are Roderic Lewis and Edwin Shy. Roderic made several key plays on defense including and interception that sat up a score and helping to cause a fumble the we recovered in the endzone to stop a score. He also recovered a fumble early in the game that played a big part in us getting off to a good start. Edwin made a couple of big plays that directly contributed to 2 TD's. His big scramble play after Roderic's interception right before half put the ball at the 2 yard line. He followed that in the 3rd quarter with a key 22 yard pass that found Drew Burnett putting the Owls in the Red Zone. Congrats to both of these young men.
The team will now need to recover and re-energize for the play-offs. We will host Knoxville Catholic in two weeks and they are another excellent team. In fact I cannot recall a year when there have been a stronger 8 teams than we have this year. Any of the 8 are capable of getting on a roll and going the whole way. This 2nd season will certainly be exciting.