We knew going into this game that McCallie had an excellent team with several outstanding players. They lived up to that billing. But thankfully we have a pretty good team as well and it made for one heck of a game. It was a game wher both defenses played outstanding football and both offenses struggled for consistency. We were 0-11 on 3rd down and 1 of 5 on scoring TD's in the Red Zone. They were 4 of 14 on 3rd down and 1 of 5 going for it on 4th down. They were a team that rushes for nearly 300 yards a game and we held them to 133 yards. If you like good old fashioned smash mouth football it was a fun to watch.
Mercury Players of the Game: Well it was a defensive battle and for the Owls the man who led our team in tackles for the night was Dorian Hopkins. Dorian roamed from sideline to sideline ending the evening with 16 tackles. Dorian has played many stellar games as an Owl but this was arguably his best. Our other award will to Sellers Shy. Sellers performed under immense pressure and we were forced to become more much one dimensional than we have been agianst a very tough McCallie defensive front. Despite that pressure he completed 22 of 34 passes to 7 different receivers for 258 yards.
Now our sights turn to our long time foe Brentwood Academy. Perhaps no other team in our state has set the bar of excellence any higher than BA. Their teams are always well coached and talented. This team is no different and the opportunity to play them for the big prize is awesome because you know if you beat them you have beaten the best. Stay tuned for more info about the upcoming title game.
Play-off football is always a little different. During the regular season you always know you have one more game but once the play-offs begin it is life or death for a team. I thought our team played a little tight early in the game and that PJP played very loose. We did not make some plays we normally make and they had a good plan to attack us. But fortunately for us we never panicked (at least the kids did not). The defense had a great goal-line stand right before half and kept making plays the 2nd half. The offense got it's rhythm and we were able to advance to the Semi-finals this week. Cause at the end of a play-off game the only thing that matters is that you get to play the next week.
Our Mercury Players of the Game this week are Keithran Hopson, Hunter Kendall, and Devonte Nelson. Each of these juniors played very well. Keithran had to step in and play both ways and did a great job at both. Hunter had some very strong runs that I thought deflated the Knights defense in the 2nd half and Devonte made several key plays preventing TD's on a kick-off return and a long run right before half where we held them to a field goal, plus he made an interception.
As we all know the road only gets tougher the longer you play. McCallie will come to MUS with the best team we have played all year. They are excellent in all areas with their only defeat coming early against MBA in a game where they played very poorly and made many turnovers that gave MBA an easy win. Our team I know will rise to the occasion and be ready to play our best. GO OWLS!!
It was a short but joyful bus ride home for the Owls this past Friday! Our team played an excellent game against a solid CBHS squad and posted a 37 - 14 victory. I was so proud of the boys for the display of poise and execution in the biggest game of the year. Even when the opponents made a couple of big plays almost back to back we did not panic but just kept competing. This says so much about our senior leadership this year. They have each in their own way kept our team on task. Our defense was remarkable and only gave up one big play. CBHS only had 5 1st downs and 70 yards rushing! On offense we continued to make the big plays when we needed them but also controlled the ball. It was a great way to wrap up an undefeated regular season.
MERCURY AWARDS: Our Buzzard Player of the Week goes to Tamaz Young. Tamaz is a 10th grade lineman who is a hard worker and selfless teammate. He represents one of the keys to our team and that is those players whose role this year is primarily scout team performers but whose efforts get us ready to play well on Friday nights. Picking just two guys for the Player of the Game Awards was especially tough this week because so many guys played well but using our internal grading system our top two players were Matthew Rhodes and Sellers Shy. Both were outstanding with Matthew leading the team in tackles with 9 total, 1 TFL, and 1 sack. Sellers had a phenomenal night accounting for 401 yards of Total Offense which is the 3rd highest in MUS history. He also scored 2 TD's rushing and passed for 2 more.
The team earns the Region Championship so that means we have a bye this week in the play-offs and get to host the winner of the Baylor-JPII game. The Play-offs are an entirely new season and we know we will have our work cut our for us each game as teams are literally playing for their season not to end.
The 2018 Owls celebrated Senior Night in fine fashion this week as the team advanced to 8-0 with a 57 to 0 win over Douglass. The plan was for the starters to take care of business early thus allowing all team members a chance to get some Friday night playing time and this was accomplished. The night began with our tradition of honoring seniors and certainly this group has earned our praise. They have done an outstanding job both on the field as players and off the field as leaders. Their contributions to the legacy of MUS Football are very much appreciated.
Mercury Player of the Game Awards this week go to Robert Dickinson and George Howard. Robert showed he is rounding back into form after an early season injury by recording 4 tackles 3 of which were for loss including one that netted a safety. George Howard continued his impressive sophomore season as the Owls place-kicker making all 7 PAT's and hitting 2 field goals including a 47 yarder thus tying for 2nd on the all-time game scoring record for a kicker. He also did an outstanding job on kick-offs. Our Buzzard player of the week is sophomore Charlie Nichols. Charlie is our JV punter and is as improved as any player on our team. He also contributes in practice by offering to film our scout team practices. Congrats to all 3 of these young men.
This week is one of the best weeks all year at MUS as we prepare to battle CBHS this Friday night over at their place. A region title and home field advantage for the play-offs are on the line but neither of those are needed to add to the normal excitement of any MUS vs CBHS contest. The game is enough. CBHS has another outstanding team that is superbly coached and plays very hard. I know our team will be well prepared and also play very hard. Should be another in a long line of epic battles. GO OWLS!!
It was truly "Great to Be an MUS OWL" on Friday night. The team played an incredible game against a much better Briarcrest team than it appeared. We had a great week of practice as all members of the squad contributed in preparation and it showed. The defense was simply outstanding as we held a potent offensive team to -15 yards rushing and 87 yards passing, plus we only allowed 1 play of more than 20 yards. This would have to go down as one of our better defensive performances ever as Briarcrest has one of the best offenses in the area. Our offense was equal to the task as well and continued its solid work. Special teams were excellent as well with 1 TD on a punt return, another set up by great kick-off coverage that produced a turnover, and the punt return team was on the spot when BCS had a poor snap getting a turnover on that attempted punt creating another short field for the offense.
While it was an overall great team win it is fair to say that our defense was led by our two inside linebackers and they will be our Mercury Players of the Game this week. Dorian Hopkins and Matthew Rhodes have each had several outstanding games for us over the last 3 years but I do not recall a game where both of them played as well at the same time. Together they suffocated the BCS offense. Our Buzzard Player of the Week Award goes to one of our rising superstars Roderic Lewis. Roderic has had a great season playing often on Friday nights and also making some special plays on Mondays. We all look forward to Roderic getting better and better.
Next week we host Douglas in a non-conference game and we will celebrate senior night for our team. This group has excelled all year both on the field in performance and off the field in leadership. Come out and support these guys and they build upon the great MUS Football tradition.