October 3, 2010 12:43:00 AM
Coming off its first win of the season last week, the Starkville Academy football team hoped to ride that momentum into Friday night''s home matchup against the Washington School Generals.
Despite a competitive first quarter, the Generals beat the Volunteers up front all night en route to a 407-yard effort and a 37-7 victory.
The victory was the fourth straight for Washington School, which improved to 4-3 and 3-1 in Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Class AAA, while Starkville Academy slipped to 1-6 and 0-3.
"They handled us upfront and that was the difference in the game," Starkville Academy coach Jeff Terrill said. "Holding us up front allowed them to do what they wanted, but Washington is a good football team, and we have to tip our hats to them."
Both teams appeared ready to run the football and to swap possessions at the start. The Generals took the opening drive 84 yards on 10 plays, nine of which were runs, and scored on a 1-yard dive by junior halfback Read Kelly (seven carries, 37 yards).
Starkville Academy responded with a 12-play, 73-yard drive aided by two penalties. Junior running back Ryan Mann scored on a 1-yard dive over the top of the pile on third and goal to help tie the score.
Washington School''s offensive line started to take control in the second quarter, and the Generals turned to the air in a seven-play, 80-yard drive that culminated with senior quarterback Eric Brozovich (13 of 15, 184 yards) hitting junior Dylan Elkins for a 21-yard score.
On the following drive, a short kick by sophomore Drew Pellum forced Starkville Academy to defend a short field. Washington School needed four plays for junior running back Ryan Gober (17 carries, game-high 154 yards) to score on a 5-yard draw.
Leading 21-7, Washington School attempted a long field goal to close the half, but Kyle Henson went untouched and blocked the kick.
But the momentum carried from the blocked kick quickly swayed back to the Generals, as they recovered an onside kick.
"We knew we were not out of the game at halftime," Terrill said. "Kyle (Henson) blocking the kick was motivation, but we did not anticipate them coming out and kicking an onside kick."
Following a Washington School punt, Starkville Academy turned to the air, but junior defensive back Jack Gillison intercepted Henson. The Generals capitalized thanks to a seven-play, 41-yard drive capped by Kelly''s 6-yard draw play that made it 28-7 with 4 minutes, 40 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
The Generals owned the fourth quarter, gaining 123 yards, including a 26-yard pass from Brozovich to senior wide receiver Jeffrey Davis for a touchdown and a 25-yard field goal by junior Nathan Noble.
"Washington is a very good football team, and they proved that tonight."
Starkville Academy will travel Friday to Madison-Ridgeland Academy.
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