Dragons fall just short of Marion Center|
Saturday, October 6, 2012
By Andy Stine Sports Writer
PURCHASE LINE - The Purchase Line football team has not had many things to be excited about this season. The Dragons have been plagued by injuries and are having trouble moving the ball.
On Friday night, they fell just short of their first piece of success on homecoming.
After being ahead or tied for 46 minutes, the Dragon defense allowed a 6-yard touchdown run by Brodey Thompson to put Marion Center up with only 1:31 left in the game to hand Purchase Line a heartbreaking 12-6 loss to the Stingers.
"We just didn't execute," said Purchase Line head coach Brandon Overdorff. "It's the same old story. We had too many turnovers. They gave us every opportunity to win the football game. They gift-wrapped a win for us with their mistakes."
Purchase Line senior running back Josh Huey ran hard for gains of 13 and five yards on Purchase Line's opening drive, but the Dragons were forced to punt after four plays.
Like Purchase Line, the Stingers ran for a first down on a big gain from Thompson, but Gavin Ewing intercepted a Marion Center pass on third down.
Just two plays later, Dragon quarterback Alec Sunderlin hit Todd Greene on a comeback route. Greene found running room and sprinted past the Marion Center secondary for an 80-yard touchdown to put the Dragons up 6-0.
"We finally made a big play," said Overdorff. "Alec made a nice pass. Todd caught the ball and he used his God-given speed to run away from people and we're up 6-0. It was a great start to the football game. After that, we just couldn't execute."
"I thought (Alec) played well. He'll get better with some experience. We're just not blocking anybody. A lot of that is because we've got a lot of guys banged up and injured."
"We're just not giving him time to throw. We're not giving Huey a place to run. If you can't move the ball, it doesn't matter what you call. If you don't execute, it's not going to work."
On the ensuing possession, the Stingers drove down the field with a punishing run game. Thompson had runs of 17, 10 and five yards to lead Marion Center to the 14-yard line. But on fourth-and-6, a Blake Orr pass fell incomplete for a turnover on downs.
A Stinger interception in Purchase Line territory early in the second quarter hurt the Dragons, as Marion Center was given great field position on the 33-yard line.
Thompson took the first play off the interception down to the 9-yard line. He punched the ball in three plays later on a 3-yard dive play to tie the game.
The Dragons moved the ball again on their next possession, but were forced to punt on fourth-and-13 from the Stinger 38-yard line. Huey ran for 20 of his 72 yards on the drive.
"We're trying to get the ball to our best athletes, and he's our best athlete," said Overdorff of Huey. "I thought he ran well early. Marion Center did a pretty good job of containing him, but most of that is on us.
"We're just missing blocks. I don't understand it but that's just what is happening. Until we clear that up, he's going to have some tough sledding, but I thought he ran hard."
After only one penalty for each team in the first half, Marion Center was penalized three times for 35 yards in the third quarter, while the Dragons were flagged twice for 15 yards. The mistakes led to both teams having to punt twice in the stanza.
Marion Center forced the Dragons to punt with just 7:17 left in the game. But on the first play after the punt, the Stingers fumbled and a pile of Purchase Line players pounced on the ball.
The Stingers forced a three-and-out and started the game-winning drive. After a Purchase Line offsides penalty and a Thompson short gain, Orr completed a pass to Noah Hoover over the middle. Hoover redirected his route and ran for a 42-yard play.
Orr made another key play in the drive on fourth-and-3 from the Dragon 28. He found Thompson for an 11-yard gain with just three minutes left. Justin Tonkin picked up 11 yards on the ground before Thompson ran in the game-deciding touchdown on a toss.
Thompson ended the game with 144 yards.
The Dragons threw four incompletions before Marion Center ran out the clock with a first down.
"They're a well-coached football team," said Overdorff. "There's no doubt about it. Brodey Thompson is a great athlete. They put the ball in his hands and he was tough to tackle. He punished us."
"We have guys wide open and we don't catch the football. We don't hit them with the pass. We fumble. We miss a block here and there. I take full responsibility for that. I'm not getting it done.
"We are coaching our guts out and our kids are playing hard. But for whatever reason, we're not executing anything and that's why you lose football games. That's on me."
"They just had a little more will than we did. That's what it takes to win football games."
Purchase Line fell to 0-6 on the season and travels to United on Friday. United lost to Homer-Center, 36-6 on Friday night. Marion Center improved to 2-4 and hosts Northern Cambria on Friday.
Marion Center 12
Purchase Line 6
Score By Quarters
Marion Center 0 6 0 6-12
Purchase Line 6 0 0 0- 6
PL-Greene 80 pass from Sunderlin, (kick failed), 6:39.
MC-Thompson 3 run, (pass failed), 9:29.
MC-Thompson 6 run, (pass failed), 1:31.
Total First Downs 12 7
Rushes-Yards 48-182 33-71
Comp-Att-Int 5-14-2 1-15-1
Passing Yards 73 80
Total Plays-Yards 62-255 48-151
Fumbles-Lost 4-1 3-2
Punts-Avg 3-35.0 7-27.3
Penalties-Yards 5-55 6-35
Marion Center-Thompson 27-144, Tonkin 12-46, Orr 4-(-1), Team 1-(-1), Hoover 4-(-6).
Purchase Line-Huey 25-72, G. Syster 2-13, Pierce 3-9, Sunderlin 3-(-23).
Marion Center-Orr 5-of-14, 73 yds., 2 Int.
Purchase Line-Sunderlin 1-of-14, 80 yds., 1 TD, 1 Int.; Huey 0-of-1.
Marion Center-Hoover 2-53, Thompson 1-11, Betts 2-9.
Purchase Line-Greene 1-80.