Prep football: Tigers top Raiders, 41-28

Marietta High is 1-0 to start the season for the fifth straight year,

Sparked by two touchdowns apiece from Quinton Coffield, Chance Wright and Austin Jones, the Tigers (1-0) downed visiting Morgan High 41-28 in non-conference football action at Don Drumm Stadium Friday night.

“They carried the load for us tonight,” said Marietta head coach Adam Eichhorn. “We actually have have quite a few combinations that we can put back there in the backfield.

“It’s probably been a couple of years when we put 40 points on the scoreboard.”

Jones rushed for 123 yards and Coffield had 84 on the ground as Marietta amassed 372 total yards. QB John Henry completed four of eight passes for 125 yards and two touchdowns.

“Austin (Jones) has been itching to go since his injury from last year, and what he did tonight was big,” Eichhorn said.

Morgan (0-1) has not defeated Marietta in the all-time football series since 2005.

The Adam Eichhorn-coached Tigers got on the board right after the opening kickoff when Henry hit Coffield with a 68-yard scoring strike. The point after TD was blocked.

Late in the period, Marietta capitalized on Grae Setterstrom’s fumble recovery, and was able to drive to the Morgan three where Wright ran to paydirt. Eric Pierce, a Tiger soccer goalkeeper, kicked the extra point to give the orange and black a 13-0 advantage.

On the ensuing kickoff, Morgan senior Levi Barkhurst ran 90 yards to the end zone and sophomore Riley Newton booted the point after TD to reduce the deficit to 13-7.

In the second quarter, Marietta stretched its lead to 21-7, also the halftime advantage, on Henry’s 31-yard pass to Wright.

Marietta’s defense limited the Nate Smith-coached Raiders to 11 offense plays and 31 yards in the first half.

Offensively, the Tigers had 224 total yards (99 rushing, 125 passing) in the opening half.

Morgan received the second-half kickoff but had to punt. On Marietta’s first offensive possession, the orange and black drove to the Raider one, where Austin Jones plunged into the end zone for a touchdown. For the second time in the game, the Tigers had at PAT blocked, but still they led 27-7. Highlighting the drive, Coffield had a 35-yard run.

After the ensuing kickoff, Morgan got a break when Mason Edgell hauled in a tipped pass from Michael Apperson, who was able to move the Raiders to the Marietta eight.

On fourth and goal at the eight, Apperson was able to scramble and score Morgan’s first TD of the season from the line of scrimmage. Newton’s PAT cut it to 27-14.

Late in the fourth quarter, Coffield returned a punt 42 yards for a score to give the Tigers a 34-14 lead.

On Morgan’s next offensive possession, Marietta freshman Trent Dawson intercepted a pass to put the ball on the Raider 23.

Capitalizing on the turnover, Jones scored his second rushing TD of the contest to make it 42-14.

But again, Morgan struck back on the kickoff when Bruce Thompson ran it back 80 yards. He also scored on the two-point conversion when he caught a Mason Edgell pass. Capping all the scoring in the game, Mason Edgell passed 39 yards to Kody Driggs for a score with less than a minute left in the game.

Marietta is scheduled to host Warren in a rivalry game in Week 2 at 7:30 p.m. Friday, while Morgan plays its home and Muskingum Valley League opener against Tri-Valley in McConnelsville on the same day at the same time.

“We’ve still got work to do on special teams, and the quarterback-center,” Eichhorn said.