By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal
JACKSON – Marshall Academy’s mission today is to slow down Brookhaven Academy’s no-huddle offense.
Success could mean an MAIS Class AA state championship trophy being awarded to the Patriots.
The kickoff between Marshall (11-2) and Brookhaven (10-4) is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at Harper Davis Field on the Millsaps College campus.
“Their quarterback (Gage Posey) runs their offense really well,” Marshall Academy first-year head coach Bart Jenkins said. “He does a great job identifying coverages. He can throw the short, long and in-between routes.
“You’ve got to be very disciplined. He can pick you apart.”
Posey has passed for 2,828 yards and 22 touchdowns. He has rushed for 738 yards and 17 TD.
Jenkins is confident his defense, led by linebacker Matt Rappa with 162 tackles and ball-hawking safety Aaron McAlexander, who has 11 interceptions, can do the job.
“I think the coverage package we have will work. We have to execute it,” McAlexander said. “Their offense runs through (Posey). We’ve got to get pressure on him, force him to make a play.”
The Patriots have a solid defensive front that features Zack Pritchett, Antonio Love, Vince Hoytt and Wood Morris. Pritchett leads the team with 13 sacks.
“We’ve very talented on defense,” Jenkins said. “Eventually, Posey is going to make plays. How well we control the ball on offense and keep it away from him is a big key.”
Marshall Academy’s offense is directed by sophomore quarterback Dakota Dailey, who has accounted for 2,838 yards total offense and 25 TDs. The talented McAlexander and 6-foot-3 Randy Love are his favorite targets.
In the backfield, sophomore tailback Devin McGregor has rushed for 1,365 yards and scored 13 TDs. He alternates with A.J. Boyd, who has rushed for 812 yards.
Along with Posey, Brookhaven’s offense features wide receiver Seth Rushing, who has 69 catches for 1,159 yards and seven TDs. Landon Nettles has rushed for 1,043 yards and 15 scores.