Boonville hands Owls sixth straight loss

Monday, September 12, 2011
Junior Jacob Ringlen (30) flushed speedy Boonville quarterback Wes Davis out of the pocket, but the Owls seldom caught him during a 41-0 loss. (Chris Allen/Democrat-News)

BOONVILLE -- The Marshall football team was shut out for the fourth time in the last nine games, stretching its losing streak to six games over the past two seasons during Friday's 41-0 NCMC setback at Boonville.

Senior quarterback Wes Davis beat the Owls with his feet, rushing for 156 yards and four touchdowns. The Pirates' offense generated 324 total yards, while their defense allowed only 52 yards.

"We got beat," was MHS head coach Jay Eilers' succinct description. "They're good up front."

Boonville (2-1, 2-0 NCMC) capitalized on the breaks it received early in the game to build a 16-0 first-quarter lead. After being held on their first possession, the Pirates got the ball at the Marshall 19-yard line when Davis scooped up a fumble and raced to the end zone -- a score nullified by an illegal block.

The Owls objected to the turnover, believing that junior Brandon Johnson only lost control of the ball when his knee hit the ground. That, and Davis' 1-yard TD run -- in which he appeared to crawl across the goal line -- was the first of several objections Marshall coaches had with the officials, which would come to a head later.

The ensuing kickoff was touched, but not caught, by the Owls before rolling out of bounds at the 1-yard line. Two plays later, junior Alex Maupin was sacked in the end zone by junior James Barnhart for a safety.

When Boonville got the ball back, a 15-yard Davis run began a seven-play, 46-yard drive which ended with senior Dyllan Crowley's 4-yard touchdown plunge.

"You can't give anyone a short field. Nobody," Eilers said. "It's something we have to shore up."

Marshall kept the Pirates off the board for the rest of the half, but was unable to generate a first down until the final possession of the second period on Johnson's 19-yard run. The Owls made it to the Boonville 15-yard line before back-to-back penalties thwarted their drive.

"That effort put them in position to keep them in the game," Eilers said about the defense's second-quarter shutout. "Our kid's effort is never in question."

However, Marshall's ability to stop opponents is suspect, and the Pirates' four possessions resulting in touchdowns to begin the second half testified to that. Davis ran in from 21, 4 and 13 yards and his back-up, junior Jared Oser, broke off a 39-yard dash to cap the scoring.

Two of those scoring series began in Boonville's "red zone" and another started inside the Owls' 40.

"Our kids visually see responsibilities and schemes, they understand the schemes," Eilers said. But there's a price being paid for the team's young, skimpy roster. "Right now it's difficult for us to practice anywhere similar to the actual speed of the game."

Meanwhile, the Marshall bench was becoming increasingly irritated by what it regarded as cheap shots and trash talking by the Pirates, eventually resulting in a warning by referee Phil Francher and brief confrontation with Eilers. No penalties were issued at the time, though, in a contest which saw 18 flags thrown.

The Owls (0-3, 0-2) have been out-scored 115-20 in their three losses.

"We have to coach better, we've got to play better," Eilers admitted. "But nobody in that locker room needs to care more."

On the bright side, Marshall finally gets to play on Cecil Naylor Field this week after opening the season with three straight road games. The Owls' Homecoming opponent will be a Fulton squad which is similarly struggling, with three losses by a combined 159-17 margin.

"I hope the community comes out and supports our young men," Eilers declared. "We want that Homecoming experience to be the best that it can be, and that means a win for Homecoming."

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  • Alright, please don't start in on these kids again. Just accept that the old Owl is dead for the time being, and is going to (with rare exception) get the stuffing knocked out of it week after week. This is a new team, a young team. and they are going to have a tough time of it.

    I think they are going to feel like I did over fifty years ago. I was a bench guy on an undefeated team. Every day in practice we would scrimmage. As a DB, every day in practice I would get slammed into by the finest running backs in the conference who were basically unimpeded by the time they got to me. It was not a lot of fun, you get beat down, but some how I summoned the fortitude to keep coming back to it every day. It will be enough, in fact it will be more than enough, if these kids can all just keep coming back every day, not get mad at the coaches, nor each other, and hope for a more rewarding season down the line. Go Owls.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Sep 12, 2011, at 1:37 PM
  • Ok Oklahoma Reader I will just for you try to be better.

    I will even go so far as to say at least Eilers had something to say to the referee and he must have made a good point because he did not draw a flag.

    And with getting to come home for a game with a team that seems to be down this year also the Owls my get a much needed win.

    -- Posted by parkuser on Mon, Sep 12, 2011, at 1:47 PM
  • Go Owls!! It is still early in the season and you finally get to play a home game! We will be there to cheer you on!

    -- Posted by OldOwl on Mon, Sep 12, 2011, at 2:01 PM
  • Is the qb a freshman?

    -- Posted by EMINEMis the GREATEST EVER! on Mon, Sep 12, 2011, at 10:17 PM
  • No EEG I believe he is a junior. Some one correct me if I am wrong. He should have easier sledding next year if he can hang in through this year.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Sep 12, 2011, at 10:48 PM
  • I have a feeling Crimm was being sarcastic.

    -- Posted by Tigers/Owls4Life96 on Tue, Sep 13, 2011, at 7:30 PM
  • Looks like the Owls are hard at it, back to work. Friday night will be a special night for them, Homecoming time. Hopefully the stands will be packed and full of support. Owls leave the field 1-2, and ready to keep getting better.

    -- Posted by Tigers/Owls4Life96 on Wed, Sep 14, 2011, at 8:00 AM
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