Coalfield overcomes sloppy first quarter and dominates Marion County

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By The Staff

If there was a play that perfectly described just how well things were going for the Coalfield Yellow Jackets (6-0), you had to look no further than a play that occurred late in the second quarter against Marion County (2-4) on Friday.

Coalfield quarterback Parker McKinney evaded pressure from a Warrior defender, who entered the backfield like a missile, and then heaved an improvisational lateral to Logan Kelly, who then took the ball 15 yards for a touchdown.

It was the final nail in Marion County’s coffin, as the Yellow Jackets eventually eased their way to a 48-13 victory at home.

But despite the miraculous plays, the game didn’t start out smooth for Coalfield. In the first quarter alone, the Yellow Jackets committed three penalties, missed an extra point, and saw their quarterback miss open throws and throw an interception, which eventually led to the Warriors taking an early 7-6 lead.

However, that lead didn’t last long, as Coalfield reeled off 29 consecutive points to take a 35-7 lead headed into halftime.

“We came out a little sloppy,” Yellow Jacket head coach Keith Henry said after the game. “I don’t know what to say about that one. You hope you come out sharp every week, but we had good leadership. Our coaches did a good job of getting things calmed down… we got in a little hurry early… a little hurry early to jump out and get a score. I was proud of how we turned it around.”

The Yellow Jackets took the four-touchdown advantage at halftime thanks to a 36-yard screen from McKinney to Ashton Jones, a pair of rushing touchdowns by the senior quarterback, a 38-yard touchdown from Jones again, and the aforementioned lateral.

In total, McKinney finished with 166 passing yards, 80 rushing yards and four total touchdowns. Jones was the Yellow Jackets’ leading receiver with 74 yards and two touchdowns. He also racked up 72 rushing yards.

Defensively, Coalfield was forced to stop the triple-option style attack of Marion County’s offense. Aside from a couple of busted runs and pair of quarterback sneaks for touchdowns, the Yellow Jackets dominated the line of scrimmage and never allowed the Warriors to control the clock.

After the game, Henry praised Marion County’s program, and expressed how significant this win was for Coalfield.

“It’s a great football team. A great tradition, a great program,” Henry said. “They got a lot of wins, a lot of champions on the wall. They’ve been to the state championship three years in a row. It was a really good win for our program.”

The Yellow Jackets return to regional play Friday with a game against the Midway Green Wave. After dropping the first game of the year against Rockwood, the Green Wave has won the last four contests in a row, including their only regional matchup so far against Oakdale. Kickoff is set for 7:30 Friday night at Midway.