Marengo Academy fine-tunes for playoffs with 49-0 win

Hayden Huckabee deflects the arm of a would-be tackler on touchdown run against Jackson Academy.

Hayden Huckabee deflects the arm of a would-be tackler on touchdown run against Jackson Academy.

LINDEN – Act I, the nine-game regular season, is in the books, and Marengo Academy set the stage for Act II, the playoffs, with a convincing 49-0 win over Jackson Academy Friday night.

Sam Renner makes a fingertip grab against Jackson Academy.

Sam Renner makes a fingertip grab against Jackson Academy.

“I thought we played well,” said MA head coach Robby James. “You always find things you can work on, but we ask our guys to practice like they want to play and they’ve done that in the last few weeks. I think we’ve gotten better during the season. I feel good about it.”

Marengo has reeled off eight straight wins since a season-opening loss at Class AAA Bessemer. The ‘Horns enter the playoffs looking to repeat as state champions, although this year they will be gunning for the Class AA title after winning it all in Class A last season.

MA hosts Springwood Friday at noon at Linden Athletic Field in first-round action.

“I don’t know a whole lot about them,” said James. “We’ll get some film tomorrow and start looking at them. I know they have a good-looking bunch of boys. They’ve got a big tailback and a good quarterback.”

Josh Holifield looks for another hole in the Jackson Academy defense.

Josh Holifield looks for another hole in the Jackson Academy defense.

Friday’s regular season finale against Jackson was a lopsided affair from the beginning. MA took only four plays to notch the game’s first points, with the touchdown coming on Hayden Huckabee’s 56-yard run. The kick was wide left, but MA quickly padded its lead when quarterback Huckabee scored on a 47-yard scramble on the ‘Horns second possession. Huckabee then hit Alston Dinning on a slant for the two-point conversion.

Longhorn runningback Josh Holifield rounded out the first quarter scoring with a 22-yard run. The touchdown was set up by a 20-yard Huckabee-to-Sam Renner pass to the 22.

Leading 20-0, MA continued the onslaught in the second period when defensive end Cason Cook scooped up an Eagle fumble and returned it 25 yards for the score. Huckabee ran the two-point conversion to make the score 28-0. Marengo adeed a 22-yard Huckabee run and Kyle Friday PAT to take a 35-0 lead into the halftime locker room.

Marengo rounded out the night’s scoring in the third on a 20-yard Ralph Langley run and a 23-yard Weldon Aydelott touchdown carry.

Wallace Tutt brings down a Jackson Academy receiver.

Wallace Tutt brings down a Jackson Academy receiver.

Jackson mounted its best drive of the evening in the final quarter, but a Gavin Tate interception in the end zone thwarted the Eagles’ best chance of getting on the board.

The Longhorn ground game again racked up impressive totals, with Huckabee netting 139 yards on five carries and Aydelott adding 70 yards on eight attempts. Holifield ran three times for 54 yards, followed by Cameron Peppenhorst’s 36 yards on four attempts and Zac Murphy’s 33 yards on only two carries.

Through the air, Huckabee was 5-of-9 for 75 yards.

Hayden Hall, Carson Huckabee and Thomas Etheridge led the defensive effort for Marengo with eight tackles each, while Cook added five tackes.

Weldon Aydelott takes a leap over a would-be tackler against Jackson Academy.

Weldon Aydelott takes a leap over a would-be tackler against Jackson Academy.