Marengo topples reigning region champ Fruitdale

Marengo defensive back Cordarius Pritchett picks off a pass intended for Fruitdale's Alvin Forward (9) as the Panthers knocked off the Pirates 26-20 Thursday night.

(ALL PHOTOS BY JOHNNY AUTERY) Marengo defensive back Cordarius Pritchett picks off a pass intended for Fruitdale’s Alvin Forward (9) as the Panthers knocked off the Pirates 26-20 Thursday night.

By Jeremy Sellers

Special to The Watchman

DIXON’S MILLS — The Marengo Panthers earned revenge from a tough 2014 loss to Fruitdale on Thursday night as they took the 1A, Region 1 matchup 26-0.

“This was a huge region win for us. We lost a game to them last year that hurt us down the stretch. In that game we had eight turnovers,” Marengo head coach Eberne Myrthil said following the win. “It feels good to win this one and I am very proud of my guys. Fruitdale is a very well-coached team and very disciplined. We knew they would fight to the finish.”

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Fruitdale scored late in the first quarter on an 8-yard touchdown run by Demarco Lucious. The two-point attempt was no good, leaving Fruitdale with a 6-0 lead.

Marengo tied the score at the 4:03 mark in the second quarter when quarterback Cordarius Pritchett found Quindarus Ausbon on a 14-yard connection. The two-point conversion was no good, sending the score to 6-6.

Marengo took a halftime lead as time expired on a 20-yard touchdown heave from Pritchett to De’Angelos Crispin. The two-point attempt again failed, leaving the halftime score at 12-6.

The Panthers came out of the locker room, led by Michael Kennedy taking the opening kickoff 81 yards to the house for another touchdown to extend their lead to 18-6 over visiting Fruitdale.

The Pirates responded at the 7:47 mark in the third quarter when Robert Busby busted a 9-yard run for a touchdown. The two-point attempt failed, leaving Marengo’s lead at 18-12. The Panthers got that touchdown back at the 2:44 mark of the third quarter when Alphonzo Lewis scored from five yards out. For the first time on the night, the Panthers converted on their two-point conversion to give them a 26-12 advantage.

With time expiring in the third quarter the Pirates hit paydirt for the third time. This time, Samuel Weaver found Busby for the touchdown completion. Their two-point attempt was also a success, sending the score to 26-20 in favor of Marengo.

The fourth quarter went scoreless for both teams as Fruitdale turned the ball over deep in Marengo territory late in the period.

Marengo (1-1, 1-0) will play host to Chickasaw next Friday while Fruitdale (1-1, 0-1) will host J.U. Blacksher.