Rain, Vols dampen Longhorns home opener

8-31-2017 — Linden, Ala. — Marengo Academy’s Casey Cramer (22) looks for running room against the Monroe Academy Volunteers.

LINDEN — For the second week in a row, the Class 1A Marengo Academy Longhorns faced a powerful Class 3A football team. This week, the Longhorns hosted the Volunteers from Monroe Academy in their home opener. Even after making some improvements from the previous week, the ‘Horns still succumbed to a more powerful team.

The ‘Horns received the opening kickoff and started at their own 38-yard line. However, they would go three-and-out on their first possession. Following a Longhorn punt, the visiting Vols finished their first possession with a touchdown run and tacked on the PAT for a 7-0 lead with 8:21 to go in the first quarter.

8-31-2017 — Linden, Ala. — Marengo Academy’s Gavin Thompson returns a kickoff against the Monroe Academy Volunteers.

After another Longhorn three-and-out, the Vols hit a 69-yard catch and run on the first play of their second possession. The PAT failed and the Longhorns trailed 13-0 with 6:27 to go in the first quarter. The Volunteers cashed in with a 12-yard run on their third possession. After a successful PAT, the Longhorns found themselves down 20-0 with 2:51 to go in the first quarter.

With 30.9 seconds left to go in the first quarter, the remnants of Hurricane Harvey unleashed several minutes of fury. After the short weather delay, the Longhorns showed some life as they pushed the ball down to the Volunteer 16-yard line. After a loss of four, Casey Cramer’s pass was picked off at the 4-yard line, stopping the ‘Horns drive.

The Volunteers would drive to the Longhorns’ 21-yard line where they would score on a 31-yard touchdown pass. The PAT was successful and the ‘Horns were down 27-0 with 7:12 to go in the second quarter. After their next possession stalled, the Longhorns’ made a defensive stand that resulted in a Volunteer punt. However, the punt was mishandled and the Vols recovered the fumble at the Longhorns’ 21-yard line. Two plays later and with 1:36 to go in the second quarter, the ‘Horns trailed 34-0 after a 19-yard touchdown pass and successful PAT. The first half would end with that score.

The Vols would receive the second half kickoff and march the length of the field, cashing in with a 15-yard touchdown pass. The PAT was successful and the Longhorns trailed 41-0 with 9:09 to go in the third quarter.

8-31-2017 — Linden, Ala. — Marengo Academy’s Casey Cramer (22) and Alex Owens (52) wrap up a Vol runner in their home opener against Monroe Academy.

Never giving up, the Longhorns moved the ball down to the Volunteers’ 3-yard line, but turned it over on downs there. After a defensive stand, the Longhorns got the ball back with a little under three minutes to go. After a Zach Fleming catch at the 20-yard line, the Longhorns fumbled on their last play attempt as the clock ran out.

The Longhorns tallied 143 yards for the game, with 125 of those coming on the ground and 18 through the air. William Drake led the ground attack with 93 yards on 17 carries. Gavin Thompson added 25 yards on 16 attempts. Fleming added one catch for 18 yards.

Defensively, Drake and Thompson led the Longhorns with seven tackles each. Alex Owens and Taylor Woodall added five tackles each.

The Longhorns (0-2) will travel to Greensboro for a Class 1A matchup with the Southern Academy Cougars next week.

8-31-2017 — Linden, Ala. — Marengo Academy’s Taylor Woodall (5) goes airborn for extra yardage against the Monroe Academy Volunteers.

 

‘Horns unable to overcome big plays against Vols

Monroeville, Ala. -- 9-2-2016 -- Marengo Academy's Robert Tutt leaps over the block of Landon Houlditch (80) during Friday night's game against Monroe Academy.

09-02-2016 — Monroeville, Ala. — Marengo Academy’s Robert Tutt leaps over the block of Landon Houlditch (80) during Friday night’s game against Monroe Academy.

MONROEVILLE — Big plays were the catalyst for the Monroe Academy Volunteers in their victory over the visiting Marengo Academy Longhorns. Touchdown passes of 65, 81 and 91 yards proved costly for the Longhorns, the first two gave the Vols a 14-0 advantage that the ‘Horns were not able to overcome.

Monroeville, Ala. -- 9-2-2016 -- Marengo Academy's Hayden Megginson dives in for the Longhorns' first score during Friday night's game against Monroe Academy.

09-02-2016 — Monroeville, Ala. — Marengo Academy’s Hayden Megginson (18) dives in for the Longhorns’ first score during Friday night’s game against Monroe Academy.

The first few minutes of the first quarter saw neither team able to move the ball. However, with 3:13 to go in the first quarter, the Volunteers hit on a 65-yard catch and run that put them on the board. The PAT gave the Vols a 7-0 lead. After a Longhorn possession, the Volunteers struck again. This time, a Longhorn defender slipped down, giving the Monroe receiver an 81-yard score. With 27 seconds remaining in the first, the Vols were up 14-0 after a successful PAT.

The Longhorns came to life on their ensuing possession. After a couple of third down conversions, the Longhorns faced a fourth-and-2 at the Volunteers 11-yard line. Hayden Megginson took the ball on a sweep right, cut back and dove across the goal line for the ‘Horns first score of the night. Megginson converted the PAT to bring the Longhorns within seven, at 14-7, with 6:41 to go in the first half.

The Vols struck again on their next possession and with 3:13 to go in the second quarter, the Longhorns found themselves down 21-7.

Monroeville, Ala. -- 9-2-2016 -- Marengo Academy's Weldon Aydelott (35) runs behind the block of Alex Owens (62) during Friday night's game against Monroe Academy.

09-02-2016 — Monroeville, Ala. — Marengo Academy’s Weldon Aydelott (35) runs behind the block of Alex Owens (62) during Friday night’s game against Monroe Academy.

Coming out for the second half, MA head coach Webb Tutt said that they expected to see more of the same in the second half.

“We’ve got to make some adjustments and make some plays. We’re still in the ball game, but we’ve got to stop them and get a little momentum offensively,” said Tutt.

The Longhorn defense made good on some of those adjustments and stopped the Vols on their first possession of the second half. On their first offensive possession of the second half, the ‘Horns moved the ball well. On what would be the final play of that first drive, Robert Tutt took a toss from Jacob Beck and rolled right. Tutt then pulled up and threw a perfect strike to Gavin Tate in the end zone. The PAT from Megginson put the Longhorns back within seven at 21-14.

To start the fourth quarter, the ‘Horns backed the Vols up to their 9-yard line. Not to be outdone, the Vols struck on a 91-yard pass play to stretch the lead to 28-14 with 11:28 to go in the game. After trading possessions, the Volunteers methodically worked the ball down the field and ran out the clock inside the Longhorns 20-yard line.

“Big plays killed us all night, and that’s on me,” Tutt said after the game. “The kids played hard and we’re going to bounce back. We’ve got some work to do and we understand that. I’m proud of this bunch.”

9-2-2016 -- Monroeville, Ala. -- Marengo Academy's Gavin Tate hauls in a touchdown pass during Friday night's game against Monroe Academy.

 09-02-2016 — Monroeville, Ala. — Marengo Academy’s Gavin Tate (11) hauls in a touchdown pass during Friday night’s game against Monroe Academy.

Tutt said that losing a game to a Class 3A team “will make us better. You never like to lose, but we’re going to use this as a learning experience and work on things we need to work on and get better.”

Austen Day led the defense with five tackles and four assists. Dalton Daniels registered five tackles. D.J. Nettles and Weldon Aydelott both contributed four tackles and two assists.

Offensively, Robert Tutt was 1-for-1 passing for 25 yards. That one pass was the Longhorns’ lone completion of the night and was a touchdown caught by Gavin Tate. Tutt also ran 13 times for 79 yards. Aydelott had 17 carries for 84 yards. Megginson had 9 carries for 32 yards and one touchdown.

The Longhorns (1-1, 0-0) will be at home next week for a region game against Southern Academy.

Monroeville, Ala. -- 9-2-2016 -- Marengo Academy's Landon Houlditch sacks Monroe Academy's quarterback during Friday night's game against the Volunteers.

09-02-2016 — Monroeville, Ala. — Marengo Academy’s Landon Houlditch (80) sacks Monroe Academy’s quarterback during Friday night’s game against the Volunteers.