Prep Football: Station rolls Clark in Cards' home opener
George Rogers Clark defensive back D'Avon Marshall tackles Bryan Station's Curtis Sellers Friday night at Cardinal Stadium. Marshall had a 39-yard touchdown catch and an interception in the first half. (Photo by Bo Morris / September 7, 2012)
The Cardinals did just that, scoring on their first possession. Bryan Station answered with three straight touchdowns however, to end the first half and keep the Cardinals winless on the season with a 54-7 victory Friday night at Cardinal Stadium.
Clark (0-3) opened the season with two straight road games with an open date in between, before making its home debut against the Defenders. Despite the early scoring strike, the Cardinals couldn’t keep up with the Defenders.
Bryan Station quarterback Ora Johnson threw for 240 yards and four touchdowns while Clark struggled to gain equal footing on offense. The Cardinals had four turnovers and was 0-1 inside the red zone. Clark was held scoreless after crossing the goal on its opening drive.
“The wheels fell off,” Clark coach Steven Collins said. “(We had the) turnovers and we put ourselves in bad situations. We couldn’t get off the field, and we gave them too many opportunities and we didn’t cash in on our opportunities. I think our defense was on the field too long, and offensively, we’ve got to be able to sustain things and not turn the ball over.”
Two plays into the contest, Clark’s Logan Burchett recovered a fumble at the Bryan Station 39-yard line. On the next play, Darian Skinner’s touchdown pass to D’Avon Marshall gave the Cardinals a 7-0 lead with 11:20 remaining in the first quarter.
From that point on, it was all Bryan Station.
Despite the miscue on their first series, the Defenders scored on their next two drives. Johnson’s 4-yard pass to Lavelle Cloyd and Kenyon Hipps’ 14-yard run gave Station a 14-7 advantage with 5:13 remaining in the first quarter.
Johnson connected on a 43-yard touchdown pass to Cloyd at the 9:58 mark of the second quarter, giving Station a 21-7 advantage.
Marshall added an interception in the second quarter, thwarting a potential Bryan Station scoring drive with 5:41 remaining in the first half. Marshall limped off the field with 2:12 in the opening half but returned to the lineup in the third quarter. Khmarkis Blanton intercepted a Johnson pass with 2:01 remaining in the half.
The Cards used Skinner’s 41-yard pass from Tanner Rose and advanced to the Defenders’ 4-yard line following the miscue but failed to capitalize on the opportunity. A bobbled snap on Danny Dailey’s 21-yard field goal attempt forced Clark to turn the ball over on downs and Clark trailed 21-7 at the half.
“We score to make it 21-14 and who knows what happens,” Collins said. “You have some mishaps, and we’ve got to iron all of those things out. I’m hoping by week three those things would be polished, but we’ve got to correct those (mistakes).”
Cadarrell Spight paced Clark’s offense with a 113 yards on 13 carries and had 83 of those in the opening half. Spight’s biggest rush was a 37-yard carry in the opening half. Skinner made good on all three of his passes for 78 yards and a score in the first half.
Clark opened the second half with a fumble following a pair of large gains by Spight, resulting in Johnson’s 8-yard touchdown catch to Cloyd, stretching the guests margin to 28-7. The Defenders regained possession on an onside kick and crossed the goal line again. Station scored five touchdowns in the final two quarters and crossed the goal line on five of their seven possessions to break the game open.
“Last week (we fought back), this week was a different story,” Collins said. “That’s what makes it tough, because you don’t want to regress and go backwards. It’s a mental thing. We’ve got to get over that mental hump — that mental block — or whatever it is.¿Adversity is going to happen in every game. It’s what you do the next play is what matters — don’t let it beat you twice.”
Bryan Station 14 07 19 14 — 54
Clark 07 00 00 00 — 7
GRC — Skinner 39-pass to Marshall (Dailey kick), 11:20