Late field goal lifts MBA to critical region victory
NASHVILLE – Colin Kerrigan knew his number could be called at any time and he answered that call on Friday.
While in relief of an injured Marcel Reed, Kerrigan didn’t have to do too much – just help guide MBA home, leading the Big Red to a 20-17 victory over visiting Pope Prep.
Reed exited the game with a shoulder injury in the second quarter and did not return. His status for next week’s tilt with Ensworth is questionable, but he was in good spirits following the game, albeit with his throwing arm in a sling.
“That was tough (losing Reed). But Collin came in and made some throws,” MBA head coach Marty Euverard said. “I’m really proud of how he handled himself.”
Kerrigan added, “Just had to do what I’ve been practicing for a year now. Coach (Euverard) does a great job of keeping everybody ready to go in and it’s just next man up. If I were to go down, our next quarterback in line would be ready to go.”
Wren Jacobs hit a 26-yard field goal with 1:59 to play for the go-ahead points after the Knights (5-2 overall, 1-2 Division II-AAA East) steadily erased a 17-point deficit following Reed’s departure.
“We came in knowing that (Pope Prep) had the highest-scoring offense and we wanted to change that,” Reed said. “Our defense is really good and we knew they could stop them, so the offense just came in with the mentality of just getting the job done.”
Kenny Minchey threw two second-half touchdown passes – a 20-yarder to Colin Cook in the third quarter and a 48-yarder to Stephen Carter in the fourth – to tie the game and give the Knights a chance in a game that could easily have gotten away from them early.
Rhett Hayles found the end zone twice in the first quarter for the Big Red (4-3, 3-1) and MBA led 17-0 after Jacobs’ 25-yard field goal late in the second quarter. But a couple of missed opportunities by the Big Red offense kept the game from getting one-sided.
A fourth-down stop in the second quarter and a fumble recovery by Fisher Donovan at the end of the third quarter thwarted two MBA possessions in scoring range.
“I was really proud of our defensive effort tonight, especially coming off a few rough weeks,” Pope Prep head coach Justin Geisinger said. “Those guys were challenged this week and those guys stepped up and kept us in the ballgame in the first half when (MBA) had a chance to put us away early.”
The Knights were held to 41 yards rushing, while Minchey completed 16-of-24 passes for 224 yards. Carter caught five passes for 133 yards for the Knights.
“This offense scores I think the most points in our league, coming in,” Euverard said, “and so that’s a really good performance by our defense.”
Hayles finished with 109 yards rushing on 21 carries.
The Knights have next week off, while MBA hosts Ensworth.
“We’re in a good time for a bye week,” Geisinger said. “We had some guys dinged up, kind of playing on one leg out there and I was really proud of those efforts. We’ve had some guys for several weeks now just hanging on, so we need some time off. We’re going to give them a few days off and regroup.”
MBA 20, POPE PREP 17
|Pope Prep (5-2, 1-2 DII-AAA East), MBA (4-3, 3-1)||1st||2nd||3rd||4th||Final|
M – Rhett Hayles 16 run, 10:34. Wren Jacobs kick.
M – Hayles 1 run, 2:12. Jacobs kick.
M – Jacobs 25 field goal, 4:18.
P – Andrew Southard 47 field goal, 1:14.
P – Colin Cook 20 pass from Kenny Minchey, 4:33. Southard kick.
P – Stephen Carter 48 pass from Minchey, 8:51. Jacobs kick.
M – Jacobs 26 field goal, 1:59.
|Pass Attempts-Completions- Interceptions||18-32-0||7-12-0|
|Punts – Average||4-35.2||2-37|
Pope Prep: Kenny Minchey 4-21, Elijah Robb 9-20.
MBA: Rhett Hayles 21-109, Johnothan Moore 14-88, Marcel Reed 2-21, Colin Kerrigan 2-1.
Pope Prep: Minchey 16-28-0 224, Stephen Carter 2-3-0 21.
MBA: Reed 4-6-0 78, Kerrigan 3-6-0 79.
Pope Prep: Carter 5-133, Colin Cook 5-56, Jackson Noble 4-35, Robb 4-21.
MBA: Claiborne Richa 5-111, Jack Spellman 2-46.