Blue Eagles Blank Tide
Mirandy passes for 173 yards, three TDs
NEW MARTINSVILLE — After Magnolia’s season opener against Sherman, Doc Chapman couldn’t praise his defense enough. And rightfully so.
Magnolia started 2018 with a bang as the defense shut down the Tide while the offense capitalized on a handful of Sherman mistakes in a 24-0 victory on Friday night on Alumni Field at Bill Stewart Memorial Stadium.
“I can’t say enough about our defense. Our defense played lights-out,” Chapman said. “We pride ourselves on real hard, aggressive defense. Hats off to our guys, I thought our conditioning was good.
”We showed up in the second half, we had a couple of stops and they had a couple of turnovers. I think we got the momentum going a little bit. Spread them out to run and we were able to throw.”
Pat Mirandy was also stellar under center for the Blue Eagles as he went 7 of 14 for 173 yards and three touchdowns, all of which came at crucial times.
The Blue Eagles took advantage after Sherman’s first fumble late in the frist quarter.
On the Tide’s second possession, they fumbled in Magnolia territory where the Blue Eagles recovered. The rest was history.
On the ensuing play, Mirandy connected with Sebastian Stickler for a 58-yard score to put Magnolia up 7-0 with 32 seconds left in the first quarter.
“What can you say about Pat Mirandy? Pat’s as good as it gets,” Chapman said. “Offensively, making plays that look like plays that were broken down, and that’s Pat, making bad plays look pretty good. It was a team effort.”
”We said going in we’re going to try and keep the ball in Pat’s hands. And by no means is he just a runner. He’s worked tremendously in the offseason — physically, he’s stronger. We’re asking for him to do a little more in the offense. Again — you saw — a play breaks down, Pat turns into the athlete that he is.”
And one could see his athleticism during Magnolia’s second scoring drive. On the Blue Eagles 32-yard line, Magnolia got some breathing room as Mirandy connected with Matthew Gaiser for 28 yards to the Sherman 13. This came after a trio of Jason Beisel runs that totaled 27 yards.
The drive was capped as Mirandy scrambled around the backfield, showing his speed and giving his receivers time to get open. Eventually, he found Dakota Litton in the end zone for a 16-yard strike that made the score at 14-0 with 4:28 left in the third quarter.
That drive came after the Magnolia defense forced a turnover on downs.
“Good football teams capitalize off of good teams’ mistakes. I just felt at halftime, we didn’t play well in the first half,” Chapman said. ”I don’t think it was first-game jitters. We just had misalignment things we corrected at the half, and we showed what kind of football team we are the second half.
Our defense … Wow. We got a lot of guys in the picture, we covered well. That’s a good football team. Sherman will be in the mix at the end. I told (Sherman) Coach (Michael) Showalter after the game, sometimes you beat good teams, but that doesn’t mean that you are this and they’re down here. They’re a solid team.”
After a three-and-out by the Tide, Magnolia increased the lead on a Mirandy 31-yard field goal.
The Magnolia defense was right back at it on the next Sherman possession as it recovered another fumble, this time deep in Tide territory.
The Blue Eagles made the Tide pay again as Mirandy and Stickler connected once more, this time from 32 yards out to make the score at 24-0 with 10:37 left in the fourth quarter.
“They got a lot of good athletes on the field and are a very-well coached football team,” Showalter said. “We shot ourselves in the foot, but they came out and they played a really good football game. When you’re playing good football teams, you can’t make those mistakes, you can’t have penalties, you can’t have turnovers. Good football teams don’t let you get away with those things and Magnolia is clearly a good football team. Those types of teams don’t let you get away with those type of mistakes.”
Tommy Harper did break the 100-yard barrier for the Tide as he managed 101 on 15 attempts. JT Hensly compiled 53 yards.
Colton Bowman led the Tide in receiving with 38 yards on four catches.
For the Blue Eagles, Beisel had 56 yards on 12 attempts while Stickler managed 90 receiving on two catches — scoring on both. Gaiser also had two receptions for 60 yards.
“You enjoy (Friday) as we told the kids. We’ll look at tape (today) and come to work Monday ready to go for Williamstown,” Chapman said. “Williamstown is a solid team too. It doesn’t get any easier, but I stress to the boys in there always enjoy the win. Take this Friday and maybe a little (Saturday), then we’ll get to work Monday.”
Magnolia 24, Sherman 0
Sherman 0 0 0 0 — 0
Magnolia 7 0 10 7 — 24
M — Stickler 58 pass from Mirandy (Mirandy kick), :32
M — Litton 16 pass from Mirandy (Mirandy kick), 4:28
M — Mirandy 31 FG, :56
M — Stickler 32 pass from Mirandy (Mirandy kick), 10:37
Rushing: Sherman 39-178 (Harper 15-101, Hensly 20-53, Dunfee 4-24). Magnolia (Mirandy 14-29, Beisel 12-56, Beegle 1-4, Adams 1-5, Stillwagoner 4-20).
Passing: Sherman 10-23-61 (all by Hensly). Magnolia 7-14-173-3td (all by Mirandy).
Receiving: Sherman 10-61 (Bowman 4-38, Harper 3-7, Dunfee 1-1, Hudson 2-15). Magnolia 7-173-3td (Gaiser 2-60, Beisel 2-7, Stickler 2-90-2td, Litton 1-16-td).
First Downs: Sherman 13, Magnolia 13.
Penalties: Sherman 4-40, Magnolia 2-32.
Fumbles: Sherman 3-2, Magnolia 1-0.