Second-half collapse dooms Volunteers
Playing after a win for the first time since 2008, Jeff Terrill’s Starkville Academy Volunteers were unable to make it two in a row as they fell 37-7 to Washington School Friday night.
The Volunteers (1-6) scored on their first drive of the game, but Washington (4-3) went on to score 30 unanswered points as it cruised to its fourth consecutive win. After seeing stronger play form his team in recent weeks, Terrill was hoping to see more out of his guys against the Generals.
“We just didn’t like the effort, but we got beat by a very good football team that controlled the line of scrimmage and beat us in every facet,” Terrill said. “Our hats just tip to them.”
Washington had no trouble moving the ball as they racked up 449 yards of total offense. Quarterback Trey Brozovich completed 13 of his 15 passes for 238 yards and two touchdowns. Junior running back Ryan Gober led the Generals’ ground attack with 158 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 19 carries.
For the Volunteers, quarterback Kyle Henson was the offensive leader with 54 rushing yards and 14 yards through the air. Junior Ryan Mann rushed for 44 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries.
The Volunteers and Generals traded touchdown drives to start the game. Washington opened the game on an 84-yard touchdown drive that was capped by a 1-yard Gober run for the score.
Starkville Academy responded with an 11-play, 72-yard drive of their own. All 72 yards were gained on the ground, with Mann finishing the drive off on a 1-yard touchdown dive with 1:11 left in the first quarter.
Unfortunately for Terrill and the Volunteers, they did not find the end zone again in the game. Washington scored touchdowns on their next two drives and held a 21-7 lead with 5:51 left in the second quarter following a Gober touchdown run.
In what appeared to be a momentum-changing moment, Henson blocked a Washington field goal attempt on the last play of the half, but the Volunteers were unable to capitalize on that momentum in the second half.
“We were moving the ball and we didn’t think we were out of it at the half,” Terrill said. “But they came back and certainly dominated the second half.”
Washington kicked and recovered an onsides kick to start the half and never looked back from there. The Generals added two touchdowns and a field goal in the second half to leave Starkville with a 37-7 victory.
Terrill noted after the game that the offensive line play will have to improve before the offense can establish a consistent rhythm.
“I don’t know if there’s an offense you can run when you don’t block some people,” Terrill said.
The Volunteers look to rebound and get their second win of the season next week when they travel to Madison-Ridgeland Academy.