By HARRIET PROTHRO PENROD, Journal Sports
Magnolia’s 34-12 District 1-1A victory over Plain Dealing accomplished more than just giving the Mariners their first victory of the season.
It showed that perhaps head coach Toriano Williams wasn’t all that crazy when he came up with the 2022 schedule.
“This is amazing,” Williams said of the Mariners’ Friday night Homecoming victory over the Lions at Magnolia Stadium. “This just validates our schedule.
“We went through the blender,” he said of the schedule that included Lake Charles Prep, General Trass, Homer, East Iberville, Westgate, and Glenbrook in the first six games. “That’s a tough schedule against tough teams. We used that experience to get better.”
Plain Dealing would not pose such a challenge as the Lions – like Magnolia – went into Friday night’s game with a 0-6 overall and 0-3 district record. But that didn’t make the victory any less sweet.
“This shows us that we can win,” said Magnolia quarterback Mark McCray, who was 13-of-19 for 224 yards with four touchdowns and one interception. “It was a little unexpected that we scored so fast, but that’s what we practice – the QB getting the ball off fast.”
The Mariners’ scored really fast. On their first play from scrimmage, McCray connected with DeVondre Johnson for a 62-yard TD which – with Jaylin McClintock’s 2-point conversion run — gave the home team a quick 8-0 lead.
After forcing a three-and-out, McCray found DeAndre Johnson wide open down the middle for a 70-yard touchdown on the second play of the Mariners’ next drive. Following a Clyde Young interception of Lions’ quarterback Joshua Miller, McCray took Magnolia on a five-play, 44-yard drive capped off by a 14-yard TD pass to Travis Sanders, Jr.
Eight plays. Three touchdowns. One 2-point conversion. And a 20-0 lead at the end of the first quarter for Magnolia. Fast and efficient.
McCray’s fourth TD pass was a 29-yarder to DeAndre Johnson with 18 seconds left in the second quarter. With McClintock’s 2-point conversion run, Magnolia had a 28-0 lead at halftime.
The first half was a different story for the Lions – six possessions, two lost fumbles, three interceptions, one punt, one turnover on downs, and lots of penalties.
“In the first half, we were our own worst enemy – turnovers and penalties,” said Plain Dealing head coach Clint Walker.
The Lions were able to get on the board at the beginning of the second half when Tyrese Kimble intercepted a McCray pass and ran it back 61 yards for the score. They added another touchdown at the beginning of the fourth quarter on a 12-yard pass from Miller to Elijawon James (the Lions were unsuccessful on both 2-point conversions).
Magnolia’s second-half score came on a three-play drive that started at the Plain Dealing 14 –thanks to a DeVondre Johnson interception – and ended with a 5-yard TD run by Sanders.
For Magnolia, the game went according to plan – go through the air early to open up the run game in the second half.
Sanders ran four times in the first half for 17 yards but carried the load on the ground in the second half – with 19 carries for 127 yards. He led all rushers with 144 yards on 23 carries.
“I was just going through the line, maneuvering, and then picking up speed,” Sanders said of his second-half performance. “I was just following the blocks.”
Plain Dealing was able to get just 64 yards on the ground and 17 through the air. Kimble led the Lions with 30 yards on five carries while Miller was just 4-for-17 for 49 yards and four interceptions.
Magnolia (1-6, 1-3) will host Haynesville next Friday night while Plain Dealing (0-7, 0-4) will be at home against Glenbrook.
Contact Harriet at email@example.com
Magnolia 34, Plain Dealing 12
Score by quarters
Plain Dealing | 0 | 0 | 6 | 6 | – 12
Magnolia | 20 | 8 | 6 | 0 | – 34
M – DeVondre Johnson 62 pass from Mark McCray (Jaylin McClintock run)
M – DeAndre Johnson 70 pass from McCray (run failed)
M – Travis Sanders, Jr. 14 pass from McCray (run failed)
M – DeAndre Johnson 29 pass from McCray (McClintock run)
PD – Tyrese Kimble 61 interception return (pass failed)
M – Sanders 5 run (run failed)
PD – Elijawon James 12 pass from Joshua Miller (pass failed)
Plain Dealing (30-64), Kimble 5-30, Aaron Reddix 11-22, Dayden Ray 7-15, Logan Hastings 2-1, Anthony Taylor 1-0, Miller 4-(-4).
Magnolia (38-245), Sanders 23-144 1 TD, McClintock 7-79, McCray 8-22.
Plain Dealing (4-17-5-49), Miller 4-15-4-49 1 TD, Kimble 0-2-1-0.
Magnolia (13-19-1-224), McCray 13-19-1-224 4 TDs.
Plain Dealing, Kimble 3-37, James 1-12 1 TD.
Magnolia, DeAndre Johnson 2-99 2 TDs, DeVondre Johnson 1-62 1 TD, Mitchell Adams 3-27, Sanders 3-18 1 TD, McClintock 1-14, Peter Santiago 2-4.