Magnolia went into the final week of the regular season needing to win to have a shot at making the playoffs. The Mariners took care of things a little sooner than planned.
They didn’t wait until the scheduled Friday night game at Ringgold – the Mariners went ahead and played the District 1-1A game Thursday night and came away with a 22-0 victory.
“We did what we had to do,” Magnolia coach Toriano Williams said after the game. “Hopefully, it’s enough.”
Their chances are looking pretty good. The top 24 teams in the Select Divisions advance to the post-season and the Mariners sat at the No. 25 spot prior to the victory over Ringgold. Lincoln Prep, which sat at No. 24, lost to Ouachita Christian 59-0 Thursday night and No. 23 River Oaks faces a tough battle against 9-0 Glenbrook tonight.
“We started slow, but our defense held everything in place,” Williams said of Thursday night’s victory, which improved Magnolia’s record to 2-8 and 2-4. “They (the Redskins) didn’t get a chance to move the ball. They had at least 4-8 three-and-outs.”
With the defense holding its own, the Magnolia offense took an 8-0 lead into the half – thanks to a 32-yard touchdown pass from Mark McCray to eighth-grader Peter Santiago and McCray’s 2-point conversion.
DeAndre Johnson extended the Mariners’ lead to 14-0 with a 65-yard touchdown run (the conversion failed) and McCray and Santiago hooked up for another touchdown in the second half, this time for 35 yards. Jaylin McClintock ran it in for the 2-point conversion.