Matlin Marshall spent all week studying – for his classwork and for Westside.
The extra work paid off in Evans’ season opener Friday night.
Marshall passed for two touchdowns and ran for another as the Knights rolled to a 41-0 victory over the Patriots.
“This has been keeping me busy,” said Marshall, the Knights’ senior signal caller. “I’ve been studying film on their defense, their defensive front, the line and the defensive backs and how they played. We kept hitting those little 5-yard stop routes because their corners were so deep.”
In the teams’ first meeting in five seasons, Evans jumped out front early and never let go thanks to Marshall and the Knights’ defense. Marshall connected on 13 of 20 attempts for 212 yards, including a 43-yard touchdown pass to Derrick Mims and a 33-yard scoring strike to Micah Garrett. Marshall added another touchdown on a 14-yard run.
Evans coach Marty Jackson said Marshall is a much more mature player with a year of experience at quarterback under his belt. It showed throughout the evening, with Marshall helping Evans convert eight of its 11 third-down plays.
“He’s much more poised. He’s decisive in his decisions,” Jackson said. “He’s a student of the game.”
Westside’s offense got off to a rough start when the Patriots lost a fumble on the first play from scrimmage. Westside recovered, marching deep inside Evans territory on its next two drives. But on fourth and goal from the 3 late in the first quarter, Tyree McCord’s pass to Aaron Commings fell incomplete.
On the Patriots’ next drive, Westside marched down to the 5. But on third down, Joshua Reynolds was stuffed for a 4-yard loss. On fourth down, McCord’s pass to Demontrez Hawes fell incomplete in the back corner of the end zone.
“We’ve got to do a better job than we did down there and punch it in,” said first-year Westside coach Scott Tate, whose team rushed for 94 yards on 28 carries. “We’re just going to have get some more work in practice at it and work on fundamental plays.”