After building up an 18-0 lead, the Booker T. Washington (BTW) Golden Eagles allowed Marbury to trim the lead to 18-14 at the half before settling down to claim a 32-20 victory in the Aug. 25 opener at Eagle Star Stadium in Tuskegee.
Sophomore quarterback Joseph Graham scored three touchdown on short runs of 1, 2 and 4 yardss while Dyrese Hubbard scored from 15 yards out and Brian Mose closed out scoring for the Golden Eagles with a 5-yard run. Graham added a 2-point conversion run.
“I thought we played well in spurts in all three phases of the game. We had a lot of new faces playing for the first time so we knew there would be some challenges. But overall we’re glad to come away with a win on our first outing,” said BTW Coach Maurice Heard.
“Marbury is much improved and came back to make it a game after being down 18-0 in the second quarter. After being up 18-0 we went in at the half only up 18-14. In the second half we settled down and played better. Overall we got the win but had several misalignments and missed assignments. Also, we had too many penalties that placed in bad situations.”
The Golden Eagles had some issues that often come with season openers.
“Offensively, we replaced three starters on the offensive line and struggled at time but Dyrese Hubbard ran the ball well. We developed some continuity throughout the game to give him some running room,” Heard pointed out.
“Quarterback Joseph Graham ran well also but missed a few key passes early that would have given us a few more scoring opportunities. We have to continue to get better in that phase of the game. Jermarieon Harris had a couple of key receptions and Brian Mose came in and ran well scoring our last touchdown.”
Graham rushed for 50 yards on 16 carries and also had a fumble. The sophomore connected on only 3 of 10 pass attempts, but the three completions were for an impressive 113 yards. Graham’s lone interception was returned for a touchdown by Marbury.
Harris’ two receptions were for 110 yards on catches of 56 and 54 yards. Kendal Moore pulled in one pass for three yards.
Hubbard led BTW rushers with 97 yards on 16 carries and Mose finished with nine yards on four rushes.
The defense had some lapses but also its positive moments.
“I thought overall we played well on defense but some misalignments and missed tackles allowed us to give up two scores. Several guys stepped and played well on defense. Tackles Jeremiah Marshall and Amari Murray got good penetration while ends Daniel Bettis and Tyran Burnside did a good job containing the edge for us,” Heard commented.
“Linebackers Joe Phillips and Brian Mose held it down on the inside. Cornerback Tyson Armstead was solid and newcomer Demetrum Nelms played well and gave us our first interception on defense this year”
Phillips had nine total tackles and shared a tackle for loss with Mose, who registered six overall tackles. Burnside finished with seven stops. Linebacker Hennessy Smith added eight tackles. Burnside, Keenan Bennett and Eddie Cason had four tackles each.
The Golden Eagles have an open date this week before resuming action at home on Sept. 8 when Class 5A, Region 2 foe Eufaula visits.