Middletown came into Saturday's game against Simon Kenton in the Skyline Crosstown Showdown at Nippert Stadium knowing that they were fast and not much else. They left the game knowing they had one of the brightest young stars in the city leading their team.
Sophomore quarterback Jalin Marshall was more than impressive in his first game of varsity football as he tossed two touchdowns and also ran the ball for 92 yards and a touchdown.
"Athletically you saw what he was capable of today," head coach Jason Krause said about his quarterback. "He's going to struggle at times but he has the ability to really make some special plays."
Marshall caused Simon Kenton's defense headaches the entire game. Just when they'd think they had him sacked for a loss, he's spin out of a tackle and use his speed to get away and make a big play. In other
words, Marshall looked far from a sophomore on the field.
"Physically he doesn't look like a sophomore and mentally he doesn't play like one," Krause said. "He's beyond his years maturity wise."
As good as Marshall was on offense, the Middies defense might have been even more impressive. Middletown held Simon Kenton's prolific offense to 102 total yards. More importantly they never let Chad Lawrence get comfortable.
"We responded all day long. We had some turnovers and we went back out on the field and got a stop," Krause said about his defense. "We just preach playing fast, getting to the ball and making the tackle when you get there."
Middleton took an early lead at the 1:17 mark in the first quarter when a long run by Marshall set up a one-yard touchdown run for Wayne Gregory. The second quarter was the Marshall show as he eluded several Simon Kenton tacklers in the backfield prior to lofting an 18-yard touchdown pass in the back of the endzone to Zach Edwards. Then when Middletown got the ball right back Marshall showed his ability to run it himself when he found the endzone from 28-yards out on a broken play with 4:05 left in the first half. The Middies didn't stop there though as Marshall found Donte Holdbrook before the end of the half on a six-yard touchdown pass.
"I think we performed real well," Marshall said about his offense. "I feel real good about next week. They're going to have a hard time beating us next week. I feel real confident about next week."
The second half was all about preserving the win as the Middletown defense held Simon Kenton out of the endzone for another 24 minutes of play. The offense didn't put up 28 points in the second half but they did add on a final score when Shaitan Wright took off on a 45 yard touchdown dash to make the final score 34-0 in favor of the Middies.
Written by: Rick Broering, TriStateFootball.com