By Randy Cavin
Press Sports Editor
There was one win and one loss for the two county middle schools playing in the McKenzie Middle School Jamboree Saturday evening.
Dresden beat West Carroll 18-16 in the first matchup of the day in Nicholas Cobb’s debut as the head coach of the Lions.
Martin played Gibson County in the second game with a near identical score as the first one, but with a reversed result as the Chargers lost 16-12 to the Pioneers. Martin’s junior varsity team lost by a 18-6 margin to Henderson North Middle School’s JV squad.
The Lions will open the season at home Thursday night against McKenzie, while Martin’s season opener will be Aug. 13 at Milan.
A season preview of all four middle school teams will be in the annual high school preview issue Aug. 20 with updates on scores and records.
Dresden 18, WC 16
It was a tale of two halves as Dresden won the first half and saw the War Eagles take the second half. Each game consisted of two 18-minute halves with a running clock.
The Lions jumped out to 12-0 lead in the first 18 minutes as they dominated the War Eagles. Dresden had a total of 95 yards of offense, while West Carroll only had 35 and two turnovers.
Eighth-grade quarterback Cameron Schlicht got the Lions on the scoreboard on the second play of the game with a 32-yard run. Schlicht’s keeper on the two-point attempt came up a yard short as Dresden led 6-0.
The Lions got the ball back after the War Eagles coughed the ball up on their fourth play of the game with Alexander Cravens recovering it for the Lions. Dresden converted that into its second score of the game on a seven-play drive with Cravens capping it off on an eight-yard run. The two-point attempt came up short again as the Lions took a 12-0 lead.
Dresden attempted to add another score before the first half ended following another fumble by the War Eagles, but time expired after Cravens took an overhand toss from Schlicht and turned it into a 22-yard gain.
West Carroll finally got on the scoreboard to begin the second half on a seven-play drive and converted the two-point attempt to make it a 12-8 game. The Lions came right back with Craven scoring his third touchdown of the game on a five-yard run. The drive began with Schlicht completing a 30-yard pass to Reece Bell.
The final score of the game came on a 27-yard by the War Eagles on a drive that took seven plays.
Dresden had a total of 137 yards of offense with 72 rushing and 65 passing. The War Eagles finished with 117 yards with 89 on the ground and 28 through the air.
Henderson 16, Martin 12
The Chargers practically had to rebuild their team after losing so many players to the high school, but they had a good showing in the jamboree.
Martin has a new quarterback, running backs and offensive line, and still only lost by four points. The Chargers came up short on their two-point conversion attempts after both touchdowns.
Cooper Spaulding got the start at quarterback and threw one touchdown pass and ran for another.
Henderson got on the scoreboard first with a 39-yard run on the second play of the game and made the extra point to lead 8-0. The Chargers answered with an eight-play drive with a mixture of runs by Drew Polman, Parker Wright and Spaulding. The drive ended with Spaulding completing a five-yard touchdown pass to Britton Carver.
The next possession for Henderson did not go so well as Jiovani Garcia picked off a pass on its second play. Martin was not able to take advantage of the turnover as the Chargers fumbled the ball away four plays later.
A pass interference call against Henderson put Martin in scoring position with Spaulding taking the ball in on a keeper from 19 yards out for a 12-8 lead. However, the lead only lasted one play as Henderson scored on a 40-yard touchdown run and made the two-point conversion to end the scoring.
The Chargers had one last chance to win the game with the final possession but they could not get past the 27-yard line.
Martin outgained Henderson with 120 yards of offense to 97. The Chargers had 109 rushing yards and 11 through the air.