High School Sports

Quick-strike touchdowns lead Mary Persons to win over West Laurens

Nelson breaks down Mary Persons win over West Laurens

Mary Persons head coach Brian Nelson talks about his team’s win over West Laurens on Friday.
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Mary Persons head coach Brian Nelson talks about his team’s win over West Laurens on Friday.

Quen Wilson set the tone for the Mary Persons offense Friday night as quick scoring drives led the Bulldogs to a GHSA Region 2-4A win over West Laurens.

Wilson took the ball on the second play of the game and went 67 yards for the opening score in a 28-9 decision. Mary Persons’ four scoring drives covered 10 plays with two two-play drives and two three-play drives.

The Bulldogs improve to 6-2 overall and 3-0 in region play, while the Raiders fall to 4-4 and 2-1.

Three who mattered

Wilson: The Bulldogs junior had 11 carries for 124 yards and two touchdowns and one catch for a 30-yard score.

J.T. Hartage: The junior quarterback completed 6-of-9 passes for 99 yards and had a 4-yard touchdown run for the Bulldogs.

Mary Persons’ offensive line: The Bulldogs’ players up front opened big holes for the running game, which rolled up 33 carries for 172 yards.

Turning point

After West Laurens scored its only touchdown to pull within 14-9 in the second quarter, Mary Persons’ Desmond Williams blocked the Raiders’ extra point. Williams then returned the ensuing kickoff 77 yards to the Raiders’ 15, which led to Wilson’s second touchdown run from 15 yards and gave the Bulldogs control again at 21-9.

Observations

Offensive struggles: The Raiders couldn’t get much going on offense as Mary Persons’ defense controlled the action. West Laurens had 29 rushes for 56 yards and completed 11-of-22 passes for 111 yards.

Worth mentioning

The streak goes on: Mary Persons won its 14th straight game in the region. The Bulldogs’ last region loss was a 21-14 defeat to West Laurens in 2014.

They said it

Mary Persons head coach Brian Nelson on the win: “Just proud of everyone all the way around, and West Laurens is a good team. Give credit to them, too. They’re really, really tough on defense and really physical. It was good for us to get out of here (Friday night) with the win.”

Nelson on the short scoring drives: “It is (unusual), and they were runs, most of them, which that’s something we hadn’t done. Proud of our offensive line and obviously our offensive coaches and our players.”

What’s next?

Mary Persons travels to Perry on Friday.

Mary Persons 28, West Laurens 9

West Laurens

0

9

0

0

9

Mary Persons

14

7

0

7

28

First quarter

MP: Quen Wilson 67 run (Dawson Daniel kick)

MP: J.T. Hartage 4 run (Daniel kick)

Second quarter

WL: Andrew Dukes 28 field goal

WL: Cory Smith fumble recovery in end zone (kick failed)

MP: Wilson 15 run (Daniel kick)

Fourth quarter

MP: Wilson 30 pass from Hartage (Daniel kick)

WL

MP

First downs

10

13

Rushes-yards

29-56

33-172

Comp-Att-Int Passing yards

11-22-0 111

6-9-0 99

Total yards

167

271

Individual leaders

Rushing: West Laurens: Dorian Edmond 17-60; Mary Persons: Wilson 11-124, Bralen Harvey 11-52.

Passing: West Laurens: A.J. Mathis 11-22-0 111; Mary Persons: Hartage 6-9-0 99.

Receiving: West Laurens: McKinley Kemp 2-47; Mary Persons: Antoine Davis 3-48, Wilson 1-30.

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