Morehead played a near mistake-free game and ended up blasting Martinsville 40-0 for the first win of the 2019 football season on Friday night.
Why Morehead won
The Panthers were able to effectively blend the run with the pass and kept the chains moving all night long. Better still, when they did get the ball into the red zone, they consistently scored. Morehead’s defense should take a bow as well after holding Martinsville to just 5 yards rushing on 21 attempts. The Bulldogs weren’t very effective passing the ball either as they went 5 of 10 passing for 44 yards.
Why Martinsville lost
Martinsville never could get anything going on the ground, so when they did try to throw the ball downfield, it was often in third and long situations. After Morehead scored their second touchdown late in the first quarter, the Bulldogs body language said it all. It was going to be a long night for Martinsville.
Morehead senior quarterback Johnnie Dalton had one of the most well-rounded games of his career, connecting on 10 for 12 passes for 213 yards and two touchdowns.
Panther junior Jacob Svedek had a breakout game, rushing for 94 yards on 20 attempts, scoring two touchdowns and catching a 2-point conversion. Senior Tyleak Scales had two rushing TDs as well to help pace the ground game.
The big play
Leading 20-0 near the end of the second quarter, Dalton hit Ismael Maldonado on a 33 yard touchdown to extend the lead to 27-0 just before the half.
Three things we learned
1. When Morehead doesn’t turn the ball over, they are a pretty good football team. They cleaned up a lot of center to quarterback exchange problems and Dalton made great reads and plays throughout the game.
2. Jeremiah Brides, Jaden Brown and Logan Dodson are all good receivers. The Panthers have probably got to find a way to use the tight ends, but when you are able to run the ball, that makes all the difference, Panther head coach Lin Stadler said. MHS rushed for 163 yards on 42 attempts.
3. It was clear it was going to be a relatively short celebration after the game when Stadler pointed out they were hosting the defending 2A NCHSAA state champions Reidsville next week. Morehead’s narrow loss to the Rams last season is one the one the Panthers think got away in 2018, but they collectively know Reidsville will be ready next Friday.
What they’re saying
“Our whole emphasis this week was to take care of the ball. Those are words to live by. A completion is better than an incompletion. An incompletion is better than an interception and a punt is a good play. Live to play another down. Johnnie, I’m so proud of him. I’m not sure of what his stats were, but they’ve got to be pretty good.”
—Lin Stadler, Morehead head coach
“I think we prepared better than we did last week and we just tried to forget about that game and just put it all into this game. We just played our hearts out.”
—Johnnie Dalton, Panthers quarterback
“Our line definitely performed way better tonight. They shut out people and moved the line forward. It wasn’t just us having to block. They were really prepared this week.”
— Jacob Svedek, Morehead running back
Morehead: versus Reidsville, 7:30 p.m., Friday.
Martinsville: at Galax, 7:30 p.m., Friday.
Morehead 14 13 6 7 – 40
Martinsville 0 0 0 0 – 0
MHS Johnnie Dalton 22 yard pass to Jeremiah Bridges for a touchdown. 2 point conversion no good. 6:48
MHS Jacob Svedek 1 yard run for a touchdown. Logan Dodson pass to Svedek for 2-point conversion. :27
MHS Tyleak Scales 2 yard run for a touchdown. P.A.T. no good. 6:56
MHS Dalton 33 yard pass to Ismael Maldonado for a touchdown. P.A.T. Dodson good. 1:37
MHS Svedek runs 1 yard for a touchdown. P.A.T. Dodson good. 7:39
MHS Tyleak Scales 8 yard run for a touchdown. P.A.T. Dodson good. 9:32