Losing a heart-breaker in the closing minute of last year’s game against Apollo that ended 35-28, the Marshals were looking to avenge that loss and pick up their first district win of the 2020 season. They came into Friday’s game in Owensboro on a high note following last week’s 35-25 win over Trigg County. At 1-3, the Eagles were also eager for that first Class 6A First District notch in the win column, especially coming off last week’s 19-14 loss to Henderson County after leading most of the game.
Apollo earned that first district win at home, 34-10 over the Marshals to improve to 2-3 while the Marshals drop to 2-4.
Marshall County put together a nice opening drive after receiving the kick, going 74 yards and scoring on a 17 yard run by Garrett Parker. The drive was highlighted by an 18 yard pass from Quinn Smith to Griffin Darnall, another Smith pass complete to Talon Smothers and two quarterback keepers by Smith before Parker’s run into the end zone. Smothers added the extra point for a 7-0 lead and the game was off to a great start for the Marshals.
Apollo wasted no time putting points on the board on their first possession of the game, scoring on a nine yard run by senior quarterback Damian Lovinsky to finish off a 59 yard drive to tie the game at 7-7 with three minutes left in the first quarter.
Despite a big kick return by Chase Gibbs, the Marshals turned the ball over on downs on their next possession but the defense did their job and forced a punt by the Eagles. Unable to put a successful drive together, the Marshals turned the ball back over on a punt by Drake May.
Apollo turned this drive into points, going 54 yards with a pass completion from Lovinsky to Harold Patterson, Patterson getting the first down when they were looking at third and long, then scoring on a 16 yard run by Lovinsky to go up 14-7 with 2:27 left until halftime. Patterson, the 2019 Class 6A leading rusher, left the game late in the half with an injury and did not return.
After receiving the kick, the Marshals put together a two-minute drill, highlighted by a pass from Smith to Reese to the Apollo 13 yard line but on fourth down with 5.8 seconds left, elected to kick a 30 yard field goal that Smothers put through the uprights to cut the Eagles lead to 14-10 at the halftime break.
Turnovers were a problem for the Marshals in the second half. The first an interception that resulted in points for the Eagles, scoring on a five yard run by Nolan Rhinerson to lead 20-10 in the third quarter.
The second of three turnovers in the half came on a fumble recovered by Apollo that would turn into points for the Eagles, scoring on a one yard run by Rhinerson as the fourth quarter began to lead 27-10.
Marshall County fumbled on their next possession but held the Apollo offensive effort and forced the punt with 8:02 remaining in the game, still plenty of time to put some points on the board. The drive saw a couple of nice gains by freshman Aiden Dunnigan but they would turn it over on downs to Apollo with 4:41 remaining.
Apollo’s final touchdown came on a Lovinsky keeper, scoring his third touchdown of the game from the 10 yard line that capped off a 76 yard drive.
Marshall County had 320 total yards of offense, 112 in the air and 208 on the ground. Dunnigan led in rushing with 47 yards on four carries. Logan Reese was the leading receiver with 80 yards on seven receptions. Smith was 15 of 22 in passing for a total of 208 yards. Apollo had 363 yards, most on the ground with 284 led by Lovinsky with 163 on 17 carries.
The Marshals will play at Class 2A Todd County Central next Friday. The Rebels are 3-2 and did not play on Friday.
Marshall 7 3 0 0 – 10
Apollo 7 7 6 14 – 34