Football Tigers fall to Marquette 59-40


Marquette High School’s bigger plays outshined Oakville High School’s big plays Friday night in a 59-40 loss for the host Oakville Tigers.

The Tigers, who dropped their record to 0-2, had eight plays that gained more than 25 yards while the 2-0 Mustangs finished with nine.

“They had some good plays. You have to give their quarterback credit,” Oakville head coach Arlee Connors said after the three-hour-and-10-minute circus. “The one time, he went down there, spun around, did a razzle-dazzle, and just threw the ball. That’s hard to cover. You can only cover a guy for so long. He threw the ball real well, and their kids caught it.”

The two teams combined for 900 yards of offense. Oakville earned 429 of those yards.

“I think we did better on the offensive side, but we weren’t facing the defense of Lindbergh. I think we went backwards in our special teams department. That’s a part that should never hurt us, but we lost three touchdowns to that,” Connors said.

Marquette added another 139 yards on a kickoff return touchdown and punt return touchdown. Senior Dante McKinney’s 99-yard kickoff return for the Mustangs’ first score with 4 minutes and 46 seconds left in the first quarter was their first sign of life.

The score quieted an Oakville team that had scored touchdowns on its first two possessions.

“A lot of weird things were going on out here tonight. We have a lot of young kids out here. We’re playing a lot of juniors and sophomores, and they’re learning. Adversity is a big thing. They’re young kids, and they’re just learning how to get over it,” Connors said.

Oakville watched Marquette rally to a 21-13 lead before responding with a 75-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Javon Henderson to brother Jaron Henderson. The two-point conversion at-tempt failed. Marquette swung back with a 31-yard touchdown pass and an eye-opening punt return at the close of the first half in which McKinney escaped from a gang-tackle by the Tigers.

“Defensively, our effort was decent at the beginning, but some of those bad breaks took the wind out of those guys. We have to find some people that are going to make some tackles on defense,” Connors said.

Not even nine penalties for more than 100 yards could slow down Marquette in the first half.

“We have some things to work on and we have a long season ahead of us. I’ve been around worse. This isn’t that bad of a group. They just have to believe it, and we’ll get it,” the Oakville coach said.

To start the third quarter, Oakville cut its 35-19 halftime deficit to nine points on a 1:41, 62-yard drive capped by senior running back Darrion Moore’s second touchdown of the game. The Tigers wouldn’t come any closer, though.

Along with the touchdown pass, Henderson scored on runs of eight, 48 and 26 yards. He gained 154 yards on the ground.

Moore rushed for 177 yards.

Marquette quarterback Anthony Dudley left the game in the third quarter after a hit left him lying motionless for more than 10 minutes. The junior left in an ambulance.

The Tigers will look for their first win at 2-0 Parkway South at 7 p.m. Friday.