By Greg gulas
Jesse Carpenter rushed for 127 yards and scored one touchdown, then passed for 132 yards while accounting for three more scores as Marlington stopped Poland, 41-23 in a non-conference game Friday at Poland Stadium.
Running backs Alden Hill and Dymonte Thomas each added touchdown runs with Hill also on the receiving end of two of Carpenter’s three scoring tosses.
“Words cannot describe the feeling that I have when Alden is in the backfield with me,” said Carpenter. “He has the ability to bust one off anytime that he touches the ball and that really opens it up for everyone else.”
Hill, who has committed to Tennessee, finished with 77 yards on 18 carries.
The Dukes (3-0) got on the board first on the opening drive of the game when Carpenter directed a 14-play, 66-yard drive that culminated in his 6-yard dash to the endzone at 4:59 of the opening frame.
They stretched their lead to 14-0 when Hill caught the first of his two scoring strikes from Carpenter, this one coming at 9:28 of the second stanza.
Hill’s 1-yard run just 3:01 before the intermission made it 21-0 in favor of the Dukes, but Poland’s Jerry Lawman scored from 51 yards away just 56 seconds later, his first of three tallies on the night to cut the Marlington margin to 21-7 at halftime.
“Credit my offensive line because they gave me some big holes to run through tonight,” said Lawman.
“We made a few costly mistakes but never gave up. Marlington is just an excellent team,” Lawman said.
Carpenter’s 25-yard scoring toss to Hill with a little over a minute remaining in the third period helped Marlington forge a 27-7 advantage.
Lawman’s second score of the contest, this time from a yard away, and Colin Reardon’s two-point conversion at 8:22 of the final period cut the Marlington lead to 27-15, but Thomas’ 4-yard dash at 5:44 of the period increased the Dukes’ lead to 34-15.
Poland (1-2) needed only 38 seconds to answer Marlington’s score as Lawman’s 5-yard run and another two-point conversion cut the Dukes’ lead to 34-23, but Carpenter then found Alex Williamson from 4 yards away with 46 seconds remaining to close out the scoring.
“We were able to take away what they [Marlington] did best; the veer option but they just made the necessary adjustments,” said Poland coach Mark Brungard. “We turned the ball over a couple of times and you just cannot do that against a good team like Marlington and expect to get away with it.”