Berryville manhandles Marshall: Cats start season with blowout win
BERRYVILLE -- Berryville fans turned out in droves to see if things were going to be different.
It didn't take long for them to find out the answer was a resounding yes.
Ethan Chapin and Deonte Payton scored two touchdowns each, Berryville scored 23 points in the opening quarter and the Bobcats thumped Marshall 50-6 to open the 2013 campaign with a victory.
Berryville led 43-0 at the half, playing mostly second and third team players for much of the second period and all of the second half.
Chapin still managed to lead the Cats on the ground as Berryville amassed 349 rushing yards. Chapin carried the ball seven times for 113 yards and didn't touch the ball after the first few minutes of the second period.
"It potentially could have been a lot worse," first-year Berryville coach Lee Atkins said. "Ethan does what he does basically in just one quarter. And that's with us spreading the ball around. He was getting positive yards every carry."
Payton followed with 68 yards on eight carries, Aiden Brummett had 63 yards on 10 carries with a score, Garrett Stone picked up 44 yards on four carries, Bryan King added 23 yards on five carries, Emilio Duarte had four carries for 20 yards and Austin Carr tallied 18 yards on one rush.
Carr, playing in his first varsity game, connected on 2-of-5 passes for 25 yards. Carr also sat for the majority of the second period as Stone and King took over and controlled the rest of the game.
"He did fine," Atkins said of Carr's performance. "He threw a touchdown pass but we didn't throw the ball that much. There were two passes that should have been caught but that was early in the game."
The lone score through the air was to senior Brett Sooter, who was moved to the offensive side of the ball this year.
"Brett Sooter looked great," Atkins said. "He probably would have caught the first pass we threw to him but there was a pass interference call against (Marshall). He comes right back and catches the touchdown pass right after that. He looked very, very good."
Atkins said he would like to have seen the starters go deeper in the game. But when Duarte tweaked his knee in the second quarter, Atkins opted for safety over scoring drives.
"In a way, I felt bad for our starters because they only played a portion of the game," Atkins said. "But we executed our offense smoothly and everyone saw action in our first taste of victory."
That first taste of victory looms large for a program that had just one win per season for three consecutive years. Berryville will be tested this week at Huntsville as the Cats look to gain respect as an improved program.
"Each week you have to re-prove yourself, not just for the people here, but for Northwest Arkansas," Atkins said. "Because the program has been down awhile that's just the way it is. It's one thing to beat Marshall 50-6. But it's another to do it against better competition."
And Huntsville will be better competition. The Eagles suffered a 20-12 loss to Farmington in Week 1. But Farmington is one of the favorites to win the 1-4A Conference. And Huntsville has one of the most successful coaches in the state, Tommy Tice.
Atkins doesn't expect the starters to be out of the game by halftime this Friday.
"We fully expect this contest to be a challenge with our first group carrying the load for the sum of the battle," Atkins said. "Our community and Bobcat fans came out in huge numbers to support the team. We greatly appreciate everyone who made opening night something very special. We have one game under our belts and it's time to go back to work to prepare for the Eagles."
Jose Pedraza led the defense with 11 total tackles, including five solos and one for a loss. Greg Eastwood followed with nine, Michael Falk and Alec Jones added eight each, Bryan King had six and Justin King Jerry Valdez and Stone added five apiece.