By Ryan Kuhn
A strong defense and a power running game are the two main ingredients for Marshall High School’s football team to have success, and both were working against Balboa on Friday, enabling the Phoenix to capture their first Academic Athletic Association win of the year.
The Phoenix rallied from a halftime deficit to beat the Buccaneers 19-14 at the School of the Arts.
“This win was very important and it was big for our program,” said Marshall head coach Kamon Pierce.
Running back Quintell Anderson lead the Marshall (2-4, 1-2) running attack, finishing with 126 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
“We had to get a win to show everyone that Marshall is back on the map,” Anderson said. “People are talking like we aren’t here in San Francisco. We couldn’t have started 0-3.”
The Marshall defense was first to make an impression, though, when it intercepted Balboa quarterback David Lantow in the first quarter that lead to a 35-yard touchdown run by Anderson.
It was the first of three turnovers that Marshall forced during the game.
Balboa (1-5, 0-3) answered both of Marshall’s first-half touchdowns with scores of their own and took a 14-13 lead into halftime.
With the Phoenix defense making a first-half impression, the running game stole the show in the second half and Pierce said his team’s running style was simple.
“We keep pounding and pounding until we get stopped,” Pierce said. “We keep pounding it right now their throat.”
The Phoenix regained the lead once again in the third quarter and this time it was for for good, as Anderson’s 30-yard touchdown scamper put Marshall up 19-14.
“I just run hard and keep pushing,” Anderson said. “I tell my line to get a good push and just keep pushing until I hit the pylon.”
The Buccaneers had chances to respond, but were unable to take advantage, as they fumbled on Marshall’s 1-yard line in the third quarter and fumbled again on their last drive of the game.
The Buccaneers will face Lowell next week and Balboa head coach Alvaro Carvajal said he still has time to turn his season around.
“Next week is a big week,” he said. “If we play Balboa football like I know we can, it will put us in a position to have hope for the postseason.”
M: 6:50 — Quintell Anderson 35-yard run (kick good)
B: 1:11 — Luis Moran 9-yard pass from Andres Arellano (Luis Almeida kick good)
M: 9:14 — 45-yard touchdown pass (kick good)
B: 7:31 — Moran 11-yard pass from Arellano (Almeida kick good)
M: 3:24 — Anderson 30-yard run (kick good)