By HARRISON HAMLET
(MARTINSVILLE, Va.) – Friday night’s debut for Martinsville head football coach Bobby Martin did not go to plan.
“That is an understatement,” he said.
The Morehead Panthers made the short trip from Eden, N.C., and made short work of an injury-laden Bulldogs squad at Dan Greene Memorial Stadium, sending the Bulldogs into Labor Day Weekend with a 40-0 drubbing.
Morehead quarterback Jamal Dalton was flawless in the opening stages of the game, completing his first 10 pass attempts with two first-half touchdown passes. Panthers running backs Jacob Svedek, Jeremiah Bridges and Tyleak Scales added balance to Morehead’s offense, combining for 152 yards on the ground and four touchdowns over the course of the game.
Martinsville’s defense was unable to slow the visitors as the Panthers marched to the end zone on each of their opening five possessions.
Already facing injuries to three rotation players in the preseason, Martin saw four additional players exit the game with injuries on Friday night and several more laboring after the final whistle.
“We just have so much work to do everywhere. We have a bunch of guys hurt,” Martin said. “We’re running out of players right now, but we’ll be alright. We are here to fight through the end.”
The Bulldogs’ offense struggled to sustain drives, earning three first downs in their 10 possessions on the night. Morehead’s offense, on the other hand, was humming from the opening kickoff, earning 18 first downs in their eight possessions.
Morehead outgained Martinsville by over 340 yards on the night.
Martin pointed to struggles in the trenches as the primary difficulty for his Martinsville squad.
“We never got any momentum going,” Martin said. “We couldn’t sustain blocks to get momentum going our way.”
Next up, on September 6, Morehead (1-1) will face rival Reidsville (2-0), while Martinsville (0-1) will travel for a road game against western Virginia powerhouse Galax (1-0).
Martin noted that the opening loss “hurt” but feels confident in the processes he is instilling in his team, building a foundation for future Bulldog successes.
“All we’re going to do is keep working. We’re trying to build something here. We have a bunch of issues right now, but we’re trying to build from the ground up,” Martin said. “I knew what I was coming into and it’s going to take some work. I’m not mad or anything, I just know it’s going to take some work. It hurts, but I know what we have to do. It’s just going to take some time.”
Morehead 40, Martinsville 0
Morehead – 14 13 6 7 – 40
Martinsville – 0 0 0 0 – 0
6:48 – Morehead – Jeremiah Bridges 22 pass from Jamal Dalton (2pt failed)
0:27 – Morehead – Jacob Svedek 2 run (2pt pass, Jacob Svedek from Logan Dodson)
6:56 – Morehead – Tyleak Scales 2 run (PAT miss)
1:37 – Morehead – Jaden Brown 33 pass from Jamal Dalton (Logan Dodson PAT good)
7:39 – Morehead – Jacob Svedek 1 run (PAT miss)
9:32 – Morehead – Tyleak Scales 8 run (Logan Dodson PAT good)
RUSHING – Jacob Svedek 23 for 91, 2TD; Jeremiah Bridges 3 for 36; Tyleak Scales 4 for 26, 2TD; Jamal Dalton 8 for 3; Malik Kent 1for 2; Jaden Brown 1 for 1; Jack White 1 for 1; Ja’quan Cannon 1 for -1; Total 42 for 158, 4TD.
PASSING – Jamal Dalton 10/12 for 199, 2TD; Hatcher Hutchens 1/2 for 20; Total 11/14 for 219, 2TD.
RECEIVING – Jaden Brown 5 for 115, TD; Jeremiah Bridges 4 for 68, TD; Caleb Andrews 1 for 20; Jacob Svedek 1 for 10.
RUSHING – Zion Adams 6 for 14; Delvin Roberts 5 for 2; Troy Odell 1for -3; Rashaun Dickerson 9 for -8; Total 20 for 5.
PASSING – Rashaun Dickerson 2/7 for 25; Troy Odell 2/3 for 7; Total 4/10 for 32.
RECEIVING – Michael Penn 4 for 32.