Coming into Friday night’s Region 7-AAAA contest with Marist, West Hall coach Tony Lotti’s logic was quite simple: Limit the mistakes, and try to go after it.
The Spartans turned it over on three consecutive drives in the second quarter, Marist converting those takeways into scoring drives to put the hosts in a hole too deep to climb out of in a 43-3 loss inside the Hot Gates of Spartan Field.
The War Eagles (5-2, 1-0 Region 7-AAAA) found the board in the opening quarter on a Jack Dinges rushing plunge and never trailed in this first-time meeting. They picked off quarterback Jacob Satterfield (15 of 26, 157 yards) twice and added a fumble recovery to the pot during a 29-point frenzy in the first half.
Marist also rushed for 321 yards and 14 first downs on a combined 39 carries, getting two rushing scores apiece from fullback Michael Addicks (seven carries, 96 yards, two touchdowns) and quarterback Jack Dinges (six carries, 68 yards, two touchdowns), and one from Charlie Addicks.
Dinges also converted a third-and-goal into an 18-yard connection to Danny DeQuesa for the War Eagles’ final score in the third quarter.
West Hall’s inability to run the ball in response to Marist’s smashmouth scheme was another aspect of Lotti’s game plan. The Spartans were held to 34 yards on the ground, despite getting plenty of big-time catches and pickups from receivers Will Dague and A.J. Favorite (three catches, 51 yards) in the passing game.
A Israel Lopez 17-yard field goal in the second quarter were the Spartans’ only points of the contest.
“It was just not a good night,” Lotti said. “You know, we had a good scheme coming in, for whatever reason, we tried to look at all kinds of people. Bottom line is in this league, you gotta play within the scheme and you gotta play defense, and you gotta make plays. You know, we laid a .... not even a golden egg. I don’t know what you call it.”
On the first play of the second quarter of West Hall’s second drive, Satterfield was picked off by David Sharke and returned to the 3-yard line. Addicks punched in his first end zone plunge on the next snap to make it a two-score game.
On the Spartans next drive, four-straight completions by Satterfield — including an impressive snag by Cameron Shirley off a tipped ball to convert a third and 4 near midfield — was later spoiled by a fumble on the Marist 45-yard line. Addicks then brought the War Eagles to the 13-yard line on a 34-yard rumble, and Dinges reached the end zone on a keeper to bring it to 21-0 with 6:51 left in the half.
Satterfield was picked off for a final time in the end zone by safety Dean Johnson on the Spartans’ fourth drive of the half, one that began with a Tommy Oliver fumble recovery. The gut-wrenching play came after a 19-yard leaping grab by Dague along the sideline and a Marist deadball foul brought the Spartans inside the 14-yard line.
The War Eagles later converted the pick into a five-play, 80-yard scoring drive capped by an Addicks 1-yard plunge and Dinges’ two-point conversion pass to make it 29-0.
“We’re gonna fix it,” Lotti said. “We got a bye week, so we’re gonna turn all our attention to White County. ... It’s one region loss, and the problem is there’s not a whole lot of region games, so it kind of makes it extremely important. But it’s only one region loss, and we have one region win. We’re 1-1 in the region, so we’ll regroup and get after these next two weeks, and hopefully have a little bit better effort in two weeks.”
West Hall (5-3, 1-1) is idle next week, and will pick things back up against White County at home Oct. 28 for the team’s Senior Night and final home game of the regular season.