Wesley Green and running game leads M. L. King over Blanche Ely

M. L. King defensive back Wesley Green scores a touchdown on a 48-yard punt return. Photo by Travis Hudgons

Cortez Allen’s first game as head coach at Martin Luther King Jr. High School resulted in a big win as the Lions routed Blanche Ely (Pompano, Fla.) 41-15 in the first game of Battle of the Borders Showdown at Hallford Stadium Aug. 31.

“I’m thoroughly proud of the guys,” Allen said. “I thought we had a great game. The kids played very well and there was much improvement from what we had in our scrimmage game [against Cedar Grove].”

Defensive back Wesley Green led the Lions in the win with three interceptions and a 48-yard punt return touchdown. Green was named the game’s Most Valuable Player. Running backs Robert Pritchett, Jamel Smith and Devin Williams also played a big part in the win.

Smith gave the Lions a 7-0 lead in the first quarter with a 1-yard touchdown run. After M. L. King forced a three-and-out, Green extended the lead to 14-0 with his 48-yard touchdown on the punt return.

Ely cut the lead to 14-7 after a quarterback-sneak into the end zone by Teddrick Moffet. The touchdown was set up by wide receiver LaDerrick Smith, who returned the ensuing kickoff 83 yards to the Lions’ 9-yard line.

Smith got his second touchdown of the game in the second quarter with a 27-yard run. Smith stiffarmed several Ely players along the way to the end zone.

The two teams traded turnovers to start the second half as Williams fumbled the ball on Ely’s 30-yard line. Green intercepted a pass at the goal line on the following Ely drive to end a potential scoring drive.

The Lions drove 93 yards on the following drive, led by Pritchett who rushed for 66 yards of his total 101 yards in the game on that drive. However, he fumbled the ball at Ely’s 3-yard line but offensive lineman Kwan Stallworth was there to pick up the loose ball and stumbled his way into the end zone to give M. L. King a 28-7 lead in the third quarter.

Green got his third interception late in the third quarter, which led to another touchdown as quarterback Roland Rivers connected with wide receiver Raylan Elzy on a two-yard pass play to increase the lead to 35-7 in the fourth quarter.

Ely scored on its next drive on a 21-yard pass from quarterback Nelson Irvin to running back Broderic James and then executed the two-point conversion to cut the lead to 35-15.

Sophomore running back Jonathan Mathis extended M. L. King’s lead to 41-15 on a 17-yard touchdown.

Allen thought his running backs played well from beginning to end and said the running game will be a focal point in the offense.

“We’re going to keep punching that thing and grinding the ball out,” he said.

M. L. King will try to get win No. 2 Sept. 6 when the team faces Southwest DeKalb at 8 p.m. at Hallford Stadium.

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