After a 4th down stand inside their own two-yard line, the Volunteers from Starkville put together an impressive drive with a clever mix of hard runs and pinpoint passing from junior Quarterback Stephen Felker.
Felker, the son of former Mississippi State Quarterback and Head Coach Rockey Felker, hit the holes hard and when the play was over he did his best to deliver the blow.
The opening drive resulted in a missed field goal for the visitors from Starkville, but on the Volunteers’ second drive Felker connected with Jimmy Morgan on a 47-yard scoring strike to take a 7-0 lead.
Trailing by a touchdown at the half, MRA head man Mack Norwood sought to make adjustments to get his offense going. The fine tuning reaped benefits early as Dallas Walker found his rhythm.
Walker came out gunning and led the Patriots down the field on a game tying drive that culminated with 15 yard scramble to pay dirt by the 6’5’’ home standing signal caller.
Following a Starkville Academy punt, Walker led the Patriots on another impressive drive, taking a 14-7 lead on a 23-yard touchdown toss from Walker to split end Matthew Berry.
Despite giving up fourteen points unanswered, Felker and the Vols were not quite ready to fade into the night. Stephen used option plays, hard snap counts and finally a touchdown run by backfield mate William Brooks to knot the score at 14.
Dallas Walker consistently made plays in the second half, but one of his bigger plays went down as a "run for loss" in the box score.
Disaster was averted for the Patriots when Dallas outran two defenders to cover a fumble caused by an errant snap that rolled just outside the MRA 15-yard line.
After the two teams once again traded punts, Walker joined the huddle with 2:41 to go for what turned out to be the game winning drive. Freshman running back Brandon Self made several impressive runs on the evening, but none bigger than his 46 yard jaunt down to the Starkville Academy one yard line.
It took two attempts, but Walker put the decisive score on the board with a Quarterback sneak behind his left guard with just under a minute to go.
Dallas had a hand in all three Patriot touchdowns on the night and was 11 of 15 unofficially on his pass attempts for 172 yards.
Walker currently holds offers from Memphis and Southern Miss and is also receiving interest from Alabama, Auburn, Mississippi State and Nebraska.
Stephen Felker, a rising prospect in his own right, had a very solid showing and is a name to remember for the 2008 signing class.
Next week MRA travels to Washington and in a rematch of last year’s state championship participants, Starkville Academy will host Heritage.