The Blue Devils, who beat Newnan 52-21 in their season opener last week, have amassed 115 points in their first two games, surpassing the program’s previous mark of 102 scored to open the 1990 season. That team was quarterbacked by future Georgia great Eric Zeier.
The 63 points scored against Pope also marked Marietta’s highest single-game tally since it scored 64 against the former Wills High School in 1982.
It wasn’t just the offense producing the scoring as the Blue Devils (2-0) also scored three touchdowns on interception returns and another on a kickoff return.
“Certainly, every team preaches that football is three phases — offense, defense and special teams,” Marietta coach Scott Burton said. “You try to do well in each phase and give yourself a chance to win, and it’s nice to see that we had contributions from our offense, defense and special teams.”
A big part of the scoring was done by running back KirVonte’ Benson, who rushed for 123 yards on 11 carries and scored three touchdowns.
It was Benson who started the scoring for Marietta as his 15-yard touchdown run, and Ian Shannon’s extra point, gave the Blue Devils a 7-0 lead with 9:17 remaining in the first quarter.
Pope looked like it would make it a ballgame when Taylor Wolf threw a 56-yard touchdown pass to Logan Carr, and Marshall Hanson kicked the extra point to tie the game at 7-all with 6:54 left in the first quarter.
But Marietta came right back on the next series as Brenton Martin threw an 11-yard scoring strike to Marlon Gober. Shannon booted the extra point with 5:39 left in the first quarter to put the Blue Devils back in front 14-7.
The defense joined in on Marietta’s scoring run, as Tyrell Tomlin intercepted a pass by Wolf and ran it back 28 yards for the score. The kick was blocked, leaving it 20-7 at the 5:17 mark of the first quarter.
The Blue Devils’ defense struck again on the ensuing series, early in the second quarter, as T.J. Bulock picked off Wolf deep in Marietta territory and ran it back 95 yards for the score. Jordan Mathis passed to Marcus Bennett for the 2-point conversion, pushing the lead up to 28-7 with 10:58 remaining in the first half.
Benson scored the second of his three touchdowns when he ran the ball 25 yards for a score, with Shannon kicking the extra point to increase Marietta’s lead to 35-7 with 6:20 left in the first half.
Benson added a 5-yard scoring run, and Shannon another extra point, to make it 42-7 with 8 seconds left in the first half.
Marietta didn’t waste any time adding to its lead at the beginning of the second half, when Mathis returned the opening kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown and Shannon made the extra point to push the Blue Devils’ lead up to 49-7.
The Blue Devils added two more scores as Kadeem Wallington scored on a 50-yard interception return with 6:58 remaining in the third quarter, and Nakia Berniard had a 1-yard touchdown run with 10:34 left in the game.
Pope (0-1) added one final touchdown as time was expiring, when Bryan Terry reached the end zone on a 4-yard run. No point-after was attempted.