KENNESAW — Marietta spoiled Kennesaw Mountain’s senior night as the talented Blue Devils ended the regular season with a dominant 41-14 win.
Marietta (8-2, 4-1) scored on each of it’s five first-half possessions and carried a 35-0 lead into the half, and coasted through a running clock in the second half. Marietta had already clinched the Region 3AAAAAAA’s second seed last week and now it can prepare to host Camden County next week.
“I thought we had a great week of practice with great focus,” Marietta coach Richard Morgan said. “We prepared for this team and we executed our game plan pretty well. We got everybody out of here healthy and got a lot of other guys some valuable experience.”
The Blue Devils scored in two plays after the opening kick was returned to the Kennesaw Mountain 42 by Peter Warrick, Jr.
Senior quarterback Harrison Bailey threw for three touchdowns in the first half, two to LSU commit Arik Gilbert. Bailey, a Tennessee commit, totaled 203 yards on 11 of 14 passing in one half of play. He had little trouble connecting with his talented receiving corps tonight.
“He was sharp, he was dialed in,” Morgan said. “He made some good reads. The coverage they gave us tonight, we felt like there were certain plays we could hit and we executed those plays. So I was pleased with his performance and it’s good to have your quarterback playing well going into the playoffs.”
Morgan had little trouble motivating his team for the regular season finale despite going up against a winless Mustangs team.
“Every time you play, it’s a gift,” Morgan said. “You’ve got to take advantage of it and treasure it. We took it serious, very serious. If you want to play your best football in the playoffs, you can’t come out here, stumble around and expect to play good next week, so we wanted to make sure we were moving toward next week and I thought we accomplished that tonight.”
Kennesaw Mountain said goodbye to a season that provided a lot of growth opportunities for a program that lost 38 seniors after last year’s campaign. Despite the record, the young Mustangs carry a lot of positive momentum into the offseason.
“We’re looking forward to growing up in the offseason,” Mustangs coach Caleb Carmean said. “When you play nine freshmen throughout the year in this region, you’re gonna have to grow up fast. I’m excited about the future of this program.”
Kennesaw Mountain said goodbye to 15 seniors who went through a lot in their careers, but they will always be a special group to Carmean.
“This is Year 2 and this senior class had a lot more adversity than any senior class in a long time,” said Carmean. “I’m extremely proud of them. Fifteen really, really good dudes. I’m excited about the success they’re going to have in life.”
For Marietta, Kimani Vidal and Milon Jones each rushed for scores while Warrick caught one and ran for one.
Kennesaw Mountain scored once in the third and fourth periods on drives led by senior quarterback Luke Staggs. Jahson Welch and Sean Frisbie each rushed for touchdowns for the Mustangs.