MERRITT ISLAND — A week after a slow start in which head coach Jeff McLean said his team was “asleep,” Merritt Island wasted no time putting away visiting Satellite on Friday night as the Mustangs shutout the Scorpions 35-0.
On the third play of the game, Merritt Island quarterback Jimmy Batch hit a streaking David Dufresne down the right sideline for a 39-yard touchdown. On their next drive, the Mustangs needed just two plays to go 62 yards, 57 of which were covered by Deben Peterson with a run to the outside on an option pitch.
The Mustangs ran 10 plays on its first three drives to score 21 points, while Satellite controlled the ball running 30 plays on its first three drives, but having no points to show for it.
“The last couple games we started off a little slow, but this game we made a focus to start fast and that’s what we did. We hit on all cylinders,” said Batch, who finished with 140 yards passing, 40 yards rushing and three total touchdowns in less than three quarters of play.
The Scorpions’ defense managed to stop the Mustangs on just one of its five drives in the first half. That drive ended with a 45-yard missed field goal by Mason Denaburg shortly before halftime. Meanwhile, Merritt Island’s defense forced three turnovers in the first 24 minutes, including two interceptions by Sean Diggs and a blocked field goal.
Diggs’ first interception came on a deep ball thrown by halfback Alex Nicks that saw Diggs attack the ball at its highest point and come down with it. Then, on the next Scorpions’ possession, Diggs was beat on a slant route but recovered to cut underneath the receiver to find the ball thrown by Scorpions quarterback Seth Kennedy hit him in right in the numbers.
“Sean has been playing well for us lately, and I’m glad he got those interceptions and helped our defense get some turnovers,” McLean said.
Even without defensive lineman Brandon Montanez, Merritt Island held the Scorpions to less than 2 yards per carry, as leading rusher Zach Switzer had 14 carries for 31 yards. They didn’t have much more success through the air as Kennedy completed 8 of 16 passes for 62 yards with an interception.
Merritt Island improved to 2-0 in district play and 4-2 on the season, while Satellite fell to 1-4 overall.
Merritt Island 35, Satellite 0
Satellite 0 0 0 0 — 0
Merritt Island 21 7 7 0 — 35
HOW THEY SCORED
MI — Dufresne 39 pass from Batch (Denaburg kick) – 11:38.
MI — D. Peterson 57 run (Denaburg kick) – 7:58.
MI — Batch 5 run (Denaburg kick) – 1:21.
MI — Pratt 33 pass from Batch (Denaburg kick) – 5:43.
MI — R. Peterson 11 run (Ashley kick) – 8:51.
Rushing: S — Zach Switzer 14-31, Seth Kennedy 11-(-14), Alex Nicks 5 -22; MI — Jimmy Batch 3-40 TD, Taquan Pratt 3-31, Deben Peterson 2-62 TD, Rydell Peterson 4-15 TD, Raleigh Barfield – 4-30. Passing: S — Seth Kennedy 8-16-1 62, Alex Nicks 0-2-1; MI — Jimmy Batch 8-10-0 140 yards 2 TDs. Receiving: S — Switzer 4-30, Erik Askeland 2-18, Alex Nicks 1-4, Jacob Payne 1-15; MI — David Dufresne 4-70 TD, Luke Clark 2-23, Deben Peterson 1-15, Taquan Pratt 1-33 TD.