DeSales brought destruction all the way from Louisville on Friday night, as the Colts rolled up a 49-14 win over Paducah Tilghman at McRight Field.
The Blue Tornado -- averaging more than 330 yards on the ground through the first six games of the season -- were bottled up at the line of scrimmage. Workhorses in Damien Ford and Jayden Freeman were limited to 33 yards and minus-1 yard rushing, respectively, as the Colts punished from the get go.
Tilghman finished 31 yards rushing on 27 attempts, easily a season low.
"They're really good, we played really bad, and they won the line of scrimmage," noted Tilghman coach Jonathan Smith. "I don't know what else to say. And that was on both sides of the ball."
Things started more than favorably for the Blue Tornado (5-2), which opened a 6-0 advantage on just the fifth play of the game -- thanks to a Cam Marshall rollout and sideline pass to Jonathan George, who scampered for a 58-yard touchdown.
Two plays later, Jarmorie Sabbs recovered a fumble near midfield, which kept the Colts from scoring on their first drive.
But DeSales (4-2) got more than going after that, unleashing for 49 unanswered points over the next two-and-a-half quarters.
The Colts capped their second drive of the night -- seven plays, 62 yards -- with a 14-yard pass from DeMarcus Avery to Antione Johnson, with Blake Givens' PAT equalizing it 7-all with 5:38 left in the first quarter.
Tilghman, then, could only watch, as its best play of the night -- a 71-yard screen pass touchdown to Freeman -- get wiped out on a…questionable hold.
"I think the questionable call on the sideline hurt us badly from a momentum standpoint," Smith said. "When they call that back, and then we've got to punt…I knew at that point, from an emotional standpoint, that we were in trouble."
Indeed, DeSales sallied right along after that. Tilghman got a critical fourth-down stop behind an incomplete pass, but then a blocked punt set up a 3-yard touchdown from James Johnson, and the Colts led 14-7.
After a Tilghman three-and-out, DeSales was facing third-and-15 when Avery hit tight end Demetri Scott for a 49-yard pass on the right sideline, setting up a 13-yard rushing touchdown from A. Johnson and a 21-7 lead with 4:31 left in the half.
And then, the play of the night: Avery was able to wriggle away from four Tilghman defenders and heave a throw down the middle of the field.
Scott pulled it in with one hand -- Odell Beckham, Jr. style -- and lugged it 54 yards for touchdown, and a 28-7 DeSales lead with 1:30 left until the break.
"That's why we put them on the schedule," Smith added. "If that's our goal of where we expect to be, that's the kind of team we need to play during the season, so that they expose what we're not good at. In this game, they did a really good job of that."
One thing Tilghman did have some success at? Throwing the ball. Marshall was 10-for-22 and 185 yards with two touchdowns. His lone miscue came in the middle of the third quarter. Facing pressure, his pass was intercepted by Derek Hollenkamp and returned 68 yards to the 2-yard line.
DeSales, which runs a two-quarterback system, had Jay Scroggins rush in for a 2-yard touchdown on the next play, and the PAT gave the Colts a 35-7 lead with 6:41 left in the third frame.
J. Johnson's 64-yard touchdown, and Avery's two-point conversion, came on DeSales next drive, and brought about a running clock.
DESALES 49, PADUCAH TILGHMAN 14
DeSales 7 21 15 6 -- 49
Tilghman 7 0 0 7 -- 14
PT Jonathan George 58 pass from Cam Marshall (Shelby Nickal PAT), 7-0, 10:15 1Q
DC Antione Johnson 14 pass from DeMarcus Avery (Blake Givens PAT), 7-7, 5:38 1Q
DC James Johnson 3 rush (Blake Givens PAT), 14-7, 7:35 2Q
DC Antione Johnson 13 rush (Blake Givens PAT), 21-7, 4:31 2Q
DC Demetri Scott 54 pass from DeMarcus Avery (Blake Givens PAT), 28-7, 1:30 2Q
DC Jay Scroggins 2 rush (Blake Givens PAT), 35-7, 6:41 3Q
DC James Johnson 64 rush (DeMarcus Avery rush), 43-7, 4:24 3Q
DC Darren Hollenkamp 4 rush (PAT fails), 49-7, 0:57 3Q
PT Jayden Freeman 65 pass from Cam Marshall (Shelby Nickal PAT), 49-14,
DC Jay Scroggin 3-7-46, DeMarcus Avery 3-3-117-0-2; PT Cam Marshall 10-22-185-1-2
DC James Johnson 13-118-2, Antione Johnson 6-44-1, Darren Hollenkamp 3-18-1, Jay Scroggin 2-6-1, Lee'Twon Bray 3-20; PT Damien Ford 17-33, Cam Marshall 5-3, Jayden Freeman 4-(-1)
DC Demetri Scott 2-103-1, James Johnson 2-33, Antione Johnson 1-14-1, DeMarcus Avery 1-13; PT Jayden Freeman 3-73-1, Anton Jones 3-24, Jonathan George 1-58-1, Michael Laster 2-16, Jarmorie Sabbs 1-14
DC 4-2, PT 5-2