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Slippery Melissa ushers out La Vega, 41-14
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No. 4 MELISSA 41, No. 9 LA VEGA 14

Slippery Melissa ushers out La Vega, 41-14

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McKINNEY — Tempo can sometimes cause confusion, and there was plenty of both on display in McKinney Friday night.

Fourth-ranked Melissa wasted no time between plays jumping out to a big lead and eventually defeating No. 9 La Vega, 41-14, ending the Pirates’ season in a third-round playoff matchup in Class 4A Division I.

The Cardinals (11-2) routinely snapped the ball within seconds of the preceding play being blown dead, catching La Vega out of position the first two drives of the game, both scores. Quarterback Sam Fennegan found wideout Matthew Sanford alone down the sideline for a 52-yard touchdown after the senior put a slick juke move on a Pirate corner. It ended a quick-scoring drive that lasted just over a minute. And after the Pirates punted, Fennegan used his legs from 26 yards out and the Cardinals were up 14 before anyone could even blink.

La Vega’s defense did step up for a few possessions, though, giving enough time for Pirate quarterback Robert Prescott to find Mekhi Rice for a La Vega score.

The positivity didn’t stick for long, as Melissa added two more scores in the second quarter, another deep pass from Fennegan and a short run by Gunnar Wilson.

La Vega’s star freshman Bryson Roland struggled to get much going early, rushing for only 14 yards in the first 30 minutes.

The second half was much of the same, as La Vega (9-4) squandered a scoring opportunity on its first possession, one ended by a Prescott pick. The Cardinal added two field goals and another touchdown, as Fennegan hit Jacob Kusano on a deep ball for the Cardinals’ final score.

Roland found the end zone at the end of the fourth quarter, a 39-yarder to end the scoring.

Roland led the Pirates in rushing, but only managed to garner 75 yards, with more than half of those coming on La Vega’s final drive. Prescott added 155 yards through the air.

Rice quietly had a nice game, grabbing six balls for 65 yards and a touchdown.

Fennegan wasn’t overly efficient, but got the job done, going 12-for-29 for 277 yards and three touchdowns.

Prescott was forced to punt nine times on the night. The Pirates fumbled four times, losing two.

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