Former Buckeye/Middletown High standout scores first touchdown in new pro football league

Credit: Jamie Sabau

Credit: Jamie Sabau

Jalin Marshall made a bit of history Saturday on the first weekend of the new Alliance of America Football.

The Middletown High School graduate who also starred at Ohio State scored the first touchdown in AAF history as his Orlando Apollos trounced the Atlanta Legends 40-6.

It came on a 26-yard reception from Garrett Gilbert that was originally ruled an incomplete pass.

The replay official overturned the call on the field, however, and in just one example of how the AAF differs from the NFL, fans got to see the decision play out live.

“I thank God for the opportunity to be here,” he told reporters after the game. “It felt good, man. It’s just a real feeling. Every touchdown is different but that being the first is kind of a dream come true like I’ve always said. I’m glad to be here.”

Later in the second quarter, Marshall threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Gilbert on a reverse pass play similar to one the Eagles famously used in their upset of the Patriots in Super Bowl LII.

Marshall, who was an option quarterback for the Middies, finished with 51 yards on three catches.

“We’d been working on it all week and we didn’t score one time, but I got the ball and seen him and was like, ‘Oh man, I’m gettin’ ready to throw a touchdown,’” Marshall said. “And he caught it but like I said it’s a real feeling. That was my first passing touchdown professionally and his first catch.”

Marshall is one of five former Buckeyes on AAF rosters.

Suiting up on the other side Saturday night were cornerback Doran Grant, who had two tackles, and defensive tackle Tracy Sprinkle, who had three stops, while Chase Farris started at right guard.

Fairfield High School grad Donteea Dye had one catch for four yards for the Apollos.

RELATED: The story behind the first NFL football game 

Marshall’s touchdown catch not only was historic for the AAF, it also created a bit of symmetry with the NFL, where the first touchdown also was scored by a native of Southwest Ohio in 1920.

That was Lou Partlow, a West Carrollton High School product playing for the Dayton Triangles, who beat the Columbus Panhandles 14-0 at Triangle Park on Oct. 3 in the first game between two members of the American Professional Football Association, which went on to become known as the National Football League.

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