MOUNDSVILLE - Finally a night of joyous celebration for the John Marshall football team.
After 13 consecutive losses including three to start the 2012 season under new coach Rick Goodrich, the Monarchs rallied from a 6-0 deficit to put 34 consecutive points on the scoreboard Friday night on the way to thumping Oak Glen, 48-12.
It was first victory since Week 10 of the 2010 season for the hosts, while the Golden Bears have dropped two in a row since starting out 2-0.
Senior running back R.J. Kibert ran for two touchdowns and returned a backward pass 77 yards for another score late in the third quarter to put the game out of reach.
Late in the fourth quarter with the victory assured, there were plenty of hugs being shared by the coaches and players along the Monarchs bench.
''I'm just so happy for these kids, especially the seniors,'' Goodrich said after sharing a private moment with his teary-eyed wife as the players continued to enjoy the moment.
''Let's face it. These kids haven't won in two years. Finally they've got something to show for the hard work and effort they've put in since June.''
Earlier in the week Goodrich commented that when something good happened to his team, things would snowball from there. That surely was the case but not until after the Golden Bears jumped and 6-0 on a sparkling 85-yard punt return by Micah Swiger 3:33 into the game.
A well-executed screen pass from quarterback Jeremiah Fromhart to James Morgan covered 42 yards into Oak Glen territory and keyed a 78-yard drive that ended with Kibert blasting his way in from the 3 on the first play of the second quarter, knotting the score at 6-6.
Fromhart's deep sideline pass to Jeremy Betras covered 42 yards on John Marshall's next possession, setting up Jacob Wood's touchdown as went off the left side untouched from 6 yards out. Evan Magers then pulled down a pass from Fromhart for the 2-point conversion that put the Goodrich's club up 14-6.
Oak Glen got a tough break late in the half as an inadvertent whistle wiped out Nathan Beabout's 33-yard touchdown return of a Monarchs fumble.
''We had a chance there to possibly go into halftime with the game tied,'' Oak Glen's youthful coach Ian Whittington said. ''It was a terrible night all the way around.''
Things started out with Oak Glen being hit with 20 yards in penalties before the first official snap of the game.
The first 15 yards were the result of the Golden Bears coming out late before the coin toss when, according to Whittington, the door to their locker room was locked after pregame warmups.
''We had to wait five minutes before their AD came and opened the door. I pleaded with the ref but he still hit us with the penalty.''
Then Oak Glen drew a 5-yard penalty for a false start on what was to have been its first offensive snap.
Overall, Oak Glen was penalized 10 times for 110 yards, lost four of six fumbles and had a snap over the punter's head recovered by John Marshall's Ralph Howe in the end zone for a late-game score.
John Marshall, going into its locker room at halftime leading for the first time this season, was reminded by Goodrich that the Monarchs still had a lot of work to do.
''I told them this was unfamiliar territory and they had to keep focused and continue to play hard in the second half,'' he said.
Kibert gave the first indication there wouldn't be a letup, breaking off a 35-yard run, again moving the ball into Golden Bears territory. Two plays later from the 25, the Monarchs line opened a huge hole and Kibert went in untouched. John Marshall then resorted to some trickery as the holder on the conversion, Aaron Bishop, stood up and found Morgan wide open for 2-point conversion and a 22-6 lead.
Kibert's third touchdown of the night came on an alert play after Bub Haddox's backward pass was scooped off the ground at the JM 23 and returned all the way back for a score.
Later the Monarchs reached the end zone on a determined individual play by Magers, who took a short pass from Fromhart and broke two tackles for a 33-yard score. In the fourth quarter Wood scored from the 3 and the final TD came from Howe.
The Golden Bears (2-2) picked up a second-half score when Haddox connected with Cody Howell for a 40-yard score.
''The last couple of weeks against Bellaire and Buckeye Local, we won the battle of the statistics but this time we won one on the scoreboard,'' Goodrich said. ''This feels a lot better.
''The kids are starting to believe in what we are doing with our style of offense. The backs are running hard and Fromhart did a nice job throwing the ball on the quick outs. Defensively, we are getting more physical and playing with confidence.''
Steed collected 78 yards and Haddox had 64 rushing while also completing 15 of 26 passes for 148 yards.
John Marshall's offense was sparked by Kibert's 96 yards on 10 carries. Wood picked up 42 yards on 13 attempts while Fromhart finished 7 of 12 for 130 yards, one score with no interceptions.