MOUNDSVILLE - Historical significance is generally reserved for a school's better teams. John Marshall coach Rick Goodrich though, says this season's senior class will always be remembered.
Morgantown's Chazzy Thomas racked up 203 yards on 19 carries and scored three touchdowns Friday night at Monarch Stadium as his Mohigans (6-2) earned a 33-6 victory against the Monarchs.
The score, much like John Marshall's 2-6 record, isn't what Goodrich and company had in mind. That doesn't change the way he feels about a group that stuck it out through troubling times.
John Marshall’s James Morgan (31) is brought down by Morgantown’s Logan hatch (36) on Friday night.
''The senior class has helped instill the pride back into the community, back into the football program. They'll never be forgotten,'' Goodrich said. ''They will never forget their last game on this field and I thought they represented themselves well and made their families proud and represented John Marshall well.
''Wherever the record ends up, they're an instrumental part of turning the program around.''
Fight as the Monarchs might on this night, Morgantown had too many horses up front. The Mohigans churned out 447 yards and held John Marshall to 109, with 40 of those coming on a Jacob Wood touchdown run late in the fourth quarter.
''They controlled the line of scrimmage,'' Morgantown coach John Bowers said of his big boys. ''They're finally trusting their technique and are trying to be sound in their technique.''
That work along the defensive front allowed the linebackers, most notably Alex Weidman, to make a living in the John Marshall backfield, limiting it to 82 yards on 29 carries. Weidman also scored on his lone carry, a 33-yarder in the first quarter.
''Alex is a good football player,'' Bowers said. ''He would be our starting tailback if it wasn't for Chazzy.
''He's a three-year starter for us and he does a great job at outside linebacker.''
Thomas opened the scoring with a 4-yard run, but the final four Mohigans touchdowns came on runs of 33, 53, 18 and the capper, a 43-yarder from Shane Commodore. Thomas only carried the ball seven times in the first half, but there was a reason for that.
''At the end of the season we need some tread left on those tires. If he gets nicked or something like that now, who knows?'' Bowers asked. ''We got the Weidman kid in the end zone, we got the Commodore kid in the end zone, and I would have liked to get Jalan Thomas in there
''We try to spread the wealth.''
John Marshall had a couple of opportunities but couldn't convert. Down 13-0, Larry Eddy recovered a Jalan Thomas fumble at the Morgantown 37, but an offensive pass interference call stalled the drive at the 19.
Evan Magers picked off Mohigans QB Mark Johnson and returned it to the 50 right before the half, but the Monarchs turned it over on downs at the Morgantown 32. Then in the third, Jared Horan returned a punt 50 yards to the Mohigans 25, but John Marshall turned it over again on downs, this time at the 20.
''That hurts. You obviously need to get points on the board any time you can,'' Goodrich said. ''Our effort was fantastic and every kid played up to the best of their ability.
''Our kids felt good about themselves walking off the field. We told our kids to go out there, play hard and compete. I thought they did that and didn't quit.''