Football: Morgantown Outslugs JM

MOUNDSVILLE – The last name was the same and so were the results.

Sophomore DaShon Thomas, subbing for injured Kennedy Award favorite Chazzy Thomas at running back, sliced his way to 152 yards on 27 carries and scored a pair of touchdowns as Morgantown (8-1) slugged its way to a 21-7 victory against a game John Marshall (3-5) squad on Friday night at Monarch Stadium.

”I didn’t think we played very well, but JM was part of the problem with that,” an irritated Mohigans coach John Bowers said. ”We got the win so we’ll take it and go on.

”We thought that DaShon would do pretty well.”

Morgantown didn’t, however, expect it to be as difficult as it was.

In actuality, nobody really did.

The Monarchs had other ideas and made Morgantown work for everything it got. The Mohigans ran for 224 yards, but that’s about half the total they normally ring up.

In fact, the game wasn’t out of reach until Alex Anderson hauled in an Alan Miller punt on the run and took it to the end zone from 68 yards away to make it 21-7 in favor of the Mohigans with 6:43 remaining in the third quarter. That put the Monarchs in pass mode, something they probably aren’t equipped to do at this point.

Anderson made perhaps the game’s two most important plays. In addition to the punt return, he intercepted JM quarterback Noah Martin in the end zone on the 13th play of what looked like it was destined to be a game-tying drive midway through the second quarter.

”We play man, zone, combo and different things,” Bowers said. ”It was a change of coverage on that play and give Alex credit, he made a nice play on the ball.

”He’s a good football player.”

John Marshall coach Rick Goodrich saw that as the turning point.

”If we go in and score there, who knows?” he said. ”They dropped the corner and it was good coverage.

”We were trying to get separation on the tight end and they dropped the corner and (Martin) didn’t read it. The fullback didn’t get to the flat, which was our second option.”

The Mohigans drove the ball right down the field on the game’s opening possession, culminating in a 5-yard touchdown run by Thomas on the 14th play of the drive for a 7-0 lead.

The Monarchs answered immediately as Martin faked a handoff to Trevor Hardesty and found fellow sophomore Austin Skrzyneki behind the defense, and he went 78 yards before being dragged down by Shea Campbell at the Morgantown 7.

”Like we’ve been doing all year, poor technique. It catches up to you,” Bowers said. ”This is a strange football team (that) I still don’t have the pulse of.

”They don’t practice hard half the time and then the rest of the time they practice like world beaters.

”They don’t listen very well, but then they give decent effort. I can’t figure them out.”

Thomas broke loose for his one long gain and it turned out to be the game-winning score with 1:43 left in the first quarter. He took a handoff from QB Ethan Goldcamp, broke left and beat the defenders to the corner for a 44-yard touchdown and a 14-7 lead.

John Marshall stood toe-to-toe with a West Virginia Class AAA championship-caliber team for four quarters, but the bigger, stronger Mohigans finally wore them down. Hardesty was held to 58 yards on 23 carries, and was swallowed up numerous times in the second half by Morgantown left defensive end C.J. King.

”Our defense was lights-out,” Goodrich said. ”Cameron Fisher had a great game and the sky is the limit for him.

”Hopefully we can use this as a stepping stone. We can’t just be satisfied with this.”

Campbell added 46 yards on the ground on six carries for the Mohigans. Stone Wolfley caught three of Goldcamp’s five completions (17 attempts, one interception) for 33 yards.

Martin finished with 134 yards passing, with 99 of those going to Skrzyneki.